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Author Topic: Trump administration rolls back ObamaCare contraceptive mandate  (Read 352 times)
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« on: October 06, 2017, 10:48:29 AM »

Dismantling more of the failed Obama presidency.

Trump administration rolls back ObamaCare contraceptive mandate
Brooke Singman By Brooke Singman, Fox News

President Trump fulfills promise by scaling back the ObamaCare mandate.

The Trump administration on Friday announced a major rollback of the ObamaCare contraceptive mandate, granting what officials called “full protection” to a wide range of companies and organizations that claim a “religious or moral objection” to providing the coverage.

The decision swiftly ignited a new battle over the Affordable Care Act. Republican lawmakers and faith-based groups hailed the decision as a win for religious liberty, while Democratic officials and groups like Planned Parenthood accused the administration of attacking women’s rights.

By early afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union announced it was filing a lawsuit challenging the rules.

The original mandate, which already has been the subject of multiple legal challenges, required employers that provide health insurance to cover contraceptives. Under the existing policy, churches and houses of worship were exempt, while religious-affiliated groups that object had to allow a third-party administrator or insurer to handle birth control coverage. The 2014 Hobby Lobby decision expanded exemptions to for-profit “closely held” corporations.

But under the new policy unveiled Friday, the Trump administration is expanding the protections to any nonprofit group, non-publicly traded company, or higher education institution with religious or moral objections -- and making the third-party provision optional for groups with “sincerely held” religious beliefs.

Publicly traded companies also could claim an exemption if they state religious objections, though a senior Health and Human Services official said they would still have to let a third party cover contraception.

“No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our healthcare system,” said HHS press secretary Caitlin Oakley. “Today’s actions affirm the Trump administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded All Americans under our Constitution.”

The decision was cheered by representatives for the Little Sisters of the Poor, the religious group that took their mandate challenge to the Supreme Court -- which in turn punted the case to the lower courts last year.

“HHS has issued a balanced rule that respects all sides –it keeps the contraceptive mandate in place for most employers and now provides a religious exemption,” Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket Law and lead attorney for Little Sisters of the Poor, said Friday. “The Little Sisters still need to get final relief in court, which should be easy now that the government admits it broke the law.” 

“This is a landmark day for religious liberty," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement.

Officials stressed that the impact may be limited, even though the rule changes are significant, as some large corporations were grandfathered into the policy and spared from the mandate anyway.

“Of the 165 million women in the U.S., HHS estimates these rules affect at most 120,000, leaving more than 99.9 percent of women without any impact,” an HHS official told Fox News.

An official noted the administration anticipates the groups taking advantage of the change would be those involved in legal battles pertaining to the mandate.

“There are about 200 entities that have participated in lawsuits because of the contraceptive rule, and those entities will benefit from this rule,” a senior HHS official said.

A senior HHS official said there have been more than 50 lawsuits filed against the mandate, and the new rule would provide “relief.”

But the ACLU contended the policy would allow “nearly all employers” to deny contraception coverage if they state an objection.

"This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said Friday. "With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control."

And Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., accused the administration of "stooping to a new low."

"There is no 'exemption from having reproductive organs," Wyden said Friday. "This administration needs to end its obsession with attacking women's rights to receive the health care they deserve."

The types of contraceptives covered by the mandate are FDA-approved methods: diaphragms, hormonal methods like birth control pills and vaginal rings, implanted devices like intrauterine devices or IUDs, emergency contraception like Plan B, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling. The mandate is not required to cover drugs that serve to induce abortions.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, since the Obama-era rule, the share of women paying for their own birth control pills out of pocket plunged to under 4 percent, compared with 21 percent before the rule.

HHS also rolled out a guidance bulletin on Friday, underscoring the requirements of a section of ObamaCare that “segregates funds” for abortion services. The bulletin reminds employers that abortion coverage has to be kept separate from other premium payments.

In addition to HHS’ announcement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced “20 high-level principles” on religious liberty to “guide all agencies in complying with relevant Federal law.”

“The constitutional protection of religious beliefs and the right to exercise those beliefs have served this country well, have made us one of the most tolerant countries in the world, and have also helped make us the free-ist and most generous,” Sessions said in a statement Friday. “President Trump promised that this administration would ‘lead by example on religious liberty,’ and he is delivering on that promise.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/06/trump-administration-rolls-back-obamacare-contraceptive-mandate.html
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 11:09:22 AM »

This is outstanding
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Nick Danger
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 12:01:07 PM »

This is outstanding

Is that because you don't believe in premarital sex or you don't believe in birth control?
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 12:02:05 PM »

Is that because you don't believe in premarital sex or you don't believe in birth control?

Because the federal government shouldn't be forcing private employers to provide services that violate their faith. 
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 12:55:13 PM »

This is outstanding

always ironic how the people that should never breed are against contraception

I do agree with you that this is outstanding because now there will be more abortions

It's always more satisfying to abort a pregnancy than to prevent one
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:58:53 PM »

Because the federal government shouldn't be forcing private employers to provide services that violate their faith. 

Exactly. We've (wife and I) stopped buying from businesses and investing in businesses long ago that contribute to the likes of planned parenthood.
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Nick Danger
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 01:00:17 PM »

Because the federal government shouldn't be forcing private employers to provide services that violate their faith.  

Fair enough, I'm not religious so these things are foreign to me.
I do believe that unwanted pregnancies would be a much bigger tax burden than paying for birth control.
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 01:01:16 PM »

always ironic how the people that should never breed are against contraception

I do agree with you that this is outstanding because now there will be more abortions

It's always more satisfying to abort a pregnancy than to prevent one

So you're an Antifa sympathizer, a communist and you support murder. Got it. You're a complete loser
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 01:04:48 PM »

.



* IMG_0394.JPG (39.67 KB, 375x299 - viewed 106 times.)
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 01:05:28 PM »

So you're an Antifa sympathizer, a communist and you support murder. Got it. You're a complete loser

wrong on all accounts

as usual

dunce
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 01:05:58 PM »

.



* IMG_0395.JPG (123.98 KB, 480x445 - viewed 107 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 01:08:05 PM »

We need FAGBAMAPOScare gone like yesterday - all of it. 
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2017, 01:14:51 PM »

Fair enough, I'm not religious so these things are foreign to me.
I do believe that unwanted pregnancies would be a much bigger tax burden than paying for birth control.

You're making an assumption that women are going to have babies who wind up on public assistance. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 01:25:35 PM »

Exactly. We've (wife and I) stopped buying from businesses and investing in businesses long ago that contribute to the likes of planned parenthood.

Good job.  Planned Parenthood shouldn't get a dime of our tax dollars. 
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2017, 01:30:32 PM »

Exactly. We've (wife and I) stopped buying from businesses and investing in businesses long ago that contribute to the likes of planned parenthood.

which businesses did you stop buying and investing in?
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2017, 08:59:57 AM »

Is that because you don't believe in premarital sex or you don't believe in birth control?

Why should an employer, regardless of religious beliefs, be mandated to provide birth control?
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2017, 10:04:42 AM »

Is that because you don't believe in premarital sex or you don't believe in birth control?


FREE...that's the part that taxpayers don't like. Faith or not.

At this point you either believe govt is the nanny of your life or you don't because it's never ending how large govt can get.
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2017, 10:34:36 AM »

Lonely, Confused Atheists Call New Obamacare Religious Exemption A ‘Burden To Religious Freedom’
ERIC OWENS
Education Editor
10/07/2017

American atheist groups released statements suggesting that they are hopelessly confused after the Trump administration announced a birth control exemption for employee health insurance plans in cases when employers have sincere religious or moral objections to birth control.

The administration’s Affordable Care Act exemption — announced on Friday — includes private companies, universities and “any non-profit organization” with a “religious or moral objection to providing contraception,” a senior Health and Human Services official said on Friday. The new rule takes effect immediately.

The Secular Coalition for America, an aggressively anti-Christian lobbying group based in Washington, D.C., condemned the new birth control exemption by attempting to argue that allowing more religious freedom is in itself “a substantial burden to religious freedom.”

Religious people have no right to express their beliefs if such expression infringes on someone else’s right to use free or discount birth control, Secular Coalition spokesman Larry T. Decker said in a statement released on Friday.

“Preserving religious freedom does not mean expanding the right to impose beliefs on others,” Decker said. “It means ensuring that all Americans have the right to make medical decisions without interference from anyone else’s religious or moral beliefs.”

“This rule from Health and Human Services frames the contraception mandate as imposing a ‘substantial burden’ on employers,” Decker also said. “The private medical decisions made by an employee are not the business of their employer. The president’s action removes an imagined burden on employers and places a very real burden on women across the country.”

“No one’s medical decisions should be required to pass the scrutiny of their employer’s religious beliefs,” Decker declared.

The Secular Coalition also notes that a 2015 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 57 percent of Americans think corporations should give free birth control to their employees.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from making any laws prohibiting people from freely exercising religion.

Birth control is not mentioned at any point in the U.S. Constitution.

In a second Friday press release, the Secular Coalition for America denounced U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions issued a broad set of guidelines for situations when federal laws conflict with religious beliefs.

The guidelines instruct “federal agencies to give religious belief precedence over the law,” the atheist lobbying group charged.

The Trump administration “has weaponized the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to attack reproductive health, LGBTQ equality, social justice, and frankly, the rule of law,” Decker said in the Secular Coalition’s second press release.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation also released a pair of statements on Friday condemning the Trump administration’s policy of allowing religious people to oppose birth control.

“As it has for millennia, religion is being used to oppress women,” Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in one of the statements. “Employers have no business sticking their noses into intimate health decisions by women workers. It’s outrageous.”

The Madison, Wisconsin-based atheist outfit also noted that President Obama’s “contraceptive mandate has given more than 55 million women access to birth control without additional co-payments.”

In a second statement, the Freedom From Religion Foundation described the Sessions policy memo as “theocratic.” The attorney general “largely redefine religious liberty as the right to discriminate and deny others civil rights,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation said.

“Today’s events are chilling.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which boasts about 24,000 members nationwide, is most famous for requesting that President Barack Obama offer official religious recognition for Americans who are not religious. The February 2016 request, made via a letter, insisted that it is time for an American president to “reach out to secular America” to address people who believe fiercely in abject cosmic nothingness. (RELATED: Sad, Lonely Atheists Long For Obama To Acknowledge Their Spiritually Empty Lives)

Though they are very small, lobbying groups centered on atheism have tried to influence local and national politics in recent years. (RELATED: Sad, Lonely Atheists Gather For Weeklong Benediction Of Nothingness, Fundraising)

The atheist groups have seen only limited success. (RELATED: Atheists Are Really Sad Because People Keep Vandalizing Their Adopt-A-Highway Sign)

Starting in 2012, Obamacare required employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception at no cost to women. The requirement led to a number of lawsuits and, ultimately, two Supreme Court case.

Under the Trump administration’s new rule, employers with objections to the Obamacare requirement no longer have to follow the mandate and are not required to report this change to the federal government. Employers simply have to notify employees that they will stop providing contraceptive coverage. (RELATED: Trump Gives Employers Power Back Over Birth Control Mandate)

Trump signed an executive order in April that ordered a number of federal agencies to find a solution to employers with conscience-based objections to the Obamacare provision. A host of churches, non-profits and schools have come out against the birth control measure since its inception, claiming it encroaches upon religious freedom.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/07/lonely-confused-atheists-call-new-obamacare-religious-exemption-a-burden-to-religious-freedom/
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 10:26:39 AM »

Critics Say Trump Birth Control Rule Ignores Science
Wednesday, 11 Oct 2017

The Trump administration's new birth control rule is raising questions among some doctors and researchers, who say it overlooks known benefits of contraception while selectively citing data that raise doubts about effectiveness and safety.

"This rule is listing things that are not scientifically validated, and in some cases things that are wrong, to try to justify a decision that is not in the best interests of women and society," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a professional society representing women's health specialists.

Two recently issued rules — one addressing religious objections and the other, moral objections — allow more employers to opt out of covering birth control as a preventive benefit for women under the Obama healthcare law. Although the regulations ultimately address matters of individual conscience and religious teaching, they also dive into medical research and scholarly studies on birth control.

It's on the science that researchers are questioning the Trump administration. They say officials ignored some recent research and stretched other studies.

"The interpretation is very selective in terms of the science that they use," said Alina Salganicoff, director of women's health policy at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "It's always possible to find one study that validates your claim, but you have to look at the quality of the study and the totality of the research. You can make an argument that you don't agree because of your religious or moral objections, but that is a different discussion."

In a statement, Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley responded to critics, saying: "The rules are focused on guaranteeing religious freedom and conscience protections for those Americans who have a religious or moral objection to providing certain services based on their sincerely held beliefs."

The administration also says some parts of the rules are meant to illustrate the sorts of concerns that religious objectors may have, and don't necessarily reflect government policy.

Here's a look at examples from the Trump administration's birth control rules that are raising questions:

Morning-After Pill

Emergency contraception is birth control for use after unprotected sex, often called the "morning-after pill."

Referring to the morning-after pill as well as intrauterine devices or IUDs, the regulations state that the Food and Drug Administration "includes in the category of 'contraceptives' certain drugs and devices that may not only prevent conception (fertilization), but also may prevent implantation of an embryo."

Because of that, "many persons and organizations" believe emergency contraception methods cause "early abortion," the regulations add.

But Princeton researcher James Trussell said that while studies years ago suggested the morning-after pill might affect the lining of a woman's uterus and interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg, more recent studies have not found such an effect.

"The preponderance of the evidence, and certainly the most recent evidence, is that there is no post-fertilization effect," said Trussell.

That's not included in the administration's rule.

"The actual medical evidence is that it blocks ovulation," or the release of an egg from the ovaries, explained Lawrence, the ob-gyn. "If you don't ovulate, there is no egg to get fertilized. It's not blocking implantation."

Effectiveness of Birth Control

The Trump administration's rule takes issue with the science behind the Obama-era decision to require most employers to cover birth control as preventive care.

It suggests that some studies cited in a key 2011 report did not show a direct cause-and-effect link between increased birth control use by women and a decline in unintended pregnancy.

But Adam Sonfield of the Guttmacher Institute said solid research does in fact exist. The organization does studies on reproductive health that are cited by opposing sides in the political debate.

For example, Sonfield cited a Guttmacher report which found that women who used birth control consistently year-round accounted for only 5 percent of unintended pregnancies in 2008.

"The vast majority of women use birth control at some point in their lives," said Sonfield. "As a medical service, it's far more universal than almost anything covered by insurance."

George Washington University public health professor Susan Wood, a former women's health chief for the FDA, said there's very clear clinical data that contraception prevents pregnancy. Why else would the FDA approve birth control pills?

"They are just using this as a smoke screen," Wood said of the administration. "They are picking out things that they like, and leaving out (studies) that support access to contraception."

Sexual Revolution

The Trump administration's rule suggests there may be a link between birth control and promiscuity.

It cites a study finding that between 1960 and 1990, "as contraceptive use increased, teen sexual activity outside of marriage likewise increased." (The administration added a caveat that the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link.)

Lawrence, the ob-gyn, said he thinks that's a stretch.

"There were a whole lot of other things going on in the '60s," he said, such as changing social mores about sex before marriage. Also, many people relied on condoms, diaphragms and spermicides.

"The world of birth control in 2018 is about as similar to the world of birth control in 1960 as a Ralph Nader Chevy Corvair is to a space shuttle," he said.

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/birth-control-trump-birth-control-rule-contraception-benefits/2017/10/11/id/819041/
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