F L I N T O I D
|A quote that will live in infamy
By Steve Benen -
Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:03 PM EDT.
Much of the Affordable Care Act won't be fully implemented until 2014, but there are a series of breakthrough dates along the way at which new benefits kick in, helping millions. Today is one of them.
As Rachel explained on the air last night, starting today, insurance companies have to provide preventive care without copays or deductibles, a policy that especially benefits American women, who can now receive everything "from pap smears to detect cervical cancer, to STD screenings, to other kinds of cancer screenings, to gestational diabetes testing if you`re pregnant, to breast feeding supplies if you're a new mom" effectively for free.
And, of course, part of preventive care also means birth control -- a detail that apparently still troubles some folks on the right.
How troubled? This troubled.
A House Republican lawmaker likened the implementation of a new mandate that insurers offer coverage for contraceptive services to Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R), an ardent opponent of abortion rights, said that today's date would live in infamy alongside those two other historic occasions. Wednesday marked the day on which a controversial new requirement by the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires health insurance companies to cover contraceptive services for women, goes into effect.
"I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack," Kelly said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates."
For the record, there was no indication that Mike Kelly was kidding. In his mind, the day on which contraception is treated as preventive care in this country is, in all seriousness, comparable to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In case anyone's forgotten, contraception access is not an "attack on our religious freedom." First, access to birth control is voluntary. Second, churches and other houses of worship are exempt from coverage requirements. And third, the Obama administration worked out a compromise of religiously-affiliated employers so they wouldn't have to pay directly for contraception as part of their insurance plans.
The comparison to mass murder is obviously absurd, but the underlying policy point isn't any better.
On a related note, President Obama's campaign remains very much on the offensive on reproductive rights, and launched a new interactive map this morning in order to highlight Mitt Romney's endorsers by state who've pushed legislation to restrict women's reproductive rights.
It reinforces the larger perception that Obama's team believes social issues cut their way with the American mainstream.
Take his Viagra away, it really does cause blindness!
#1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:13 PM EDT
I like Viagra. It stops insecure old guys from financing the slaughter of rhinos because they're worried about their wee-wee.
#1.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:02 PM EDT
Is it just me, or does it seem like the list of right wing nutjobbery quotations and actions on today's MaddowBlog are more nutjobbery than usual?
Or is it just the peculiar spectacles I have on today?
I think I'll blame the Aquarius full moon, and Uranus.
#1.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:08 PM EDT
This kind of rhetoric from the anti-choice right doesn't surprise me at all. I've been involved in reproductive rights since Roe v. Wade finally allowed women to escape slaughter by back-alley abortionists. The denial of birth control to women has been a secret lynch-pin of the religious right's agenda since the first anti-abortionists started thumping their chests back in the early 70s. The reason we're finally hearing about it now is that their arrogance has grown to the point where they truly believe that the majority of Americans are stupid enough not to look behind the curtain and see what they've really been about all this time.
The event that is on a par with 9-11 is Rep. Kelly's blitzkrieg attack against women. And make no mistake: in his perverted view, an empowered, intelligent woman is more dangerous than a suicide bomber in a crowded mall.
#1.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:07 PM EDT
Or we can blame the Rethuglican Neo-Cons! We are already approaching status for 3rd world countries in many areas of the US. There are way more than 2,000,000 children sleeping in cars and alleys all over the USA- if the parents don't still have their car-Our local news 0n 6 here in Orlando did several reports on this-juxtaposed with the crowds thronging into all the attraction here-Universal, Disney World-God there are so many-Nightly News took it up months ago, and did a re-visit just a few days ago. What is this motherless whelp of the devil trying to say-that all this is a good thing??
#1.4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:24 PM EDT
Gee, where is Guywhoozis to "explain" that Kelly's comments were completely benign and that he is actually a nice fellow with sincere religious beliefs?
#1.5 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:36 PM EDT
Who appointed Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R) PoPoGrande of America? What if no one else is part of PoPoGrande's religion? Is PoPoGrande a real title or was it assumed by PoPoGrande himself?
My father-in-law used to say: "Publicity of any kind, negative or not is still free advertisement." Chic-fil-A is getting so much free advertisement, Truett and Dan Cathy have tapped another way to make money. Polarizing America has worked so well by the right. They continue to stoke the embers of hatred and gullible people will carry the shovels and pick axes. The confederate flag can evoke the same style of rabble, but for a different reason. But it, also, is still polarizing America.
What matters is when one goes to the hospital for any reason, we'll find their blood is red, they can be hurt and some die. Hatred, discrimination, prejudice and bigotry have many ways to segregate us. We are still arguing over petty differences and representation is not. Our very leaders are the proponents of dividing the country. Separate and Conquer! We are now segregated, who will conquer?
#1.6 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:41 PM EDT
Two dates I want everyone to remember 20 January 2010 and 6 November 2012 - the first date gave US the blinding ignorance, arrogance and hubris of the obstructionist GOTP in Congress; the second is the day that WE can vote them out of office! See you at the polls!
#2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:14 PM EDT
David A Deal
Amen sister! Now if we can just make sure that everyone in the Swing states has proper ID's to vote before they get surprised at the polls by the disenfranchisement laws meant to be a hardship on poor and elderly democrats.
#2.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:03 PM EDT
Paul S. Campbell
Why do republicans hate America?Why do they hate democracy and try to stop it through suppression of the vote?Why do they love war? Why do they hate free choice? Why do they hate the very things the founding fathers cherished? Why?
#3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:16 PM EDT
good Question do you think anyone will answer them good luck
#3.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:53 PM EDT
Methinks it got much worse with the loss of control of the lady parts. It seems to be a common thread in religious (of many flavors) banter that mismatched chromosomes get control of the "weaker" matched set. That makes no sense whatsoever, but if you're used to hearing the pledge to "obey" no matter what, and are told that what you claim as "yours" is supposed to "surrender" to you. it can be quite threatening (ok, emasculating). It has become a really sad and desperate fixation, and the need to control something has transferred to other objects.
#3.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 7:28 PM EDT
Agreed, but expand that. Not just the lady parts not being controlled, but anything threatening what they call "our country" or "America" since things began to get better for the minorities and women, they were unhappy about BUSINESS decisions to include all of those people, including Jews and other religions in the "Happy Holidays". Loss of entitlement is very scary to those accustomed to being "entitled".
#3.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:33 PM EDT
I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.
Congressman, please tell me - How is MY use of contraception an attack on YOUR religious freedom?!? PLEASE.
#4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:16 PM EDT
That's not the argument. You can choose what you want. The argument is over the govt forcing religiously affiliated orgs to pay
#4.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:36 PM EDT
Except that religious organizations have been granted an "opt-out" so they don't have to pay if they choose not to. So, try again.
#4.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:52 PM EDT
That may not be the congressman's argument, but it is mine. Contraception is an important part of overall healthcare for many women (and men). ED drugs are an important part of overall healthcare for many men (and women). ED drugs are routinely covered by health insurance companies with barely a whimper from religious institutions. Gee, I wonder WHY?
#4.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:24 PM EDT
I can see why you moved from New York to South Carolina - you're far less likely to be noticed as the drooling moron you are down in inbred-idiot-land than you are in New York. Kinda like the way Dennis Miller finally found an audience that was dumb enough to think he was funny when he turned rightie.
#4.4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:51 PM EDT
D. C. Sessions
The argument is over the govt forcing religiously affiliated orgs to pay
They don't have to pay. They can skip the insurance altogether, for instance.
I still think the Administration should have compromised by allowing the employers to leave off contraceptive coverage as long as the employees could get it added by making up the difference between "with contraceptive coverage" and "without contraceptive coverage" plans at the insurer's cost.
And before you jump down my throat on that, look at what the difference in cost to the insurer actually is.
#4.5 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:07 PM EDT
80's: What's the opt out for those who self insure?
#4.6 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:46 PM EDT
@fromnytosc....glad you read the article before spouting your wisdom!! Eeeesh!
#4.7 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:21 PM EDT
David A Deal
fromnytosc- It is about business, even if it is sponsored by a church yet employs and treats customers no matter their religious beliefs being able to dictate our freedom of choice to us.
#4.8 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:07 PM EDT
Congressman: If you don't like birth controls pills, and think your religion prevents you from taking them, you should not take them!
#5 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:23 PM EDT.
While I will not argue the ACA is like Pearl Harbor, I will continue to argue there is no free lunch. I will also argue against requiring religiously affiliated orgs, especially those who self insure, to pay for coverage they dogmatically disagree with.
Eliminating copays will only drive up costs, even with the 80-20 rule. Eliminating risk as a cost basis will only drive up costs. Forcing religiously affiliated orgs to violate their principals goes against the freedom to express religion. Mandated health is good. So are motherhood and apple pie.
#6 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:28 PM EDT
It is ludicrous to suggest that ones expression of faith includes restricting the rights of others. Those religions who feel compelled to deny women equal access to proper health care are free to take their dogma to another country.
#6.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:44 PM EDT
Forcing women to carry through an unwanted pregnancy drives up the costs.
WTFAY to deny a cost saving benefit? WTFAY to deny any woman what they need based on your religious views? Don't tell me you avoid unwanted pregnancy by abstaining from sex, you're a liar if you do, or very lonely, indeed.
Insurance companies are happier providing the benefit.
They don't want to pay the costs to ensure a woman carries a baby to term. It's expensive.
That's why they tried to get away with denying coverage to women who were pregnant by calling pregnancy a "pre-existing" condition.
They can't do that anymore, so the next best thing is providing contraception through a healthcare policy that the woman is PAYING FOR, anyway.
#6.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:03 PM EDT
I have had it with you right wing moralizers. What right do you have to impose YOUR moral standards on anyone else??
#6.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:09 PM EDT
There is no such thing as a free lunch? Religious institutions are a beneficiary of that free lunch that I have to pay for.
#6.4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:16 PM EDT
And you will continue to demonstrate that you finally found the right place to live, moving from New York (where people probably laughed at your stupidity to your face) down in drooling-moron-world. South Carolina: too small for a republic, too big for an insane asylum.
#6.5 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:55 PM EDT
Actually, I moved from NY to avoid the high taxes and other costs of living, like many other retirees do. And, like some comments here imply, there is a lack of knowledge about NY. It is a very diverse and vibrant city, open to all opinions. After all, it is home to both MSNBC and Fox. We are free to openly state our opinion without rude comments. Rather, we debate our ideas and, sometimes, agree to disagree.
#6.6 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:34 PM EDT
@SkinnyGrunt, AMEN to that!!!
#6.7 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:12 PM EDT
While I will not argue the ACA is like Pearl Harbor, I will continue to argue there is no free lunch.
But your still introducing a false narrative , so do not be shocked when people treat you to the same disdain .... So everyone is demanding free heathcare on the dem side ? that is as ridiculous as what the moron in the is saying op
#6.8 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:52 PM EDT
Middle aged white guys working hard to save our American Women from Healthcare.
#7 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:40 PM EDT.
This argument wears me out.
Health insurance is part of your compensation package: salary, vacation, 401K and health insurance. You get an offer letter and some or all of those things are in there.
If an employer forbade me from taking my vacation in Mecca out of concern for my afterlife, that employer could anticipate a costly court case that they would lose.
If an employer forbade me from buying a deer rifle with the salary s/he paid me, that employer could anticipate a costly court case.
How did this religious convictions/health insurance thing get traction? You offer health insurance or you don't and the employees take advantage of it in accordance with the policy. The employer does not get to micromanage the lives of their employees.
#8 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:55 PM EDT
#8.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:21 PM EDT
fromny - mandated coverage is not the same as mandated proceedures. Religiously affiliated organizations aren't having their rights violated any more than I am for having to pay taxes to support military acctions I disagree with on deep moral grounds. If they don't want their employees to use birth control, they can tell them not to, but they need to offer it if they want to be a part of our health care system.
Things like basic medical care (and this IS basic medical care) should be covered in a universal way, the same way that basic education is covered universally. It forms a foundation for public health, which is good for our country as a whole. When you let there be exceptions you undermine the premise of universality, and you get things like whooping cough epidemics because people aern't vaccinating their kids.
we're slowly dragging this country into the 21st century, and people need to stop digging their heels in
#9 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:56 PM EDT.
OMG, Pennyslvania, my beloved home state, why you gotta suck so much lately??
#10 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 2:59 PM EDT
Everybody gets to take their turn in the stupid barrel. No exceptions.
Just be happy you're not from Minnesota's 6th Congressional District. (Bachmann)
#10.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:05 PM EDT
Ohmygoodness, I really do know how to spell "Pennsylvania," by the way.
That's just embarrassing!
#10.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:18 PM EDT
@Freddie: Don't worry about it, both the Romney and the Obama campaign managed to misspelled America. Pennsylvania is a much longer and more complicated word to spell
#10.3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:31 PM EDT
Pretzelogic in Philly, PA
Wait... you mean it isn't "Pennsyltucky"?
#10.4 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:07 PM EDT
Kelly is the sponsor of a "Every sperm is sacred" bill, still in committee.
#11 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:03 PM EDT
Oh, God! (oops - no pun intended) I absolutely took that seriously for a second (while singing the song in my head & everything)! How scary is the world that that could happen?
#11.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:55 PM EDT
The only problem with August 1, 2012 is that there are still women who won't get automatic access to birth control along with their health insurance. That's thanks to Rep. Kelly's very mistaken idea of the role of religious beliefs in public policy. True religious freedom would give all women the option to access or not access birth control as part of her insurance payment according to each woman's own religious beliefs. That's true religious freedom.
#12 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:03 PM EDT
For the record, there was no indication that Mike Kelly was kidding.
That possibility never crossed my mind, Steve.
#13 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:06 PM EDT.
Seems to me that if one is anti-abortion it would stand to reason that they would be pro contraception. Since one precludes the other....or, am I just being stupid?
#14 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:07 PM EDT
No, you're not, but they are: stupid.
#14.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:59 PM EDT
@Machined: "Religiously affiliated organizations aren't having their rights violated any more than I am for having to pay taxes to support military actions I disagree with on deep moral grounds."
And, why is this point never raised, even by most progressives posting on this and other progressive/liberal blogs? Why am I mandated/taxed to pay for the killing/maiming and corruption of sovereign nations and peoples, and some religiously narrow-minded politician can force a "compromise" in the ACA that serves their selfish needs? We must stand for peace and equality within our own government. If the media won't make the connections, then we, as the citizenry of the United States, must expose the corruption and dysfunction of the people who are holding us hostage to their greed and selfishness.
#15 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:23 PM EDT
I could not have said it better.
#15.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:09 PM EDT
Exactly! Thank you. I will make sure to spread the word...and the comparison.
#15.2 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:24 PM EDT
Tell you what . . . I'll start caring about organized religion's opinion of government regulations when they start paying taxes.
#16 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 3:31 PM EDT.
Everyone is missing a bigger point. If a religious institution that is acting outside the scope and activities of worship is allowed to pick and choose which government regulations they want to follow because of religious doctrine, then the application of laws will be haphazard and subject to the whims the religious communities. This logic also applies to non-religious employers who are trying to use religion as a basis for exemption of laws.
#17 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:25 PM EDT.
Religions can't control their flock within the walls of the church so they have to try and control them with national and state laws. Just because birth control is in the package, doesn't mean the ignorant religious fanatics have to use it. doh!
And while we are on the subject, can someone explain to me why birth control is considered as pertaining to sex and viagra is considered medical when the actual opposite is true?
#18 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:29 PM EDT.
Actually, August 1 is the 69th anniversary of the low-level raid on the Ploesti oil refineries, when the Army Ar Force took 40% casualties trying to destroy Hitler's oil supply. Surprisingly, many of that 40% were Republicans, who actually served in uniform, something today's "patriots" (like Kelly) would never think of doing.
#19 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:34 PM EDT.
William Roy Stuttsvia Facebook
so the population of the world is getting bigger and bigger and we can't sustain everyone like we used to and we won't let anyone in the country and we're making the poor poorer and the rich richer, and instead of maybe decreasing the number of babies and children and people in the world so it's easier on everyone, the GOP decides that it's an attack on religious freedoms to choose (it's a choice) to not get pregnant?! what?! we can barely take care of the kids we have now.
it's like George Carlin said, "Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're f**ked."
"Once you leave the womb, conservatives don't care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers."
#20 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:40 PM EDT.
In laymen's terms... what an asshat.
#21 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 4:59 PM EDT.
Put your money where your mouth is!
There are a lot of anti Mike Kelly comments on this and other blogs if you can't stand this guy then take a lousy $10.00 out of your wallet and send it to Missa Eaton, she is the Democratic Challenger in his district this year and is being out spent 10-1. Now just where do you think old Mikey is gettin' his dough check OpenSecrets.org.
The Republicans are trying to supress voters, they are trying to stop union contributions and are taking money hand over fist from right wing millionaires.
We are being out spent...badly. If you want to make change you are going to have to sacrifice some serious money and time if you can.
Start a political savings account, deposit what you can each week your war chest. then pick where you think your money will have the most impact. This year I chose Tammy Duckworth as my out of state.
Get involved in local politics (town level) go to council meetings.
#22 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:04 PM EDT.
Neil Willoughbyvia Facebook
I just don't understand how this is an attack on "religious freedom".
If you don't approve of contraception, then don't take advantage of the program. The legislature is not forcing contraceptives down anyone's throat. You have your freedom to be crazy and say outlandish things, no one is taking that away from you Mr. Kelly.
#23 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:04 PM EDT
Neil it is an attack on your religious freedom (especially if you are an atheist). Mike Kelly wants you to live by his rules and his interpretation of the Bible. He is just "word smithing" to make people think otherwise.
...and you thought it was only Michele Bachmann!
#23.1 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:23 PM EDT
Well said. On a related side note, it still boggles the mind how some who are so adamantly anti-choice/anti-abortion, can then also want to severely limit access to the very thing that could prevent unwanted pregnancies!
#24 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 5:07 PM EDT.
I am so sick and tired of other people telling me what I can and can't do with my own body. No body has the prerogative to control me but me. If your religious affiliations say don't take contraceptives then DON'T! If your religious affiliations say don't have an abortion then DON'T! But your religious affiliations DO NOT give you a right to say what others can do, or how others should think. If religion wants to start mandating laws and morals to everyone then they should give up their tax free status.
Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:16 pm
F L I N T O I D
|No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend its about your "religious freedom"". If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom does not mean you can force others to live by your beliefs.
President Barack Obama
Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:00 am
F L I N T O I D
|Straw Dog ? I wouldn't deny a woman her "right to birth control",just don't require people with religious beliefs opposed to birth control and abortion to pay for it ,especialy for the hoe's who have them one after another because they can't keep their legs together :-
No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend its about your "religious freedom"". If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom does not mean you can force others to live by your beliefs.
President Barack Obama
Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:42 am