Corporations are a legal construction, they are NOT “people” and as such do NOT have the same rights as individual citizens. But, that doesn’t matter to corporate CEOs who are apparently practicers of far right religious zealotry. To them, it’s not sufficient to sequentially discriminate against individual citizens, they now want the right to discriminate against an entire class of citizens, women, based on the CEO’s religious zealotry. This has to stop!
If SCOTUS strikes the provision in ACA requiring employer policies to assure accessibility to contraception, is that the line they’ll draw? Or, what happens when the next religious zealot decides it’s against his religion to provide ANY healthcare whatsoever and that they should pray the sickness away instead. Will they rule in favor of that CEO’s views as well?
Republicans can use their revisionist history and scream as loud as they want, how this is a “christian” nation and how our founders intended to create a nation built upon those tenets, but that’s simply NOT the case. People migrated to the Americas to escape the religious discrimination and deadly purges present in Europe each time leadership shifted. At the time of our nation’s founding there were multiple religious groups who could have vied for the “official religion” yet that’s not what happened. Instead, our founding fathers created a “secular” nation with no official religion and no religious tests for its leadership. Instead they set into law, the tenet of religious freedom for all “men” (now interpreted for the last century to be a generic interpretation for both men and women).
Just as each individual President of the United States of America is denied the ability to put his religion above the law and impose his religious beliefs on the citizens of this nation, NO corporate CEO should be able to put his religion above the law and discriminate against U.S. citizens he’s hired to work in various roles within his U.S. incorporated business.
If the Supreme Court chooses to bestow religious rights on legal entities, corporations, it will set the stage for our next civil war — deciding which religious entity will be our nation’s official religion. So just like we’re seeing all that religious strife in the Middle East amongst the various religious Muslim sects, this could lead to religious strife across our nation.
Personally, I prefer a secular nation where people have constitutional rights and where corporations have rights to conduct business throughout out nation, but which are not afforded the exact same constitutional rights afforded the actual people of this nation.
NARAL Pro-Choice America on Supreme Court Decision to Hear Case on Contraception Coverage
Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases related to the contraception benefit in the Affordable Care Act: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement from President Ilyse Hogue:
“While most people agree this much ado about birth control is a waste of time that could be spent on more pressing issues in our country, we’re pleased that the Supreme Court will finally lay to rest the question of whether women’s bosses get to decide if we deserve contraceptive coverage. That this reflects an underlying obsession with controlling women’s lives seems obvious when you observe that the enemies of the new law are not pushing to deny men access to Viagra or any other number of similar medical requests covered by insurance.
“Obviously, we hope the court upholds existing rulings that – in a country where over 99 percent of women report using birth control at some point in our lives – bosses have no business imposing their own politics on their employees’ health and decisions. If we start with birth control, will bosses next get to decide whether or not we get our children vaccinated? Or whether we can use treatments from stem cell research for life-threatening diseases? Allowing this intrusion into personal decisions by their employers opens a door that won’t easily be shut.”
Five years after Obama’s first election, the GOP has absolutely NO comprehensive health care reform plan other than “hurry up and die” or “good luck not going bankrupt over healthcare costs.” Instead of embracing the Affordable Care Act, they prefer to return to insurance corporation rule over the healthcare options for Americans.
They can talk about “tort reform” and “selling insurance across state lines” … but neither of those concepts will help someone declared by the insurance industry to be defective, in that they have a “pre-existing” condition, making them ineligible for insurance at any price. A large number of governors have already attempted “tort reform” and have been unable to achieve positive results. In addition, I doubt those same Governors would want to see Insurers from some other state “cherry-pick” healthy citizens out of their state only to watch health pools become mostly populated with more unhealthy individuals causing healthcare costs to rise dramatically.
The GOP claims tort reform would give more certainty to the healthcare marketplace by curbing liability costs of providers of healthcare. The only way they can conceivably do that is to dictate flat monetary values for the loss of a foot, arm, life, etc., or flat allowances for the plethora of malpractices that are committed on a regular basis. In other words, if a doctor or health provider ruins your health or the quality of your life, you’ll get only a pittance for your bad luck.
The GOP’s desire to “sell insurance across state lines” is at cross-directions with their “States Rights” mantra and instead would throw each state under the bus. Each State has its own Commissioner of Insurance who sets minimum requirements for those who provide Insurance policies to citizens of their particular state. So, instead of protecting “States” rights, it appears the GOP wants to plow the way for large corporate insurance providers to take out more efficient and less costly smaller sized organizations … DECREASING competition in the marketplace, and thus HIGHER costs and abuses.
But, that’s all they’ve got. So, before we throw out the baby with the bath water, so to say … maybe it’s time to get behind what was actually passed, upheld by the Supreme Court, and now in the process of being implemented. The benefits of the Affordable Care Act are pretty straight forward: the law makes it easier to get insurance you can afford, ensures you have the care you need when you get sick, and covers the preventive services you need to stay healthy without additional co-pay:
I wouldn't have believed it had I not read it for myself from the official Congressional website.
U.S. Representative Martha Roby, a Republican from Alabama's 2d Congressional District has introduced H.R. 1406, officially named the "Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013" which would END the requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act for employers to pay Time-and-a-Half to employees for every hour worked over 40 in one week.
From a November 7 joint press release by ACLU national, SWAN, and ACLU of CT: The Department of Veterans Affairs grants disability claims for military sexual trauma-related PTSD at significantly lower rates than other PTSD claims, according to a new report released today. Women veterans are disproportionately denied compensation based on PTSD, as they are more likely to file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims, but male survivors who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims face particularly low grant rates, compared to female veterans who file MST-related PTSD claims. The report by the American Civil Liberties Union, Service Women’s Action Network, the ACLU of Connecticut, and the Veterans Legal Service Clinic at Yale Law School details new findings resulting from two recently settled Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the VA. “The VA must treat a veteran’s disability claim fairly when it is based on sexual violence,” said Sandra Park, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “It’s inexcusable that the VA discriminates against survivors who have sacrificed so much for our country, but we’re hopeful this report will lead to reform by shining a light on the terrible hurdles these veterans face.”
Three key findings include:
- the VA granted disability benefit claims for PTSD related to military sexual trauma at a significantly lower rate than claims for PTSD unrelated to military sexual trauma every year from 2008 to 2012. The grant rate for military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims has lagged behind the grant rate for other PTSD claims by between 17 and 30 percentage points every year;
- because female veterans’ PTSD claims are more often based on military sexual trauma-related PTSD than male veterans’ PTSD claims, female veterans overall are disparately impacted by the lower grant rates for military sexual trauma-related PTSD. For every year between 2008 and 2011, a gap of nearly 10 percentage points separated the overall grant rate for PTSD claims brought by women and those brought by men;
- among those who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims, male veterans face particularly low grant rates when compared to female veterans who file military sexual trauma-related PTSD claims.
The report is available at: aclu.org/womens-rights/battle-benefits-va-discrimination-against-survivors-military-sexual-trauma
[ACLU/SWAN Press Release]
By Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Today we released our most detailed report to date about the results of the first reporting period of open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. The numbers show that interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace remains strong and the promise of quality, affordable coverage is becoming a reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Between October 1 and November 2, 2013, 106,185 individuals selected plans from the Marketplace and another 975,407 applied and received an eligibility determination, but have not yet selected a plan. An additional 396,261 were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In total, 502,446 Americans will be positioned to have health coverage starting in 2014.
As we’ve seen in Massachusetts’s efforts to expand coverage, I expect the number of newly insured to grow substantially throughout the open enrollment period. Our efforts to improve HealthCare.gov will be critical to driving new enrollments and meeting consumer demand.
As a further indication of high consumer interest, web traffic and call center volume also continues to be very heavy. During the first reporting period, there have been over 26 million unique visitors to Marketplace websites and over 3.1 million calls to the call centers.
While we know there is still a lot of work to do to make sure every American that wants access to affordable coverage can have it, there are many encouraging takeaways from today’s report.
For the full text of the report, “Health Insurance Marketplace: November Enrollment Report,” please visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/rpt_enrollment.pdf
Nevada has a state supported exchange, meaning we don’t need to use the national website. We can go to our own exchange website. If you don’t have employer provided insurance and will need to enroll for insurance, VISIT THE NEVADA HEALTH LINK NOW TO APPLY today.
By Salim Zymet, Digital Advisor, Department of Health and Human Services
Enrolling just a day after the Health Insurance Marketplace opened, Daniel, a 22 year old from Orlando, Florida, is one of the millions of Americans eligible for affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Daniel says he’s “thrilled” to get coverage at the price he got it, and is relieved to be covered:
“I already had health insurance, but I just wanted to see if I could do a little bit better on the marketplace, and I did. I was able to pick a much higher quality plan, and because of my income as a student, I’ll only pay about 70 bucks a month for health insurance.”
To compare plans in your area, weigh your options, and get enrolled for coverage beginning January 1st, apply on HealthCare.gov by December 15th.
There are 4 basic ways consumers can apply for and enroll in Marketplace coverage:
- Online at HealthCare.gov;
- Over the phone by calling the 24/7 customer service center (1-800-318-2596, TTY 1-855-889-4325);
- Working with a trained person in your local community (Find Local Help); or by
- Submitting a paper application through the call center or downloading a copy at marketplace.cms.gov.