Let’s hammer away at this one more time. The whole point of the previous posts about the Republicans efforts to restrict access to abortion and yes, to contraceptives, was to illustrate the degree to which the traditional GOP  “business friendly” message is now joined at the hip to religious curtain-twitching and theocratic social engineering.

Here’s yet another example, and it’s easy to find one or more on a daily basis. Now, the Arizona State Judiciary Committee has just voted 6 – 2 in favor of a lovely little piece of legislation that would allow employers, any employers, to deny HC coverage for contraception on religious grounds;

Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.

“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the  Soviet Union,” Lesko said. “So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”

Lesko said this bill responds to a contraceptive mandate in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law March 2010.

“My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion,” Lesko said. “All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.”

Yeah, well, I have a religious objection to landmines and cluster bombs, but I’m shit out of luck and still have to fund them because that’s not what she means, now is it?

OK, sure, this bill is going nowhere. It violates more privacy standards than you can shake a stick at, just for one thing, but that’s not the point at all. The point is that Republican commissars have now colonized the political process, especially at local level, and are pushing for this kind of bullshit everywhere you look, and in every corner of life — the workplace, schools, ballot initiatives, everywhere. And it telegraphs all the way to the top.

Quite naturally, outfits like Planned Parenthood speak out against this kind of thing. And so, equally naturally, the likes of Mitt Romney are saying that they will eliminate Planned Parenthood (even though a President has no such authority), thus completing a full-circle political journey from attending PP fundraisers and seeking their endorsement in 1994, on through advocating defunding  on the last go-round, to now eliminating it.

Sensible conservatives might say “oh, but I don’t support any of that social stuff, what matters is a sane economic program” or some such. Fine. But the pig is now so firmly attached that you can’t vote for just the lipstick no matter how hard you try to spin it.

So now we have the spectacle of a political party touting freedom™ on the one hand, and jamming up the legislative process with intrusive Stalinesque proposals such as this on the other. Because, after all, we’re not the Soviet Union you know.

It’s damn close to being beyond parody. I have the instinct that the blowback will make their heads spin. I also have the instinct that some of the brighter bulbs in the the GOP bunker know that now, and are switching to about the only strategy they have left for any real election success. Sink the economy.

We’ll be talking about that before Spring is done, just you watch. War drums, anyone? Oil speculation?


12 Responses to see?

  1. NatashaFatale says:

    Of course Republican women will push back, and so there will be war in Iran. Of course war in Iran will cause $9 a gallon gas, and of course $9 a gallon gas will elect a Republican president who will endorse the idea of unlimited Israeli settlement building, and of course that guarantees the brief, flickering existence of an ethnically pure greater Israel.

    You think Khamenei isn’t going apeshit right now? You think he doesn’t remember his predecessor’s deal with Reagan’s people: you hold on to the hostages till after the election, we’ll fix you up with everything you need?

    But it’s not their fault. We’ve left them no other way to win. You think they like doing this shit?

  2. Pornstar says:

    There’s an upside to all of this. Which is a lot of money for the Blessed ACLU. The school district in my state that just lost the separation of church & state case brought by the atheist girl had to fork over $150,000 to the ACLU for costs of representing her.

    There’s a case in Mass now about the “under God” in the pledge of allegience. It’s been attempted before elsewhere but failed. Would kind of be surprised if this one passed, but at least it’s being fought still. What i didn’t know is that Eisenhower is to blame for those words.

    (if you click this link, just kung fu the ads out of the way.)

  3. NatashaFatale says:

    What i didn’t know is that Eisenhower is to blame for those words.

    Not sure that he was, actually. That’s kind of like blaming him for tail gunner Joe. I mean, sure, he went along…who didn’t?

    I learned it without “under God” in the first grade. Of course I didn’t know what half the words meant individually or what any of them could possibly have meant in committee, but I had memorized them, and especially the end: “one blah blah in-de-blah-de-de, with blah-blah-blah…” and so on. And then the second grade starts and I’m supposed to remember “one blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH in-de-blah-de-de, with blah-blah-blah…”

    I think I was probably in the fifth grade before I got it right again.

  4. Expat says:

    The obvious answer is to get employers out of the business of providing health care in lieu of cash. People could then choose to spend the fruits of their labor as they needed and wished. No restrictions and no moral dilemma. And if the government did take over it really would be analogous to land mines and cluster bombs.

  5. Elena says:

    Expat, I too believe that employers should not provide health care.

    But if that happened tomorrow, I suspect there would be a vast number of uninsured people in this country. Even if employers provided extra cash to cover the benefit.

    I know what I pay for health insurance and I know that if I got that extra in my pay packet every month I would not be able to afford to buy health cover on the open market.

    And if a majority of people are uninsured you can bet that is going to cost this country alot of money in the future.

  6. gunnison says:

    Yeah, I’m for unmooring HCI from employment also, but …

    In this household, health coverage on the “open market” for the two of us, non smokers, nothing preexisting, with a $3K (each) deductible would be exactly the equivalent of buying two brand new pickup trucks.

    Well, guess what, we can’t afford two brand new trucks — there’s just no way to swing it. And that’s crazy, ‘cos if either of us gets real sick, or injured, the costs for treating us ends up being socialized anyway, only much more inefficiently.

    And let’s note that that’s not Health Care Insurance in any sense of the term at all, it’s catastrophic coverage only, really, since normal health care costs still end up coming out of our own pockets.
    Millions of people are in the same boat we’re in.

    HC costs are rising several times faster than both wages and inflation too, as will premiums, with no end in sight. The system is going to break down.

  7. Pornstar says:

    Gunny –

    I’m single but basically in the same boat as the two of you. I just don’t have $700 / month to throw out on the off chance i maybe might get sick.

    Wasn’t there something in that HCR bill about expanding the number of clinics? Catastrophic aside, that is really the way to roll i think. A clinic is plenty good enough when you just need a prescription for cough syrup or antibiotics or whatever. I think all of the paperwork and tax returns and income bullshit is what keeps some people from using them now. If everyone was covered under some sort of public option and just had to give you number or show a card, it would make it a lot easier. Dental clinics too even.

  8. Elena says:

    Amy, yes, and I bet clinics would wind up saving this country a vast amount of money over time too.

    The upshot is that leaving insurance to the individual is fine and dandy if – repeat if – health costs are reasonable and in line with wages.

  9. KevinNevada says:

    I disagree with this facile “let the individual market work” when it comes to health care access.

    No other nation allows the primary level of health care access to be mediated entirely by an insurance scheme that is run on a for-profit basis. And no other nation that is organized and civilized lacks a universal system for that primary health care access.

    Expat is trying to make our wonky and failing system work with tweaks and the “magic” of markets. But that simply does not work with something as essential as access to health care. There are limits on what commercial market arrangements can accomplish and this is one of them. This has been proven already by the massive failures of the US system and by failed experiments in other nations.

    And if we want to control the cost curve, then we must have a universal system that leaves out no one. Simple. But too simple for our “conservatives” to understand.

  10. KevinNevada says:

    And On A Completely Different Topic (I think):

    The latest on Huffpost this morning, Thursday is that SWIFT has just dropped the hatchet on Iran’s banking connections to the outside world. That entire nation is now on a cash-transaction basis for all international trading.

    This is serious stuff. Their fragile economy, long mismanaged by the mullahs will now head over a cliff.

    The Iranian people now have a clear choice: rise again and this time, get the bastards out, or go broke in short order.

    I doubt that Israel will have to drop a single bomb. If Bibi does the raid anyway it will only shore up this fascist regime in Iran, under that outside threat.

    Again, I recommend a view of the 60 Minutes episode last Sunday where the former head of Mossad went public with his view that no bombing raid is justified at this time. His cred as a warrior for Israel is unimpeachable, so of course, he is now being smeared by Likud.

  11. Expat says:

    I disagree with this facile “let the individual market work” when it comes to health care access.


    Expat is trying to make our wonky and failing system work with tweaks and the “magic” of markets.

    Have you ever read any on my posts here or on CiF regarding healthcare? Or are you just making assumptions?

  12. KevinNevada says:


    yes, but I also sometimes type cranky posts before that vital second cuppa in the morning.

    I do think that disconnecting health care from employment is essential. But we cannot rely upon the individual purchase of insurance in a for-profit market, as that system is clearly failing.

    We needed that public option and a universal system of primary access to health care, and even with the ACA reform of 2009 we got neither. Several major nations, Germany most notably do their health care access through a nationwide nonprofit foundation, off the books of the government. Some version of that system could work very well in the US.


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