Today the Supreme Court heard challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover preventative care, which was filed by Christian owners of secular businesses who object to covering certain forms of birth control for their employees. Hobby Lobby claims their religious freedom is being violated and they should be exempt, like explicitly religious employers. There’s a whole lot to read about the subject and I’d like to thank commenter LR52185 for pointing us to a few of them:
We know that conservative Republicans go batshit insane over the idea of the Affordable Healthcare Act covering preventative health care like birth control. But thanks to “The Daily Show,” we now know that America has bigger problems, literally: Medicare is spending millions on penis pumps. The program has spent $172 million in the past five years, to be exact. Apparently there are a lot of limp penises in need in the United States. How did contraception manage to be considered a more controversial use of government money than a contraption that makes your dick big and hard? Of course, Samantha Bee addresses this hypocrisy in a way that nobody else could. [NARAL]
Whooooa: 47 million non-elderly adults in America are uninsured and a good many of those young adults are bros. But don’t worry, bros! You need not dip into the beer fund to pay for that broken nose. It was so crazy the way you rode your ATV into a tree, bro! Obamacare can help you with insurance — or, you know, brosurance. (This ad is by Got Insurance Colorado to advertise its new Connect For Health Colorado insurance marketplace. Cool story, bro!) [Got Insurance Colorado]
Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling, they announced in Senate floor speeches today. “This is far less than many of us had hoped for frankly,” McConnell said. “But it’s far better than what some had sought.” The deal does not include any major tweaks to the Affordable Care Act, but it does require people getting subsidies under the program to verify their income. It also calls for a conference committee to settle bigger budget issues like the sequester cuts, the Washington Post reports. Read more on Newser…
Forever 21, you just keep getting better and better. In between lowering your prices to make them more “guilt-free” (with little thought, of course, to the workers who actually make the products), and getting in trouble for sweatshop-like labor conditions, you’ve now gone and fucked over the people who work in your stores. Earlier this week, Forevs sent out a memo noting that any and all “non-management” full-time employees would be reclassified as part-time, effective almost immediately.
“Forever 21,” reads the memo from human resources associate director Carla Macias, “recently audited its staffing levels, staffing needs and payroll in conjunction with reviewing its overall operating budget. As a result, we are reducing a number of full-time non-management positions.” All employees who received the memo will be reduced to a schedule to not exceed 29.5 hours per week. Why is that the magic number? Because under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, mid- and large-sized employers are required to pay for health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more. Forever 21 thinks it can get around this simply by reducing its technically-full time staff to part-time positions.
And they’re right. Keep reading »
The Obama administration released new details this morning about which religious employers will be exempt from covering the cost of birth control under health care reform — which the Associated Press describes as a “broader opt-out.”
The Health and Human Services Department announced this morning that businesses which object must “self-certify that they are non-profits with religion as a core part of their mission,” according to The Huffington Post. For example, you can’t just object to covering women’s preventative care if you are, for example, a religious Catholic who objects to birth control and also happens to employ people working at a nonprofit animal shelter. Additionally, if a religious nonprofit refuses to provide coverage of contraception, a third-party health insurer must handle the coverage for women who want it. Keep reading »
Unlike my future captor Tom Cruise, I’m a big fan of psychiatry. Why? Well, it’s given me opportunities I never could have experienced without medical intervention for depression, agoraphobia and panic attacks. To put it more simply: Psychiatry has saved my life. But thanks to a couple of friendly letters from health insurance companies, I’ve recently learned I don’t deserve to go to the doctor.
And here I thought I was doing well. Keep reading »
Remember this morning, when the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health care law? That was awesome. But in the moments after the ruling came down, there was mass confusion about what it all meant. After all, Supreme Court rulings aren’t just like, YAY or NAY. They’re hundreds of complexly worded legal documents. So because both CNN and Fox News were concentrating so hard on being first with news of the ruling, instead of right, they both went to air with the wrong information. It’s a very “Dewey Defeats Truman” kind of moment, isn’t it? And it proves that reading really is fundamental.