Archive for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brownback voices disapproval of Obama rule on contraceptives

February 28, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback said women who want health care coverage that includes birth control but work for employers who oppose birth control based on religious reasons should go work elsewhere.

Brownback's comment was made Monday during a call-in show on C-SPAN in response to a comment from a woman from Osawatomie, who said women's rights were being trampled in Kansas. The caller criticized Brownback for opposing President Barack Obama's position that contraceptives should be provided as part of the federal health reform law.

Brownback disagreed with the caller, saying that Obama’s decision was infringing on basic religious freedoms.

Obama had issued a rule to require employers to cover all FDA-approved contraception. Churches were exempted from the requirement. Later, Obama announced that faith-based employers, such as religious-affiliated hospitals and schools, wouldn’t be required to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees, but the insurance companies would.

The new policy has continued to anger some religious groups, including some Roman Catholic Church leaders.

Brownback said the rule will require some religious institutions to violate their basic tenets by having to provide coverage for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

“That’s not denying women’s rights. If a woman then wants birth control, go work somewhere else,” he said.

Obama administration officials have said the rule won’t violate religious freedoms and will give women access to important preventive care. Supporters of the rule, including the ACLU and women’s advocacy groups, say the measure will improve female health.

Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women, criticized Brownback over his remarks.

“In this clip, Gov. Brownback states that churches should not be forced to provide birth control to their female employees due to their particular religious convictions. This casts a far narrower net over a policy that in reality would affect millions of women across the nation, who either work for or are insured by a family member through a religiously owned hospital, university, school or organization.” Rinker said.

She also said the governor’s “flippant” suggestion that women work somewhere else “is a verbal strike against women’s right to participate as equals in society and access a full range of preventive health care. This is preventive health care that would, in fact, reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions across the nation.”

Brownback’s opposition to the birth control rule has arisen during the legislative session. His administration has pushed for approval of a bill that supporters say will protect religious liberty.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer testified in support of the measure, saying it was needed because Obama was attacking religious rights, citing the controversy over the contraceptive coverage requirement.

“As you consider House Bill 2260, the federal government’s recent attempts to trample the religious liberties of millions of Americans must be at the forefront of your debate,” Colyer said. “Religious liberty is at the heart of who we are as a people.”

But opponents of the bill say it will allow people to claim religious reasons for challenging a Lawrence ordinance that bars discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.


asixbury 6 years ago

The churches are still complaining, even though they are exempt from directly providing the coverage? I wonder if anyone is actually listening to the details and not just jumping on the religion bandwagon that Brownback created to deter us from the real issues in this state. Can we focus on the economy now? I'm tired of Brownback's preaching.

optimist 6 years ago

I think you are missing the details. If insurance companies serving the employees of the religious organization are required to provide birth control and abortion pharmaceuticals at no cost to the recipients then the religious organizations are paying for it through increases in premiums. What if the church is self-insured ad some are? You are ignoring these blatant facts because they don't support your argument. In any case women are not being denied anything. They have the choice to open their own wallet and pay for it or they can choose to not have sex. Not every healthcare procedure is covered in full or in some cases at all. Why is this one any different except Planned Parenthood donates to Obama and he is trying to pay them back as this is huge business for them. This reminds me if Rick Perry mandating vaccinations for young girls as a payback to a company that contributed to his campaign. If you don't want others or the Government in your personal business then don't allow them to get involved in this issue at all.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

I thought the same thing about the Rick Perry vaccination controversy.

The obvious difference, of course, is that increasing access to birth control for women is completely in line with the president's philosophies, whereas mandating a vaccination is in complete contrast to Rick Perry's.

And.... with Rick Perry's vaccination ordeal, there was one specific organization what would receive a tremendous amount of the revenue from a mandated vaccination.... whereas with the birth control situation, Planned Parenthood is but one of many, many providers of birth control.

In other words, while the two situations have similarities, the Rick Perry vaccination debacle has a much higher d-bag factor.

chootspa 6 years ago

First off, churches are exempt. Secondly, 28 states already have similar or more strict regulations on the books. Thirdly, any hypothetical non exempt religious organizations who are so horribly forced to pay for heathen women employees to get on the pill can just use the savings they get to keep from all those taxes churches don't pay.

Oh right, except churches are already exempt. Did I mention that already? Because you sure forgot about it in your nonsense about "Planned Parenthood payback." They're just like a pharmaceutical company, except being totally unlike one.

And this bill is exactly like paying Planned Parenthood, except for how people who have insurance coverage usually just go to their family doctor or OB and get the pills from the pharmacy and not from Planned Parenthood. In fact, if YOU would like to support Planned Parenthood's "business model," you should oppose coverage of birth control in the workplace. It will only drive more people to visit the place that offers those services with a sliding scale.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

excellent point. If insurance is covering birth control, they probably won't be getting it from Planned Parenthood.

ebyrdstarr 6 years ago

Studies show that providing contraceptive health care is one of the most cost-effective things insurers can do to keep costs down. There is no reason to think that insurance premiums would go up because providing birth control more often than not is cheaper for insurers than not providing it. The healthcare costs associated with planned pregnancies are lower than those of unplanned pregnancies, just for starters. (The resulting children also generally cost less than their unplanned counterparts.)

Mike1949 6 years ago

What part of "Churches are exempt" you don't understand? I have heard I don't know how many times UN-American comments through the years "if you don't like it (meaning a situation in this country) why don't you leave! Brownback is basically saying the same thing. The republican party has never been about freedom and freedom of choice.

Also I have not read about Obama's position that said it had to be free. This is pure republican crap of lying about the facts to fit their position on a subject. How do you feel about a lying governor Kansans? You voted this idiot into office!

asixbury 6 years ago

I can't believe people continue to ignore the fact that churches are exempt and keep complaining about their "rights" being violated. They are really making themselves look dumb, huh?

Alexander Smith 6 years ago

Your missing the point. All the business either private or public, receive and are held to federal guidelines and benefits. Hence forth they MUST follow rules that are controlled by the separation of CHURCH and STATE concept and that they cannot FOR ANY REASON discriminate based on sex, race, religious affiliation. The view of not agreeing to contraception is FULLY guided by a faith. The benefits by supporting has benefits to the social support system by cutting down those expenses.

That’s the problem with the GOP and conservatists. OUR COUNTRY is built on the idea of separation of church and state. .WHY I ask WHY is that this group must bring values and beliefs to guide our political scene that have their control source being the church but yet the deny it.

For Brownbeck to tell them to WORK elsewhere violates equal opportunity laws and VIOLATES the founding principle of separation of church and state.

William Weissbeck 6 years ago

I'm thinking there are two different issues at play. I would suspect that most insurance plans cover birth control, but cover it as a prescription drug benefit with a $20-$30 co-pay. So in the church's mind, they aren't paying for birth control. From the woman's point of view however she is having to shell out $20-$30 each month. It's not the same as the once or twice a year prescription for antibiotics. And also, this is something that probably more effects younger woman early in their working lives. We'd likely all be better off, purely in the medical sense, if the government mandated not only the birth control, but also certain meds like statins to reduce high blood pressure. The other much stickier issue is whether to cover the morning after pills. They are legal, and in a country that accepts the rule of law, we cannot have wholesale exceptions on who the laws apply to. Churches are acting as employers open to the general public. It's not the government's obligation to figure out a way around their conscience objections - it is the churches' obligation.

Jimo 6 years ago

"They have the choice to open their own wallet and pay for it"

The wages and benefits employees labor to receive -- including their health coverage -- are "paying for it." The belong (legally and morally) to the employee. The Church ceases to have any claim over them minutes by minute as the labor is performed at the Church's direction.

Here, the Catholic Church is demanding that the employees of their affiliated institutions (not the employees of the Church itself) abandon their own religious beliefs and subject themselves to a "Papa" veto of their own liberty.

If the Church wishes to self-insure - a/k/a, enter the insurance market -- then they can abide by the neutral regulations that apply to all insurers. If not, then the Church can "reach into their own pocket" and pay for an independent insurance plan.

But apparently for the "optimists" of the world, only the Church's religious liberty matters and the hospital accountant can just suck it up and realize that her own religious beliefs don't amount to squat.

In short, the Church holds in direct contradiction to none other than Super-Catholic himself, Antonin Scalia, that the world should be designed around the Church's own beliefs and, wherever there is conflict, the liberty of individuals must bend to conform with the wishes of the Church. A very popular concept .... in the 13th century.

In essence, the Church -- in the name of religious liberty -- wants the government to be a co-conspirator in forcing supposedly free citizens to conform to the dictates of the Church. That's impossible in a free society.

asixbury 6 years ago

Thank you to all for answering the optimist for me. You all explained this issue more succinctly then I could.

Jan Rolls 6 years ago

Churches are exempt. If other organizations don't like they rules they don't have to follow them just don't accept any kind of federal money. In other words we will take the money but we don't have to follow the law. As ususal dummy back is an idiot who thinks he can meddle in people's private business.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years ago

Brownbackwards should go to work somewhere else. I would suggest the South Pole.

christy kennedy 6 years ago

Hey now, what do you have against the South Pole?

Andria Platt 6 years ago

Hey folks, as voters, we can make sure Brownback goes to work somewhere else during the next election. I'd prefer somewhere with no decision making requirements that have any impact on any living creature!!

cowboy 6 years ago

Brownback , Santorum , et al seem to have a basic disbelief in the separation of church and state. Perhaps they should go to work somewhere else.

optimist 6 years ago

While the "separation of church and state" can be found nowhere in the Constitution let's assume that it is, enough Supreme Court Justices have. If the 1st amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" then wouldn't a logical person agree that it is the President and his administration that ate violating the "separation of church and state"? Again, another who doesn't let facts get in the way of their "religious" beliefs, I mean liberal beliefs.

chootspa 6 years ago

A logical person would not agree. A logical person would see that mandating insurance coverage for a service is not the same as forcing religious adherents to actually use said service. Even if you're religiously opposed to war, this country still requires you pay taxes that finance it.

chootspa 6 years ago

A logical person would not agree. A logical person would see that mandating insurance coverage for a service is not the same as forcing religious adherents to actually use said service. Even if you're religiously opposed to war, this country still requires you pay taxes that finance it.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

Your idea of "free exercise" of religion involves prohibiting access of birth control to others.

Key phrase there: "prohibiting access [...] to others".

The gov't is basically saying... no, you can't do that.

What the gov't is NOT forcing anybody to do is: 1) perform abortions 2) receive abortions

The catholic church is attempting to extend their "free exercise" of religion to include a restriction of access to a good or service to others.


jafs 6 years ago

If the employer is paying for the insurance, it seems to me they have the right to decide what sort of insurance they want to provide.

Regardless of the reasons involved in that decision.

gatekeeper 6 years ago

According to your flawed logic, an employer should be able to decide what diseases they want the insurance they offer to their employees to cover. That isn't how it works.

If an employer gives a rats *ss about it's employees, they would automatically give them this coverage. I take BP pills for medical reasons. It isn't just about preventing pregnancies, BP pills are used for various medical reasons also.

jafs 6 years ago

Again, if they're paying for it, it's their choice what sort of coverage to offer, in my view. If they choose to get cheaper coverage, which is less attractive to employees, that's their choice.

And different employers offer different coverage, as far as I am aware.

And, until the recent requirements, which are being debated, employers were under no obligation to provide any health insurance coverage at all.

I think your last paragraph answers itself - if employers care about their employees, they would do a number of things. But, caring about employees is not required of employers.

It seems to me that people get very righteous about "rights" that don't actually exist, much of the time - I'm not at all sure that employees have a "right" to the health insurance policies of their choosing, if employers are paying for it and providing it as a benefit.

bad_dog 6 years ago

"And different employers offer different coverage, as far as I am aware."

Not when it comes to the inclusion/exclusion of prescription medications-particularly those with multiple uses. That is typically within the exclusive province of the insurer. Generally only experimental medications or treatments are excluded or limited. At least as far as I'm aware ;-)

asixbury 6 years ago

Religious institutions are exempt from having to actually pay for bc services...that is a compromise that was put into place..

optimist 6 years ago

That is a flat out lie. There is no prohibition of access. Women are free to obtain any services they wish. The church is simply stating it will not pay directly or indirectly for services that conflict with religious beliefs. Aspirin is not typically covered by insurance however people are free to obtain it anytime they wish.

Zac Hamlin 6 years ago

I can see your user name must be sarcastic. A wise person once said: The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A pessimist sees the challenge in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every challenge. It seems to me your views represent ingrained pessimism.

asixbury 6 years ago

Re-read the article. It states exactly what I said.

Getaroom 6 years ago

The purpose for separating from England(The Church of England) was exactly that "optimist" and also why the founding fathers worked tirelessly not to have religion be the central theme of governance by constitution and in what became the USA. That is factual sir, Liberal or otherwise. So you dislike President Obama - big deal. If the Catholic Church has it's way, we all would be under it's thumb, making babies to overflowing based on ancient and flawed beliefs for todays life on Earth.

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

I like how Brownback's statement, "If a woman then wants birth control, go work somewhere else,", just proves the point that the religious organization just want to impose their unpopular values on women.

He's saying that the only option for a woman who want to use birth control is to not work for a "religious" organization. Therefore, if you do want to work for a religious organization, you have to accept the fact that you shouldn't be using birth control, because your employer doesn't want them to be having sex, unless it for the sole purpose of making a baby.

These organization are fighting for the "right" to control women's lives and health. Brownback, Rick Santorum and plenty of other politicians are very willing to wage war against women's health, specifically contraception.

Rick Santorum has said that he would give states that right to ban contraception if they wanted to!!! He's also against prenatal testing!!!

Why are these politicians so willing to fight against women's rights and health?

Janis Pool 6 years ago

And yet...not a one of them is a woman!

KSManimal 6 years ago

"Rick Santorum has said that he would give states that right to ban contraception "

States already have that right, as per the 10th Amendment. Santorum is either ignorant or posturing for his minions. Or both.

ebyrdstarr 6 years ago

No, states don't have that right. See Griswold v. Connecticut, Supreme Court case from 1965. As a lawyer, Santorum is well aware of this decision.

James Nelson 6 years ago

I've got a good idea for Gov. Brownback. If he feels that strongly about abortion then I highly recommend that he never, ever have one performed on himself. I can guarantee him that no one will force him to have one anyway. Now, why can't he just leave the 90% of truthful Kansans alone to do what is legal with their own bodies?

FriendlyFire 6 years ago

What about the thousands of State employees that currently count on birth control and other contraceptives coverage via their insurance policy? Will the State of Kansas soon become one of the "religious institutions" that women looking for basic healthcare coverage should avoid?

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

Doh!!! You just gave them an idea!

JackMcKee 6 years ago

Brownback's political career is coming to pretty steep cliff. Let's see if he drives it right over the edge.

zzgoeb 6 years ago

I'm confused? Is this part of the "more jobs for KS" Brownie has talked so much about? Is he encouraging skilled workers to leave KS? What a knucklehead! Oh, and here's the other part; churches don't pay taxes, nor do their institutions, but they lobby voters constantly on political issues...I'm pretty sure they should lose their tax-exempt status. Hey, I just helped solve the revenue problem!!!

Kim Murphree 6 years ago

If the fight is between civil rights for women and religious "rights," I vote women's rights every time! If the religious organization is receiving tax breaks, and we know they are, then they don't have the ability to say "no" to a basic health care product for women, just because they are women. Do they say "no" to vasectomies?

hujiko 6 years ago

the religious right is neither

FriendlyFire 6 years ago

Exactly. To suggest that all people working at Catholic institutions are Catholic themselves is beyond ignorant. Freedom of religion? What about freedom FROM religion. It goes both ways.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

"...well over 95% of those women aren't catholic and want access to contraception." === Ironic, isn't it? Nearly 100% of Catholic women used birth control at one time or another.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Let me officially voice my disapproval of Brownback :P

hujiko 6 years ago

Why do men bring it upon themselves to determine what is right for women?

"Go work somewhere else," Sam.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Hey, 33% of the eligible voters cannot be wrong, can they?

Scott Tichenor 6 years ago

Ah, yes. The classic diversion. Use politics to preach social morals then make out like a bandit with the payoffs from corporations.

Fools me every time.

asixbury 6 years ago

Glad you see this as what it is: deterrence from the fact that these politicians are completely useless when it comes to issues that actually matter (like the economy).

Catalano 6 years ago

Brownback and Santorum were obviously separated at birth.

08Champs 6 years ago

contraception is legal - I'd like to see the Catholic church and other religious entities punish their parishioners for using it, rather than attempting to take away basic healthcare from women. (yeah, good luck with that). Preach that on Sundays and make it the responsibility of your parishioners to "not partake" rather than punish the rest of the planet for your archaic views.

And those religious zealots that believe sex is solely for procreation - tell that to the 70 year old guy filling his Viagra prescription.

Enlightenment 6 years ago

08 Champ, you beat me to the Viagra comment. Insurance companies have been providing Viagra to men long before their coverage included birth control pills for women. It's such a double standard when it comes to religion and women's rights.

08Champs 6 years ago

Some covered Viagra but not birth control OR "well-baby" visits from what I've heard. They covered heart transplants, but not mammograms, because men had heart disease, not women. (no longer the case, but it was)

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Good point. If the government wants to examine everyone's underwear and check in their bedrooms, men should not be exempt. Sheesh.

Catalano 6 years ago

Hey, let's not forget condoms, which are considered contraceptives.

Viagra just (as Santorum would say) just encourages behavior "to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

Enlightenment 6 years ago

Ok, let's hear from men who support Brownback and religious organizations that disagree with the requirement to offer contraceptives via employer health insurance.

Now, let's hear from the women in relationships with the men that are against contraceptives.

I would like to know if they have ever used contraceptives or some form of family planning.

Also, I would like to know how another persons decision to use birth control infringes on their religious freedom.

Enlightenment 6 years ago

Those without sin be the first to cast a stone.

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Another old white Catholic man trying to keep women in-place (as has been the Church's position) since whenever. Hopefully, many un-liberated women will wake-up to the fact; unfortunately, many women are willing to accept this kind of serftitude and servitude.

kawrivercrow 6 years ago

He has the right answer, but for the wrong reason.

Why don't we cover oil changes and brake jobs in our auto insurance? Same reason we shouldn't be covering contraception with our health insurance. Insurance is to share risk for expenses that may be occur as accidents or unforseen events.

Contraception, like brake jobs, are simply routine, common sense maintenance measures, not emergencies or unforeseen events. Do any of you feel like paying for my brake job? No? Good, because I don't feel like paying for yours, either.

Just so everybody knows...My wife went to Planned Parenthood, got an exam and Rx for OCPs and I went there every 3 months and picked up the re-filled script, paying out of pocket. It was $15/mo. Being personally accountable is not that difficult and is actually very rewarding once you get out of the 'I need a nanny-state beaurocracy to take care of me' mentality. I wish more people would give it a try.

Aside from that, Brownback is a loser-idiot that is looking for a fecal firestorm if he doesn't learn to keep his greasy religion separate from his grimy politics.

Enlightenment 6 years ago

You're missing the big picture, contraceptives are not routine maintenance. What about the fact that insurance companies pay for annual physicals and wellness examines? You failed to recall that bit of info in your analogy.

Gedanken 6 years ago

Let's see - so breast exams, annual physicals, vaccinations and the like are just routine maintenance and shouldn't be covered. Your analogy is poor and deeply flawed.

jafs 6 years ago

Actually, it's pretty good.

There's a good question about whether or not insurance is the best way to deliver routine health care - the model is, in fact, usually based around unforeseen and expensive costs, not routine ones.

Home insurance doesn't generally cover annual HVAC cleaning/checks, sewer line cleaning, deck painting, etc. Car insurance doesn't cover oil changes, tune ups, etc.

It seems to me that many of the problems with high costs of health care in this country might be ameliorated if people paid directly for routine health care without insurance involvement.

Medical insurance could then function as other insurance does, to cover unexpected problems which are too expensive for most people to afford on their own.

Enlightenment 6 years ago

Sorry, your logic is flawed. If people were to pay for preventative care out of pocket, they would not or could not afford to do so. BTW, it's cheaper for insurance companies to pay for preventative medicine as opposed to paying for care for conditions that could have been avoided.

jafs 6 years ago

Part of the reason that health care costs are high is precisely because insurance distorts the market. When insurance companies limit the amounts that providers can charge for things, then those without insurance pay higher costs to make up for that.

If most people didn't have insurance for routine care, then costs would undoubtedly come down.

I maintain my position that insurance is not a good model for covering routine, known, consistent costs of regular preventive health care.

jafs 6 years ago

And most people I know don't have those.

They just pay for regular routine costs of maintenance out of pocket, which seems to work fine.

In fact, I don't know anybody who has one of those plans - I looked into it once, and it was unattractive to me.

jafs 6 years ago

I don't agree with your equations, that's all.

Life insurance pays a beneficiary if you die. Auto insurance covers expensive, unforeseen costs of an accident, especially harm to others.

It would be more affordable if insurance weren't distorting the market, as I mentioned elsewhere.

jafs 6 years ago


Auto, home and life insurance exist to cover unforeseen, terrible consequences that are unusual and expensive.

One is generally glad to have them, but also glad to not use them, because using them means something drastically bad has happened.

Contrast that with most people's idea of health insurance, which is used often for routine predictable events that don't represent a huge calamity.

That's why the better analogy would be for health insurance to cover unpredictable, calamitous events that are extremely expensive, rather than routine care.

jafs 6 years ago

Also, there's no requirement for auto insurance to be comprehensive - we have the minimum levels necessary, which only cover things like harm to others - if we total our car, we don't get a dime.

bad_dog 6 years ago

Lenders generally require a borrower to have "full coverage" when you have a lien on the vehicle. Full coverage includes liability, collision and "comprehensive" coverages. Comprehensive coverage applies to theft, fire, hail, vandalism or events like hitting an animal, for example.

Whether you "get a dime" if you total your car is determined by the amount of equity you have at the time of the event. Fair market value is paid to you and/or your finance company. If you have zero equity the finance company gets the check and you walk away unless you are upside down on the loan.

jafs 6 years ago


But we never get car loans.

So that doesn't apply.

bad_dog 6 years ago

OK, so you never get car loans and only purchase the minimum amount of liability coverage required by law. In this day and age failing to have more than the minimum amount of coverage seems pretty silly to me, unless you are economically unable to purchase more. So you would rather eat the cost of your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled by fire, hail, theft, etc.? And you would rather be liable for a judgment in excess of your minimum coverage limits if you have an at fault accident with a Mercedes/Lexus/BMW/Caddy, or one involving serious injuries to the passengers of the other car? 25/50/10 doesn't go very far today. What if you have a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver?

Regardless whether you have a loan or not, personally assuming that much risk doesn't seem very prudent to me.

jafs 6 years ago

That's a different issue.

We were discussing health insurance, and the analogies between that and auto/home/life insurance.

I just pointed out that the better way to think of health insurance would be as insurance that covered unplanned, catastrophic events, not routine health care, since that's how other insurance operates.

And, there's no government requirement that people purchase other insurance to cover routine maintenance, etc. The only required insurance for cars has to do with injuring others, not oneself.

Also, I'd have to look - we may have a bit more than the minimum, for the reasons you mention, but we certainly don't have comprehensive coverage - we buy older cars and don't feel the need to cover them like that.

Which should be a private decision, don't you think? Or do you think that the government should require us to have comprehensive coverage on our car?

Or, actually, to have a "maintenance agreement" that covers routine maintenance as well? That's what requiring health insurance that covers routine care is analogous to, I'd say.

If somebody owns a home without a mortgage, they're also not required to have home insurance, although it may be a good idea - should we require everybody have that?

bad_dog 6 years ago

I've had a maintenance plan on the last two cars I purchased. It covers routine maintenance like oil changes, annual alignments, flat tires, air filters, tire rotations, etc. It cost about $400, I believe and added more than that to the resale value at trade-in time because it proved the car had been properly maintained and serviced by a dealer. In addition, it is this very type of service that shows up in a CarFax report.

Some plans aren't necessarily cost effective on their face such as the extended warranty plans on a used auto. You can spend ~ $1,000 & up for those. But if something major like your transmission breaks down, you would be very thankful you purchased the coverage. They can also be a good idea if you purchase a used car with more than 60-70K or it is a used luxury car. The electronics are obscenely expensive to replace. A battery for a BMW can be $300+, or an ECM can be $2-3K plus labor.

FriendlyFire 6 years ago

Birth control is not 'simply routine maintenance' for women who suffer from debilitating endometriosis or chronic ovarian cysts. Birth control and IUDs are proven medical treatments for women who fear becoming ill, missing work, undergoing surgery, and worse, risking infertility due to these medical disorders. Telling a woman that doesn't use contraception for the purpose of birth control that her insurance no longer covers the medicine she needs to remain healthy is deplorable. And the argument that birth control doesn't guarantee the person won't get cysts is not a valid one in this case. If medicine were meant to cure we wouldn't have cancer. It's treatment, plain and simple. An employer should not be able to dictate how their employee receives treatment for a medical issue.

Katara 6 years ago


You do understand that PP charges are sliding scale charges, that is, based on your income?

Your $15/3 mos. was being subsidized by those who could afford to pay the true cost of those services and also was subsidized by private donations and taxpayer monies.

The "nanny-state bureaucracy" and other individuals were making those services affordable to you. It wasn't you being personally accountable.

hujiko 6 years ago

Ahh, the "spare tire" argument.


08Champs 6 years ago

Last I checked, sex is not a republican or democratic only practice - but you always need to go there, don't you? Birth control enables women and/or couples to keep their family size manageable. It's hypocritical to say on the one hand that women shouldn't have children they can't take care of, and then not providing them birth control coverage? Take birth control away and see what happens to the welfare/medicare numbers.... instead of cutting off your nose to spite your face, we could cut off....nevermind.

Andria Platt 6 years ago

Dear Heavens: there are still people around with this archaic view! And, unfortunately, probably vote without bothering themselves with facts!

blindrabbit 6 years ago

What gets me, these social conservatives are so wanting to control the lives of women (denying contaceptives, elective abortion) at the same time they rail against the repressive govenments and religions of the MiddleEast. From my vantage point, I see little difference except geography.

08Champs 6 years ago

Excellent point - once you hit this point of zealotry, it's pretty much all the same.

Enlightenment 6 years ago

Not all women use contraceptives for family planning, many use them to regulate menstruation cycles, another reason why insurance should cover contraceptives for women.

pace 6 years ago

Sam has put his heel on women's neck and is grinding it in. Women don't need jobs they need to mind. Let him go to.

jafs 6 years ago

Not sure that's true.

An employer has the right, I think, to choose what benefits they offer their employees - health insurance benefits are one of those benefits.

As such, I think they have the right to choose what sort of coverage they offer.

I understand that we're now involved in a variety of requirements at the federal level, if the ACA is found constitutional, but I find many of them objectionable in theory.

bad_dog 6 years ago

You are correct in that an employer can choose whether/what benefits to offer as part of an employee's benefit package-if any. The employer can choose whether to offer "benefits" such as life, health, Rx coverage, dental, vision, disability, LTC, etc. as part of a benefit package. They can also choose whether to offer basic or enhanced levels of those coverages. For example, in addition to life insurance for the employee they can offer dependent life insurance, accidental death benefits, varying levels of co-pays or deductibles, etc. I do not however believe I have ever seen or heard of a group prescription drug plan that permitted an employer to dictate a covered employee could only have access to certain medications and not others. It may exist, but I've never heard of it. I'm not sure what ERISA would say about that as this issue would likely fall under its provisions as part of an employee benefit plan. Limitations for insurance liability to cover or deny certain medications/treatments are typically set by the insurer with the primary considerations being whether they are expiremental/cosmetic in nature.

Jimo 6 years ago

You confuse the employer's election to provide -- or not provide -- insurance benefits as part of a comprehensive system of pay and benefits with an employer dictates of what comprises the insurance benefits provision.

What the insurer provides is decided by the insurer, with multiple "levels" or "mixes" of services available. These are trade-off in price and scope of services - they are not item by item nixes of services provided by insurers. Employers can decide to elect one of those choices but insurers are not going to introduce ever more number of ever more elaborate choices in order to tailor their product to the whims of each employer.

Government extensively regulates what must constitute "health insurance". (An aspirin and a band-aid are not "insurance.") Insurance in general is far too complex and the consequences of inadequate insurance are far too severe (both for the insured and for society at-large) to be left to a free-for-all marketplace with an imbalance in bargaining power between the "expert" insurance companies and the "uninformed" sheep. That's why insurance was one of the very first industries to be comprehensively regulated by government.

If employers want to avoid the subject altogether, nothing prevents them from offering no health insurance - although to be competitive in the marketplace the employer would have to significantly raise wages (for some lower pay jobs - increases of 30-40% over base pay) with the premium sufficient for the employees to buy individual (which are much(!) more expensive) insurance for themselves. It is after all still a free country, even if the employers dislike the consequences (not being able to attract employees) of that fact.

Sorry, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Don't like the insurance rules? Then don't offer insurance. But it's not anyone else's fault but your own if those "free citizens" choose not to work for you.

jafs 6 years ago

I tend not to like those sorts of regulations, that assume people are too stupid to make informed decisions on their own behalf - it's a bit too patronizing for me.

And, I'm not at all sure you're right about companies needing to offer insurance, especially these days, with high unemployment.

My overall take is that the public sector should operate in the common good, and the private sector should operate according to it's principles of competition, freedom, etc.

If we feel that health care or insurance should be in the public sector, then we should put it there, rather than imposing massive regulations (in the common good) on private sector insurance companies.

Seems to me we often get the worst of both worlds that way, rather than the best of them.

Katara 6 years ago

"That's not denying women's rights. If a woman then wants birth control, go work somewhere else," he said." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That's funny. That's what people said when pharmacists and doctors wanted to be exempt from dispensing drugs/or performing medical procedures that they felt were against their moral beliefs but Brownback and his supporters thought that was denying those folks their rights.

jafs 6 years ago

That's a good way to clarify some sort of double standard there.

tomatogrower 6 years ago

Wow, if religious organizations end up with only people who don't use contraception, then there will be a lot of organizations shutting down.

coleja 6 years ago

Brownback strikes again. . . when it is going to be time to elect for someone new because he's obviously a clown. All Obama wants to do is make sure that contraceptives are available to women. HELLO BROWNBACK.. if you should ever be greatful now would be the time. Brownback is so headstrong anti-abortion that he fails to realize that by more women being able to have access to free contraceptives that the number of women getting abortions would go down significantly. But, again let's focus on contraceptives and abortions Brownback MEANWHILE people are still trying to find jobs, the education budget is up and down, and the number of people losing their houses day in and out don't seem to be as important as abortion and women health care. Don't get me wrong I'm a woman and healthcare to me is as important to me as it is the next guy but STILL!

08Champs 6 years ago

I would think that you would have to "exclude" contraception coverage, rather than add it, as it is bundled into prescription coverage as a basic provision. SO if you're catholic, or if your religion/world view prohibits birth control, or your name is Brownback/Santorum/insert religious zealot here.... THEN DON'T TAKE THE PILLS! So very simple....

Armored_One 6 years ago

True or False: Religious institutions (I.E. churches) are exempt from paying taxes.

True or False: The government has the right to regulate business as it falls within their sphere of control.

True or False: Religious exemptions exist in a number of fields of today's business world.

True or False: A business is not a religious institution, nor should it be given the same legal status as a religious institution.

Churches, and by default, religions, are in theory supposed to be one of the original not-for-profit organizations. Businesses, by definition, do not fall into that category. Allowing religious exemptions for businesses should not be allowed under the Constitution, as only the Catholics are the only branch of Christianity that adamantly refuses to accept that birth control isn't only medically needed, it is fundementally a right. Self determination and all.

Religions that insist on sticking their noses into the private sector or into the realms of the government should lose all exemptions. Period.

Either this is a theocracy or it isn't. Anything less than drawing a line in the sand will continue to allow religion to pervert what should be a magnificient document.

jafs 6 years ago

What if the business in question is a non-profit one, like a hospital?

gatekeeper 6 years ago

It's still a business and not a church.

jafs 6 years ago

"Churches, and by default religions, of the original not-for-profit institutions. not fall into that category".

Non-profit businesses certainly fall into the same category, don't they?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

The problem here is twofold. 1) churches used to be open only on Sundays. They would occasionally have funerals and weddings too. Now they try to offer cradle to grave services to church members. That is fine. God bless them. However, hospitals, daycares, softball leagues and whatever else have absolutely nothing to do with religion. What makes America great is that we are a melting pot. This doesn't happen when we isolate ourselves in bunkers only with like minded people. 2) politicians like Brownback and Santorum want to impose their mythical belief systems on others. Get real. Without access to birth control, there will be more unwanted pregnancies which will lead in turn to more abortions. Politicians like these two also want to use issues like this to whip the weak minded into a frothy voting block. IT IS 2012. I agree with the state senator who introduced a bill in another state arguing that life begins at ejaculation. What will Brownback and Santorum and the catholic priests do with all their new found free time when that law is passed?

jafs 6 years ago

I'm not sure that hospitals and day care centers run by religious institutions have nothing at all to do with religion.

They may be an expression of the beliefs of the religious groups.

Mike Ford 6 years ago

der kommissar brownback has spoken.....agree or else....

Jonathan Becker 6 years ago

Heck-of-a-job-Brownie is agin it? I am fer it.

yourworstnightmare 6 years ago

If Governor Blowback wants theocracy, he should go live somewhere else. Iran comes to mind.

Chris Golledge 6 years ago

I see this as a collision between equal opportunity employment, which would push toward a decision to have the churches pay for it (not create a situation where religious faith was a factor in employment), and separation of church and state, which would push toward the government not telling a church how to run their affairs.

There exist laws on this kind of thing. Any experts on Title VII out there? Others that may apply?

kansanjayhawk 6 years ago

No one should be forced to pay for the condoms and birth control pills of another. The government should not facilitate activities that moral Americans oppose!

08Champs 6 years ago

It's not immoral to want to have sex with your wife BUT not want a 6th child when you're 45! How far do you go with that senseless line of thinking? Why should my insurance dollars pay for your head injury from a car accident if you were speeding? Your cancer if you smoke? Your diabetes if you don't eat right and exercise? Your child's emergency room visit if they O.D. ?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

And yet you force your puritanical / talibanical rhetoric on others.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

"Moral"? You think ALL sex is immoral? No wonder you're such a pro-forced birther. Wow. I wouldn't want your life.

Mike Ford 6 years ago

you know....there are plenty of isolated dying communities in rural Kansas where intellect is seen as witchcraft or superstition and the dark ages live....maybe some of the posters here need to go back there to the dark ages where they can be superstitious and judgemental without affecting others.

Getaroom 6 years ago

first of all, if he were any kind of man at all, he would back up about 50 to 150 thousand years and stop howling that he is superior to anyone else's origins. That is unless you are totally unique amongst other upright humans and skipped the African Continent and your afro-Eve Mommy. Oh my GOD, you came from black skinned roots too, you better start scrubbing yourself right down to the DNA strands holding you together!!
So what is it that makes you feel so superior FHNC, your conceal carry gun and that you believe yourself to be "conservative"? Being that you are so wealthy and love your corporations, you best crawl back into your gated community quickly cave man, before someone discovers you have escaped the entire evolutionary cycle !!! Keep devolving and I am sure you will find your place of freedom and delight with the other flat earth woman hater worshipers.

Katara 6 years ago

When the contraception controversy first started to hit the news, there was a poster here who claimed to be Catholic and stated that while birth control for the sole purpose of pregnancy prevention was against Catholic Doctrine, birth control used for the treatment of medical conditions or to prevent pregnancies when it was deemed that a pregnancy would be bad for a woman's health was not against Catholic Doctrine & the Church was cool with it.

If that is a true statement on the Church's position, my question is how will the Church know what the actual purpose of a woman's birth control usage? Wouldn't that violate HIPAA since the Church would be an employer?

Is the Church willing to deny women access to a medical treatment because they are just assuming that it is being used solely for pregnancy prevention?

voevoda 6 years ago

Quite right, Katara. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church has no policy about contraceptive use for non-Catholics. Nothing in Catholic doctrine prohibits women of other religious faiths from using contraception, or forbids the Roman Catholic Church to facilitate their access to it. But Federal law does prohibit employers from treating employees differently because of their religion. So the problem here is that Catholic employers wouldn't be able to provide insurance coverage for contraception to non-Catholic employees--something completely permissible under canon law--while restricting its availability to Catholic employees (to avoid giving them the temptation to "sin"). Maybe Catholic employers ought to think about ways that they can get the Church's official message about birth control out to Catholics, instead of trying to find ways to deny contraception to employees.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years ago

The cultural revolution will continue until the GOP brings us soylent green to eat...

Getaroom 6 years ago

He uses the rhythm method. For his convenience, he is in the rhythm of holding proprietary meetings that have no notes or records so that he can freely impregnate his minions with compatible ideologies. Jesus told him to go forth and multiply so that the Kingdom of Heaven will manifest on Earth. On his watch, no religious mission is ever aborted.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years ago

Brownback: ‘Go work somewhere else’ if you want contraception

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has a simple solution for women who work for religious institutions that refuse to cover birth control: Find a new job.

During a call-in show on C-SPAN Monday morning, a woman named Doris from Osawatomie, Kansas told Brownback that she was worried that he wanted to turn back the clock on women’s rights.

FriendlyFire 6 years ago

Does Brownback have the same health insurance plan as all State of Kansas employees? If so, his dependents (wife and daughters) have access to use birth control for ANY medical reason and have it covered in full. Conversely, they also have the choice not to use it even if their policy covers it. What a concept. Too bad Brownback doesn't think the rest of the women in this State are capable of making the same decision for themselves.

Randall Uhrich 6 years ago

Well, f*ck him. He has no business making decisions on women's health.

DeAnn Seib 6 years ago

Hospitals, whether run by a non-profit, profit or charitable institution, are in the business of making money. Religious-owned hospitals do not hire just those who have taken the vows of their religion but hire whomever they can find to fill the positions so that they may keep their doors open and continue to make money. Brownback's statement that women should quit their jobs and go work for another business is arrogant, sexist and, dare I say it, Taliban-like.

nytemayr 6 years ago

Brownback... I have one question how about Christian companies that do not allow blood transfusions based on religon? Can those JW faith based Christian companies disallow all medical treatments to their employees for medical procedures involving the use of blood or blood products?

Slippery slope Sam?

Jock Navels 6 years ago

maybe he should have said, "Let them eat cake." When the Catholic Church ran things, we call it the Dark Ages. Want to go there again? When will DarthSam want to outlaw the fork? or zero? or a round earth not in the center of the universe? Jeez, what a stoopid man.

KayCee 6 years ago

Well, I can see that 99% of the posters have a completly skewed undrstanding of the issue; what the mandate said, what the exceptions are, what the Catholic Church says and why. Since this came into the public discussion many evangelical churches are seeing where they could also be discriminated against by the government, and they are joined with the Catholics to opose these 'mandates'.

CrazyUkrainian1 6 years ago

The world would be better off if Brownback's parents used contraception.

Gregory Newman 6 years ago

I propose a bill that only women will determine what goes with their body on both state and federal level. We do not live in the 1800's. Come on ladies speak up before we men will have you back in the home barefoot and pregnant and can only leave the house when a man says so.

1957 6 years ago

1.2 million left the workforce in January because they can't find work (BTW - that's why the unemployment rate went down) The price of gasoline is going through the roof Home prices drop another 4% Orders for durable goods drops 4% And on, and on, and on...

So what do you do if you are the Administration? Distract! Get the people talking about sex and religion!

This is a nonissue, do not be led like sheep.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

+1 The academic term for this distraction is "Pelvic Politics." === For example: "Pelvic Orthodoxy: The focus of orthodoxy enforcers is mutable. The inquisitors were not interested in Galileo’s views on masturbation or birth control. The orthodoxy concern was in the stars. Galileo would have no problem today. The focus has turned from astral to pelvic issues. The modern Christian inquisition will be heard from in the halls of legislatures if the issue is gay rights, sex education, erotic art, contraception or abortion. And here another dimension of authoritarian religion emerges, its inherent fascism. The desire is not just to control the faithful but to subdue the entire polity. The abortion issue illustrates this mind-set at work." (Daniel C. Maguire, Religion and Reproductive Policy.)

Bob Forer 6 years ago

I just don't get it. It is estimated that over 95% of practicing Roman Catholics have chosen to ignore their Church hierarchy's dictates on birth control. If Catholic bureaucrats can't even convince their own to follow the "rules," what business do they have imposing their rigid and antiquated views on non-Catholics.

christy kennedy 6 years ago

Lots of magical thinking on many topics, I suspect. And maybe they don't know that the Pope doesn't get to vote in U.S. elections?

Patricia Davis 6 years ago

Have we had enough yet? If so, we—the moderates of Kansas who believe in quality education for all of our children, who support a fair tax structure for business AND the people of Kansas, who understand the vital importance of a social safety net, who believe that care for disabled isn't up for bid, and who think that religion or the lack of it is equally safe-guarded and doesn't require public sanctity tests—to create a new party and finally drive these idiots out of our government.

omgsmileyface 6 years ago

WHAT OTHER JOBS? I wish there were other jobs available in Lawrence There are no jobs in this town.. and the few that are out there most are part time and do not offer insurance anyway. But less birth control = more mouths to feed no matter how you look at it. Maybe if Brownie would create more jobs this would make more since to me.

Bruce Bertsch 6 years ago

If President Obama said the sky was blue, Brownback would disagree.

Sparko 6 years ago

Churches have no place in political debate. I don't want a church to force Sharia Law, Papal dogma or any other extra-consitutional principles on the bulk of America. What if one of Brownback's religious teachers said it should be unlawful for women to drive, and they should not be forced to allow them to convey themselves to work, or pay road taxes? We could play this game all day--but the truth is this "issue" is a distraction. What is Brownback doing to enhance jobs and the economy? All the man can do is tear-down.

Jimo 6 years ago

The point cannot be made too frequently ---

This isn't an issue about what churches do or do not do.

This is about what church affiliates must do when they freely choose to leave the world of religion and insert themselves into secular ventures. No one makes them do this.

What's more, religious institutions already share an undue advantage over secular competitors because of their tax free status. In other words, taxpayers already subsidize these ventures, to the harm of their secular for-profit and non-profit competitors. Now church affiliates (or the churches that think they control the affiliates) want even more subsidies from the government by being exempt from ordinary regulations.

Didn't Douglas Co. learn this directly just a few years back when some church out on the Farmers Turnpike decided they wanted to erect outdoor lighting and instead of getting a permit from the County just took matters into their own hands and did it anyway - much to the objection of their neighbors? Wasn't the Church's initial instinct to squawk about how their religious rights were being trampled on when the only issue was the application of laws of general application to everyone?

lawslady 6 years ago

Everyone needs to remember that the government is not making anyone do anything. The government (both state and federal) has long used money (tax dollars) to drive/influence public policy. For example, the federal authorities have used federal tax money to "require" a certain speed limit on any roads that the state wants federal help building or maintaining. It's just that now the governments (both pro and anti factions) are using money to influence decisions on reproduction. For example, those opposing abortion have implemented plans that deny state dollars to those clinics/places/doctors that provide or advise women about such a procedure. The federal government is not required to provide money to anyone who wants it - they can set up rules for what/who gets the money. If someone or some group (like a church or corporation) doesn't want to follow the public policy being promoted, all it has to do is turn down the money. Easier said then done, I know. But no one is being required to take the money. They are only being required to do (or not do) certain things if they want the money. Carrot (or stick). And perfectly legal.

Stephanie Anderson 6 years ago

I know several women in my life that use contraceptives for purposes other than birth control...such as to manage crippling endometriosis, or to balance hormones to prevent female balding from worsening. These hormone pills have uses beyond preventing birth. It's not exactly easy to just find new employment, especially in this economy.

Michael Rowland 6 years ago

Religious beliefs should not be forced on others, that is the quickest way to alienate people and get many people to lose faith and stop going to church. The tools should be provided to everyone and it should be up to everyone's individual beliefs as to whether they use it or not. I will not force an atheist or a Muslim or a Hindu to accept Christian doctrine. Doing so justifies the stereotype that Christians are self-centered and holier-than-thou.

jayhawxrok 6 years ago

Brownback, how about you and Rick Santorum peddle this horse puckey in Iran if you want to live in a theocracy so dang bad. I'm sick of you American Taliban lunatics thinking your religious views should control the lives of everyone.

voevoda 6 years ago

It's all too easy for men to claim "religious freedom" to restrict contraception to women. But the same argument about the supposed "violation" of Catholic doctrine would apply to other insurance-related situations. For example, Catholic doctrine prohibits divorce, and particularly remarriage after divorce. Would Catholic employers be permitted to deny insurance coverage to the spouses of employees who remarried, on the grounds that they aren't "really married" per Catholic doctrine? And why is it that the Catholic clergy and defenders, such as Brownback, aren't demanding that Church institutions be exempt from covering such illicit spouses?

08Champs 6 years ago

Because sex is dirty, and sinful, and something that should not be enjoyed! Even by married persons. The "punishment" is children....what a bunch of pseudopreligious crap. Ha!

08Champs 6 years ago

That's pseudo-religious. Shouldn't drink and type. Busy trying to will Iowa State to best Missouri -

blindrabbit 6 years ago

Thinking back to the 1960 election, all non-Catholics were scared to death of JFK because of what people perceived to be control from The Church. JFK in his speech and actions proved that The Church did not own him, and from my viewpoint he did a admirable job of preventing and church-state conflicts during his administration. Now to 2012 and we have a bunch of conservative Catholics (Santorum, Brownback, Blunt and Gingrich) who are attempting to prove JFK and the seperation of church and state has no validity. Throw in a bunch of right-wing protestant fundalmentalists and a Mormon or two and you really have a toxic mix. How are women going to survive this New Repressionism!

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