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Will in Seattle 1
Because Obama is our best Republican President since Reagan - who was left of him in practice.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 2
"While I think it's valiant that the White House is trying to play nice here..."

No, it's craven Obama spinelessness once again.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on February 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
This is a real failure of employer provided health insurance. If there was a public plan that anyone could enroll in and pay for with the money that would otherwise pay premiums at the company plan, this would be a non issue. In fact if enough people said "no thanks" to the religious plans, they'd soon become unsustainable.
Posted by wxPDX on February 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
@2 is correct.

Nobody respects him being spineless, neither D nor R. It just makes him look like someone they should beat up on again.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
mr. prez, f all this other bullshit and get that contraception out there for real. obama girls, tell your mom to tell him whatever. i dunno. its preventative health care that will save american free enterprise money or something. just get it out there for everyone.
Posted by tim koch on February 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
This is the one issue he should have held fast on. Women supported him in his election and he screws them. I'm writing the White House now.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Wait, what am I missing here. Everyone got what they wanted. All women will still have their birth control paid for--big picture!--and some repub windbags will still complain about the compromise. Are we sure our standard rage isn't misplaced on this one?
Posted by Bonzer Terriffic on February 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
I had very high hopes for Obama's second term, but I'm starting to believe that, if anything, the second term will be more pandering to the Right and Big Business than the first.
Posted by randoma on February 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
You don't understand. @7, it's not about women getting access to birth control, it's about pissing off conservatives and being outraged at Obama for no good reason.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
The Max 10
I take a slightly different view here. I think, given the current political climate, it can be seen as a reasonable compromise to accommodate these squalling babies' real (unjustified in my mind but real) concerns. I think it's just one more compelling bit of evidence that Our O is doing everything he can to be the best possible Prez to each and every one of us, even the religious assholes. Thus it helps towards the establishment of real single-payer healthcare somewhere down the line. Obama's a poker player and he plays deep.
Posted by The Max on February 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Women get access to contraception and they won't be paying for that access, and they won't be paying for the contraception itself... I fail to see how Obama is caving. The end result is the same.
Posted by searunner on February 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 12
@7: The problem is that this coverage comes at the expense of the taxpayer. So basically, the taxpayer is footing the bill so that the religious organization can discriminate. Also, it is simply discrimination against women, and that is enough reason for it to be disgusting and disallowed.

To answer your question Cienna: it is because the separation of church and state has become reversed in its meaning over the last several decades. Instead of meaning that the state will not favor religion, it now is read as meaning that the church does not have to follow the state's laws.

Completely backward. Religion deserves no respect from anyone, as it does not respect anyone.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
@9 yeah, sure, like they weren't already.

You don't negotiate by compromising first, before you have to.

@12 is correct. Not including contraceptive coverage drives up total health care costs for all the rest of we taxpayers. Pregnancy is very very expensive.
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
pfffter 14
I think this is a tempest in the Stranger/Cienna teacup. Even Planned Parenthood is thrilled at the news that upholds women's access to contraceptives.…
Posted by pfffter on February 1, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
@10 Except that the health care law already passed. The employers who are listening to their own personal sky fairies and seeking to control the health decisions of their employees at this point have no power over the law, nor do their House homunculi. Universal Health Care will not be passed by this president. The House is almost guaranteed to remain red through 2016.

This wasn't a negotiation between the two parties; this was just unforced appeasement so that conservatives would hate Obama less. Let's guess how well that will work out.

I did see a great proposal: that any employer which wants to deny birth control to its employees should be forced to instead offer 12-month minimum maternity leave + on-site day care.
Posted by dirge on February 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
#10 Hits on the poker aspect well. I wouldn't be surprised if the Administration is looking at this long term. By doing this now, they can "appease" religious organizations, but someone somewhere will take this to court.

Eventually SCOTUS will have to rule on it. By that time there will no doubt be some new justices on the court. SCOTUS has already voiced its affirmative stance on healthcare. It will likely be decided in favor of the administration and the president won't have to be involved. Know where to fight your fights...
Posted by Perry on February 1, 2013 at 12:08 PM · Report this
@12 How is this happening at the expense of the taxpayer? Insurance companies will pay higher fees to access the insurance exchanges.
Posted by searunner on February 1, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
@10, the best the president does for progressives is say "I'm not Romney", while he holds fast to the status quo and hires economic advisors who care more about keeping the big banks whole rather than main street america. Obama says the public sector doesn't create jobs only the private sector. Say what? FDR created something like 15 million-Thanks WPA, TVA, etc.

Center that you can believe in.
Posted by neo-realist on February 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 19
@17: Either the insurance exchange will have to take in more subsidy money (taxpayer dollars) to cover the costs, or the higher premium will be passed on to other members.

Do you want to pay higher premiums or taxes so that churches can discriminate against women?

To be fair, as the end of the quote suggests, it is unclear how this will be paid for, but the original plan was that the government would essentially pay the insurance companies for the extra coverage the employer is not paying for. That's taxpayer money.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 20
You know what this is called ? CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!!! LOL!!!!

Voted for him in 2008 and voted for Jill Stein in 2012. Obama has no backbone..shocked people thought he was going to grow one in his second term. Especially since Democrats go TO THE RIGHT in their second terms..Johnson, Clinton, Truman, even FDR moved to the right in the second term.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on February 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
There's nothing that upsets me more than the idea that the government, via taxpayers, would pay for health care of its citizens.

It's like some kind of sick commie plot. Oooo, I hate those commies. I hate 'em, I hate 'em, I hate 'em.
Posted by GermanSausage on February 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 22

Apparently you didn't notice, but many challenges to the free contraception requirement have been clogging up the court system of late. Your "unforced appeasement" comment is therefore inaccurate. Perhaps the Obama administration didn't want to risk the courts giving religious organizations carte blanche to flout the law. I could easily see the current SCOTUS trying to pull that shit.
Posted by keshmeshi on February 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Oh, for crying out loud.

First off, this won't cost the taxpayers anything. The contraceptive plans are paid for by fees the insurance companies pay. The insurance companies will pay for those fees by raising rates, which are paid by employers. Thus, employers will still be paying for this coverage, not taxpayers. There's just an extra step in there to make whiny employers feel better.

Second, this isn't craven appeasement, it's just good politics. First, Obama riled up the GOP's crazy religious wing, which got him a bunch of votes and further emphasized the right's extremism in the last election. Now, he's throwing them a bone that costs him nothing, but makes him look like the responsible adult who's willing to compromise. Sure, plenty of GOP talking heads will screech about how this doesn't change anything, but all that does is make them look worse and Obama look better.

He got the guaranteed coverage that liberals wanted, and on the way he made his team look better and the other team look worse. You're angry because you wanted to see him get a slam dunk to rile up his fans, but you're ignoring the fact that instead he stayed back and nailed a 3-pointer.
Posted by Rex Manning Day on February 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
What @ 23 said
Posted by Bonzer Terriffic on February 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
@19 My understanding was under the original plan the insurance companies were paying the cost of coverage, which it seems they will still be doing
Posted by searunner on February 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 26
@10 "I think it's just one more compelling bit of evidence that Our O is doing everything he can to be the best possible Prez to each and every one of us...."

...even if it means being a worse president to the majority.

The math on this policy simply doesn't pan out. Letting the conservatives religious assholes win AGAIN even after a clear majority of voters reject their plans is not being a better president for all of us, it's being a better president for the assholes and encouraging them to be even bigger assholes in the future.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on February 1, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 27
Women! Stop having sex with Republicans and you can solve this in less than a generation.
Posted by Westlake, son! on February 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
schmacky 28
@23 has it exactly right. For more, read this Slate piece:…
Posted by schmacky on February 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
schmacky 29
@9, it seems, is also right.
Posted by schmacky on February 1, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 30
I will wait to hear what Rachel Maddow has to say. Slog seems a little high-strung today.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on February 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 31
I'm so glad I voted for Jill Stein.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on February 1, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 32
Yes dear, you really accomplished something by voting for a nobody didn't you? And I'm sure when the Greens come up with another nobody a few months before the next election, you'll be able to feel even more smug.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on February 1, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 33
@23 is wrong.

Once they get pregnant, they'll stop working for the religious group, show up in an emergency room, and we'll all have to pay for it.

Posted by Will in Seattle on February 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 34
What would make me feel smug is if I'd not been too lazy to answer the fundraising emails the Dems sent me every fucking day for the last four years with a series of complaints about their center-right policies. Sadly, not done.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on February 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
NotSean 35
I, an atheist, am deeply offended that some of my tax dollars are spent on the police, fire, and military protection of religous institutions and businesses.

I want my money back...
...I'll spend it on gay abortion pot.

Posted by NotSean on February 1, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 36
Scrawny dear, I must apologize. I was a bit of a butt bag in my earlier comment. Jill Stein is a good woman, and would be a good president. My frustration with the Green Party lies not with their candidates, but with their practice of only showing up every four years.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on February 1, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
The Max 37
Mind you, @26, 16, 18 + anyone I missed, I'm not saying I wouldn't like to have a radical socialist nightmare where the big issues of the day are whether to abolish all prisons before we instill free pot for all or the other way round. But this is a right wing country. We're a right wing country just starting to swing back from a long swing to the crazy.

I don't see many losing much over all this. I keep in mind that Obama's done more for LGBT rights than any Prez in history and I cut the guy a little slack. It really looks like he's only giving a little here. I think compromise in general is a good thing. If nothing else it shows you're the one on the reasonable side of the table. Biggest thing that got me about anti-president Bush (beyond his illegitimacy) was his die hard my way or the highwayism.

So I say give him this. He got Obamacare through. He got DADT and Girl-blocking dis-established from our military. Nixon-(Ford)-Reagan-Bush-(Cheney)-Bush fucked up this poor country so bad, Carter & Clinton barely stemmed a touch of the shit-tide. Obama's got to play everything really strategically if he wants to top their legacies.
Posted by The Max on February 1, 2013 at 7:40 PM · Report this
Because of the Constitution Moron.. Seriously? Can't Fix STUPID
Posted by ConstitionalChick on February 1, 2013 at 9:11 PM · Report this
It seems that people are really desperate to ignore the realities of the situation here, mainly that you've got religious groups siting their 1st amendement rights and that if this were all to go to trial the would almost certainly win, unless we're going to amend the Constitution to exclude birth control from religious issues. After such a court case we would have to come up with some sort of solution JUST LIKE THIS. While perhaps that court case would be a good stump for pointing out religious bigotry, do you think that's going to change anything about their bigotry? And is making a statement in court worth the trouble here?

It seems like everyone is suddenly shocked that in fact religious groups do discriminate in all aspects of their businesses, yes including discrimination against us homos (who they just won't hire at all if they are against them), and as long as that discrimination has something to do with their direct religious beliefs then they are protected by the 1st Amendment in doing so. I get the outrage, but the President is not the one who deserves it here. This was prudent and intelligent, everything the religious nut bags are not.
Posted by ace9415 on February 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this
What counts as a religious organization? Does it have to be connected to a church? Or does "I'm a Christian who owns a certain craft store chain, so I get this exemption" count?
Posted by J from Oregon on February 2, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this

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