Health & Health Care Feed

Time investment

I like this article on "time investment" rather than "time management."  I realize that this general approach is actually mine.  I weekly, particularly at work, make a to-do list that priortizes time for the major projects I'm working on and seeks to eliminate, delegate, or simplify any other projects.  I'm also generally really good at setting boundaries between work and personal life.

Foster parenting is throwing wrenches into my existing systems and strategies, and I'm having to adapt.


Contraception and Religious Liberty

A great ruling on this issue that has been vexing the republic over the last year.  The judge dismissed the argument that a health plan covering contraception violates the religious views of the business owner.  

Any imposition on religion is trivial and remote, she explained. The health care coverage would offend the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs only if an employee “makes an independent decision to use the plan” to obtain contraceptives; and that independent decision is no different from an employee using part of a salary to pay for contraceptives, which clearly would not harm the employer’s right to free exercise of religion.

The 1993 statute “is not a means to force one’s religious practices upon others” and “does not protect against the slight burden on religious exercise that arises when one’s money circuitously flows to support the conduct of other free-exercise-wielding individuals who hold religious beliefs that differ from one’s own,” Judge Jackson wrote.

 


An interesting, critical, take on the ruling

I do not disagree with Michael Gerson's criticisms here, though I do not fully agree with them.  There is danger in what he fears, but there is also some use of wisdom, which I do want from judges.  I know that O'Connor, for instance, had a very Platonic view of the role of judge as one who must maintain peace and stability in society.  There is danger in this, as there is danger in every approach.

An excerpt:

To find the health-care law constitutional, Roberts reimagined it. It was outcome-based jurisprudence, even if the intended outcome was institutional harmony. It was an act of judicial arrogance, even in the cause of judicial deference. And it raises deeper concerns. Unmoored from a reasonable interpretation of the law, institutionalism easily becomes the creed of the philosopher-king — hovering above the balance of powers, tinkering benevolently here and there, instead of living within the constraints of the system.

Roberts has been praised for striking a grand political compromise that the political class could not achieve — for cooling tempers, for granting each side a useful measure of victory and defeat. But who died and left Roberts the job of Daniel Webster? 

 


Pre-natal health care for immigrants

Nebraska's governor opposes the Parable of the Good Samaritan, or at least doesn't understand it, it seems to me.  The legislature overwhelmingly approved (including many Republicans who said the vote was pro-life) a bill to reinstate prenatal medical care for undocumented immigrants.  The governor says he won't spend tax-payer money on "illegals."  He says,

“I have a very good sense where Nebraskans are at on this issue,” he said.  “They tell me over and over, I play by the rules, I pay taxes, and you're going to use my tax dollars for illegals? That's the issue.”

That's NOT the issue.  It's completely irrelevant from a moral perspective.  We care for each other.  That's true to our Midwestern values.  That's what Jesus taught us, and that's who we are as human beings. 

How can someone so fundamentally misunderstand basically human morality?

UPDATE:
The Nebraska Senate overrode the governor's veto!!!


ACA case is about freedom . . . but in a dark way

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate writes about the questioning over the individual mandate and finally comes to understand why the right has kept talking about this being an issue of freedom.  They want to be free of of covenant, our social contract, our commitment to the common good.  Lithwick writes:

This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old. Until today, I couldn’t really understand why this case was framed as a discussion of “liberty.” This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live. It’s about the freedom to ignore the injured, walk away from those in peril, to never pick up the phone or eat food that’s been inspected. It’s about the freedom to be left alone. And now we know the court is worried about freedom: the freedom to live like it’s 1804.


E. J. Dionne criticizes the hearings on the Affordable Care Act

Dionne points out how the justices acted more like legislators discussing the merit of various portions of the law rather than discussing the constitutional points at issue.  He further discusses the individual mandate and its origin in conservative political policy, rooted in our social contract with one another.

I found this paragraph important as well:

Liberals should learn from this display that there is no point in catering to today’s hard-line conservatives. The individual mandate was a conservative idea that President Obama adopted to preserve the private market in health insurance rather than move toward a government-financed, single-payer system. What he got back from conservatives was not gratitude but charges of socialism — for adopting their own proposal.