Contraception and Religious Freedom (and related issues)

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yovargas
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Post by yovargas »

Lord_Morningstar wrote:Personally, I think it’s odd that contraception should be covered by a health insurance policy at all. The whole idea of insurance is the spread the risk of an unpredictable event, not to pay for everyday expenses.
I've long thought this was odd too. It's nice and, as ax points out, it saves money in the long run, but it's odd that people expect health insurance to work this way (at least here; are you saying it's not like this in Australia) when other forms of insurance do not.
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Maria
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Post by Maria »

SirDennis wrote:If you look at countries that are able to do universal health care properly, none of them are chasing ghosts around the globe with fully mechanized troops.
*envisions battalions of soldiers wearing armored mech suits using jet assists to move around the battlefield...*

I don't think anyone on this planet is fully mechanized yet. :P

I'm surprised no one was outraged that my little company doesn't offer maternity coverage. I'll explain anyway, though. When we first got insurance for the company about 10 years ago, the only way to keep the cost low enough to afford was to exclude maternity benefits. Since none of us needed it, we did it that way with the promise that if we ever hired anyone who did need it- or if one of our male employees wanted to sign up a dependant who might need it- we'd reevaluate at that time.

Hasn't happened yet. We've hired female employees since then, but none of them stayed long enough to be eligible for health benefits. There's a significant level of heavy lifting involved for every position except mine, so the people who stay tend to be young males. And none of them have married yet, so it remains a non-issue.
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Post by axordil »

Insurers of ALL stripes LOVE prevention. You get a discount on your car insurance if you have anti-theft locks or an alarm. You get a discount on your house insurance if you have a burglar or fire alarm. You get a discount on your life insurance if you don't smoke.

Insurance companies encourage anything that reduces the chance they'll have to pay out a chunk of change. So it would be strange if they DIDN'T want to encourage preventative medicine.

The main difference is that most health insurance in the US comes through group policies, whereas the others comes through individual policies. Discounting the group gets complicated when you have some people doing what they should, prevention-wise, and some not. Thus, many health insurers just cover the cheap preventative stuff instead.

In that respect it's like a car insurer paying for the whole cost of a windshield chip fix, to prevent having to pay for a full windshield replacement.
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Post by vison »

My family has never had anything but the basic BC Medical plan. It does not cover prescriptions, dental, nor vision and hearing. Depending on your income, though, prescription costs are reduced or eliminated and low income people also get some coverage for glasses. "Alternative" medicine, things like chiropractors and acupuncture, is not covered. However, there are private plans that cover it all.

My two sons both have dental coverage through their employers. My employees get no benefits at all from me, they can quite readily afford the basic medical insurance. Only one of them has a child and he can access public dental and vision care for his little girl through a program designed to assist low income families. It's one of the actually thoughtful programs our provincial government came up with, realizing that preventive care saves money in the end.

The American system, if you can call it a system, seems very bizarre to me for a lot of reasons. Medicare and Medicaid seem absurdly generous, and the expectation that insurance will pay for prescriptions (especially birth control) also seems odd to me.

Yesterday Oz saw the doctor, no charge. His prescription cost $21.06. Today he will have an ultrasound, no charge. Whatever further tests or treatments he requires, he'll get. We don't have to worry about paying for anything but parking. Any drugs dispensed at the hospital are free.

When I was being treated for cancer everything was covered except the anti-nausea drugs. They are NOT the most expensive drugs for cancer patients, the chemo drugs themselves are very costly and are covered, but the anti-nausea drugs are just as important and yet the patient must buy them. I daresay every cancer patient has objected to this and rightly so. The drugs will be provided if you don't have them, but it's sort of under the table.

When I read what Prim's family will have to pay for "insurance" it makes me want to throw up.
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Post by Griffon64 »

River wrote:I'm not sure how much a monthly supply of the Pill is, but it's probably more than $20.
It's around $60 - $70, depending on brand, in my experience. That Planned Parenthood link must be talking about a subsidized way of obtaining them. Or I'm getting worked over here. ;)

I think Prim's family numbers four in total, though I could be mistaken. So that premium averages to $400 per person per month. Prim, do you know how much is paid in by the state high-risk plan? I'm curious about what the total cost would be per person. It is a lot of money!

If we had health insurance through my employer, I would have paid $480 a month for the two of us. I don't know how much my employer picks up, though, and I also don't know how the benefits of the two plans compare. The deductible would have been $1200 per person for us. We get our insurance through Faramond's job instead, where the premiums are somewhat better and so is the coverage - which is due to him working for a large firm and me working for a smaller one.

I end up paying out of pocket for almost all my health care, between the deductible we have and the fact that my birth control pills are not paid for. ( There's some other thing you're supposed to do for prescription medicine on the plan we're on. Details are sketchy and should be sorted out soon. )
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Primula Baggins wrote:When we go on the state high-risk plan this fall, we'll lose dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits for ourselves and the kids. What's left will cost $1600+ per month if we opt for $1500 deductibles for everyone. Sure wish the Kenyan socialist usurper had been able to carry out the socialized medicine part of his nefarious plan. :P
That presumably will get considerably cheaper in 2014 when the plan put in place by the Kenyan socialist usurper -- based on a model developed by the that Communist organization the Heritage Foundation, and first implemented by the noted pinko Mitt Romney in Massachussetts -- goes into effect, unless it is repealed first (most likely by said noted pinko).
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Post by JewelSong »

My employer pays 50% of my health coverage. I end up paying about $250 per month. If I was on a family plan, I'd pay a LOT more, since they only pay 50% of an individual plan. This is a Catholic School. We also get a grand total of 5 sick days per year and you cannot "bank" the sick days past 10. So, imagine - you work here 25+ years (as many of the teachers do) and never miss a day, then come down with cancer and have to have chemo. You end up loosing pay for all the days you are out - they will not even allow other people to "give you" their unused days.

One woman is pregnant - she gets 10 days sick time and then no pay until she returns.
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Primula Baggins wrote:When we go on the state high-risk plan this fall, we'll lose dental, vision, and prescription drug benefits for ourselves and the kids. What's left will cost $1600+ per month if we opt for $1500 deductibles for everyone. Sure wish the Kenyan socialist usurper had been able to carry out the socialized medicine part of his nefarious plan. :P
That presumably will get considerably cheaper in 2014 when the plan put in place by the Kenyan socialist usurper -- based on a model developed by the that Communist organization the Heritage Foundation, and first implemented by the noted pinko Mitt Romney in Massachussetts -- goes into effect, unless it is repealed first (most likely by said noted pinko).
We could already get a federal high-risk plan that comes with subsidies and is Kenyan socialist to the core—but unfortunately we could only qualify by being completely without health insurance for six months. That's something we don't dare do. It's not just me and my nonzero cancer risk, but my middle-aged husband and all three of our kids.

They might be able to get private insurance without me, but it would probably cost close to the same amount, and if I got sick again it would ruin us.
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Post by SirDennis »

Maria wrote:
SirDennis wrote:If you look at countries that are able to do universal health care properly, none of them are chasing ghosts around the globe with fully mechanized troops.
*envisions battalions of soldiers wearing armored mech suits using jet assists to move around the battlefield...*

I don't think anyone on this planet is fully mechanized yet. :P
Yeah it's a bit of a misnomer. In today's military "fully mechanized" simply means "no one has to walk very far." ;)
Last edited by SirDennis on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SirDennis »

vison wrote:The American system, if you can call it a system, seems very bizarre to me for a lot of reasons. Medicare and Medicaid seem absurdly generous, and the expectation that insurance will pay for prescriptions (especially birth control) also seems odd to me.
Oh, your jarring words made a light bulb appear above my head.:D

Many hospitals in the US are run for profit, where as here (as far as I know) they are not. Suddenly realizes why universal healthcare looks so expensive to our friends to the south.

As for employer covered (or subsidized) prescriptions, it too is purely a matter of economics as it reduces the use of sick days.
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Post by Cenedril_Gildinaur »

My insurance does cover contraception, but not all contraception.

There is a brand-name pill that costs about $50 for a month supply but the insurance pays $3 of it. There is a generic equivalent that costs about $30 for a month supply but the insurance pays $0 of it.
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yovargas
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Post by yovargas »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:That presumably will get considerably cheaper in 2014 when the plan put in place by the Kenyan socialist usurper -- based on a model developed by the that Communist organization the Heritage Foundation, and first implemented by the noted pinko Mitt Romney in Massachussetts -- goes into effect, unless it is repealed first (most likely by said noted pinko).
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Post by Lalaith »

JewelSong wrote:An aside. An abortion - whether spontaneous (miscarriage) or induced means that a pregnancy is terminated.

There is no pregnancy if nothing is implanted and growing in the uterus.

If a fertilized egg is not implanted, a pregnancy has not occurred.

Now, one might believe that life begins as soon as the sperm hits the egg (although as far as I know, there is no way to discern this) but preventing implantation of that zygote is not an abortion in any sense of the word. There is nothing to "abort." You can't terminate something that hasn't started. A better word would be a "prevention," I suppose.

I know it's semantics. But the word "abortion" is such a hot potato that I think it is important to use it with discernment.
But, Jewel, that is your opinion. I do believe life begins at conception, so, therefore, I believe you are causing an abortion (or miscarriage if you prefer the non-medical term) by not allowing that new life to implant and continue to develop.

abortion /abor·tion/ (ah-bor´shun)
1. expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception before the fetus is viable.
2. premature stoppage of a natural or a pathological process.


I suppose it depends on which medical dictionary you want to consult, which is why I don't think I'm wrong in using the term in this instance.

If anyone is really interested, I read this blog post yesterday. http://cinnamonrollsandbacon.blogspot.c ... iends.html I thought it was a very good explanation of my views on this issue.

It really is beside the point in this thread, though, so I'll leave it at that.
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Post by Ellienor »

And, while I certainly believe that such employers exist, despite having been a fairly profligate interviewer, I've never discussed employment with a public, private, or nonprofit employer that did not offer vision and dental insurance.
Try working for a small law firm, Nel. I have no vision or dental, and the firm picks up MY portion of the health insurance, but I foot the ENTIRE bill for all of my dependents. :P It's paid for with before-tax money, but it's stupidly expensive anyways.

Oh, and did I mention the $3,000 deductible per person? :P

It's ridiculous and stupid. I can't believe how far off the rails our health care "system" has become.
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Post by JewelSong »

Lali, thank you for sharing that link. I read it carefully. I do understand the passion that many people who are vehemently anti-abortion feel.

However, I have said before and I will say it again - abortion is a situation where you honestly DO NOT know how you will feel and what you will do until and unless you (or someone you are responsible for) is in a position to need one.

Here is my own link to share. It's worth a read.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/7/23/9838/02697

I think abortion is a horrible choice to have to make. I think forcing a woman (or girl) to carry a pregnancy to term - especially in cases of rape - is worse. FAR worse.
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Post by Frelga »

To me, religious freedom means that it should not matter to Lali if I think that life begins at cell fertilization, or at birth, or eight days after birth as some Jewish sages had suggested. Lali should be free to us or not use whatever ways of family planning suit her needs.

But, fair's fair, neither does it matter to me what Lali believes if I don't see a reason to agree.

Not that Lali ever said anything that suggested otherwise. :hug: But, the point should stand even if I happen to work for an employer who believes as Lali does.
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Post by Ghân-buri-Ghân »

JewelSong wrote:Lali, thank you for sharing that link. I read it carefully. I do understand the passion that many people who are vehemently anti-abortion feel.

However, I have said before and I will say it again - abortion is a situation where you honestly DO NOT know how you will feel and what you will do until and unless you (or someone you are responsible for) is in a position to need one.

Here is my own link to share. It's worth a read.
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/7/23/9838/02697

I think abortion is a horrible choice to have to make. I think forcing a woman (or girl) to carry a pregnancy to term - especially in cases of rape - is worse. FAR worse.
Just a couple of observations. Firstly, I think it is no argument to say that, because we don't know how we would feel in a specific situation, and what consequent actions we would take, somehow judging that action is beyond us. I have yet to see anybody defend paedophilia by claiming that one never can know if, in some particular circumstance, one would never become aroused. For someone who sees abortion as unforgivable, it is no less certainly appalling as paedophilia.
Secondly, I think the question of rape should be irrelevant to abortion. It is not the growing foetus that committed the violation. This sliding scale of moral equivocation appears untenable to me.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

It isn't the mother who committed the violation, either, Ghân. And it's her body and her life that face further damage and pain if she's forced to live out the pregnancy against her will.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
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Post by Ghân-buri-Ghân »

Primula Baggins wrote:It isn't the mother who committed the violation, either, Ghân. And it's her body and her life that face further damage and pain if she's forced to live out the pregnancy against her will.
Oh, I agree. I am avowedly pro-choice. It is the sliding moral scale that I am objecting to.
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Post by nerdanel »

Ellienor wrote:I have no vision or dental, and the firm picks up MY portion of the health insurance, but I foot the ENTIRE bill for all of my dependents. :P It's paid for with before-tax money, but it's stupidly expensive anyways.
Here's a controversial thought: I think that all employees should be treated equally regardless of the number of dependents they voluntarily choose via marriage, domestic partnership, childbirth, or adoption. So - so long as health insurance is provided through employers - either employees should pay the entire bill for their dependents' healthcare, or those who do not have dependents on their insurance should receive additional cash compensation. As someone who has always worked for employers that subsidize multiple dependents per employee, it does not sit well with me that, effectively, employees with dependents are receiving more in total monthly compensation than I am. At the very least, I should be able to reap the same benefit - e.g. by sharing health coverage with friends that I care about who are not insured - and preferably, I should receive the additional money in cash.
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