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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 17, 2014 / 15 Adar II, 5774

Affordable Care Act or War on Conscience?

By Debra J. Saunders




JewishWorldReview.com | Billionaire David Green's success story could come straight from Silicon Valley. He started his business in a garage in 1970. Through hard work and innovation, he built a business that employs more than 13,000 full-time workers. He determined to treat his employees well, providing health care and setting a higher in-house minimum wage for staff.

Here's where Green departs from the standard Bay Area billionaire success story: He's a devout Christian whose Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and an affiliated Christian bookstore chain are headquartered in Oklahoma. His family controls the business. He's the CEO; a son is president; a daughter is a vice president; and another son is vice CEO. The Greens have signed a statement of faith and trustee commitment to run the business according to their religious beliefs. In that spirit, Hobby Lobby locations, which often broadcast Christian songs and won't sell shot glasses, are closed on Sundays, a decision that costs the corporation millions every year.

Hobby Lobby is challenging the mandate in President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act that requires large employers to include birth control coverage if they provide health care benefits to their workers. I should emphasize that Hobby Lobby's health plan already includes contraceptive coverage, but it excludes RU-486 because that drug can terminate a pregnancy, as well as four drugs or devices that can prevent the embryo from implanting in the womb. The Obama administration requires un-grandfathered health care plans to provide these methods and exempts employees from having to make copayments for them.

"The Greens believe that human beings deserve protection from the moment of conception," argues a brief filed for the family by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, "and that providing insurance coverage for items that risk killing an embryo makes them complicit in the practice of abortion."

"These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith," Green said in a 2012 press call, "and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful."

The Becket Fund brief lays out the ugly choices the Greens face. The corporation can refuse to comply with the law and pay draconian fines of $100 per day per employee; that amounts to about $475 million per year.


Or the corporation can drop its health plan and pay $26 million in fines levied against large employers that do not cover their workforce. But the Greens don't want to do that; it's bad for business, and the retailers' decision to provide health care was "itself religiously motivated."

Or Hobby Lobby can go against the family's deeply held beliefs because the government demands it. ?Last year, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the business a reprieve pending final resolution of the case. Both sides will be arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 25.

The government's case is simple. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli has argued that the courts cannot allow "for-profit corporations to deny employees the health coverage to which they are otherwise entitled by federal law based on the religious objections of the individuals who own a controlling stake in the corporations."

Except the government exempts grandfathered plans — which cover 36 percent of workers — businesses with fewer than 50 employees and churches from the contraception mandate. So why not exempt employers with deeply held beliefs?

Verrilli also contends that government has an interest in mandating "equal access" to health care for women. But it's not as if the Greens are trying to stop a female worker from using contraception; they just don't want to pay for methods they consider to be abortion-inducing.

Becket Fund senior counsel Mark Rienzi reminded me that the First Amendment sets "a limit on the government's power. It tells the government what it can't do." It explicitly starts, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Liberals, Rienzi added, should agree that "the government doesn't have the right to steamroll rights."

A month doesn't pass without the administration's issuing another exemption from a mandate previously held out as nonnegotiable. Old "substandard" individual policies? Now kosher through 2016. Individual mandate? Not so much with hardship exemptions. Why not exempt employers for issues of conscience?

Or does the Obama administration not want corporations to have a conscience?

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Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate.

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