Friday, April 1, 2016

4.2 Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

1. LGBTQ advocates fear that business owners will use it as a way to legally discriminate. 
2. Section 4 protects religious nonprofits from having to provide services that violate their faith, unless they agreed to do so in a contract or grant application. Section 5 protects the rights of religious nonprofits to hire only people who support and practice their faith. These both would allow for discrimination. 
3. Atlanta has laws in place that ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, which Georgia's laws would overpower. 
4. RFRA's have been in place for 25 years to allow discrimination in different states, but there have hardly been any legal cases regarding the discrimination. RFRA's don't give individuals or organizations unlimited religious power against the law. They only allow for reasonable accommodations if the government can't prove it has a compelling interest to enforce a law or regulation in a certain way. 
5. They allow people to challenge undue burdens on their faith that result from laws and policies, but only if the government can't show that it has a compelling interest to apply the burden and a reasonable accommodation isn't available.
6. Religious minorities benefit from these laws. 
7. Businesses cannot be forced to provide birth control to their employees if it goes against their religious views. 
8. The protection of LGBTQ people is not explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights, but their equality is important legally which goes with civil rights. 

4.1 Religious Freedom and Health Care Laws

1. The outcome will probably be even with 4-4, which would take the decision back down to the lower courts. 
2. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover all forms of contraception without any copays.
3. Social conservatives like Catholics do not believe that birth control is okay, so enforcing it violates their religion. 
4. They said that churches and houses of worship are exempt and as is any nonprofit that is not religiously affiliated. 
5. Closely-held for-profit corporations should also be exempt from providing contraceptive coverage if the owners object because of their religion. 
6. They should not be made complicit in something they strongly oppose and they should not face a penalty if they do not comply. 
7. Five of the eight justices are Catholic, so they are more likely to be willing to help the nuns out. 
8. The insurer is a third party and a separate entity from the plaintiffs, so what the government requires them to do shouldn't matter as long as the plaintiffs don't have to pay for or administer the plans including contraceptive coverage.
9. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, it will open the door to a limitless number of religious exemptions that the courts have no way to truly evaluate, and this would weaken the idea of religious exemptions as a result.
10. It could open the door to employers refusing to buy plans that cover PrEP, which many gay and bisexual men take to prevent HIV, or doctors refusing to treat a transgender woman with breast cancer.
11. It would defeat the government's purpose, which is to make sure that women have seamless access to birth control coverage and are more likely to use it. It would lead to an inconceivable administrative headache for women seeking coverage, insurers, and the government, and it would require women to have two different insurance plans that might not even cover the same doctors-assuming that any insurance company would agree to offer such an impractical plan in the first place. 
12. Respecting the religions of bosses may actually intrude on the religious freedom of the employees by denying them access to care other citizens receive. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

3.9 Health Care Policy in the USA

1. Drug makers decide what price to charge based on how desperate people are to find a cure.
2. Insurance companies ration access. Coverage is limited to the population with the highest risk of complications.
3. Insurance companies can decide what is medically necessary.
4. Medicare and Medicaid also tend to decide what is medically necessary and only treat people who really need the treatment. It is very similar to the way insurance companies do it.
5. Countries like Britain negotiate with drugmakers to get better prices. Since a country is buying it for less, insurance companies can give it out for less.
6. The law will not let Medicare and Medicaid negotiate prices.
7. It's crazy and I don't know..Trump?

8. The taxes would replace many visible and invisible ways we now provide to support a health sector that consumer more than 17 percent of our economy.
9. This would cover every legal resident. The government would mail a Medicare card to everyone so everyone is covered.
10. If single payer was implemented, the biggest winners would be relatively disorganized low-income people in the greatest need of help.
11. The losers would include workers who now receive generous tax expenditures for good private coverage, and affluent people who would face large tax increases to finance a single-payer system.
12. Community hospitals, medical groups, pharmaceutical and medical device companies worked to prevent the public option from being added to ACA.
13. The Supreme Court would struggle with the propriety of an expansive federal government that seeks to regulate and humanize a national health care market.

Friday, February 26, 2016

3.8 Nevada and South Carolina

1. 2/3 of 2008 Nevada caucus voters participated in the 2016 caucus.
2. Lower and middle class voters did not show up for Sanders :(
3. The Democratic turnout was much higher in 2008. However, the Republican turnout was much greater this year than in 2008.
4. Sanders thinks Obama failed by not converting enthusiastic voters into an organized force. Sanders wants to keep the energy behind his campaign and push it through the White House.
5. Jeb's voters will most likely turn to Rubio and help him get more votes than Trump.
6. Cruz really thought he would do well in the South, so not doing well in the first southern state could be detrimental to his campaign.
7. Rubio needs to win northeastern states.
8. He thinks he can take Jeb's voters and win northeastern votes on Super Tuesday and win votes in the Michigan primary.
9. Trump has not cared enough yet to try to attack Rubio, and Rubio knows that if Trump attacks him, his campaign may suffer.

Friday, February 19, 2016

3.7 The Fight Over Scalia

1. The debate was shifted from the level of liberalism of Obama's choice to a debate about the reflexive obstructionism of the Republicans in Senate.
2. It is certainly a possibility that Trump wins the Republican nomination and that Republicans will be in great danger of losing the Senate majority. If that happens, Republicans will wish they had settled on a Supreme Court justice with Obama, someone not too liberal, before the Senate gets filled with more Democrats.
3. They have to be able to compromise with Obama or risk the loss of the presidency and Senate majority.
4. He looks like a messed-up uncle on a cartoon on TV.
5. Thrice have supreme court justices had to be replaced in election years.
6. For the past eighty years, a Supreme Court justice has not been appointed in an election year. Most of what he says is not true, but it is true that a nominee has not been appointed during an election year in that period of time.
7. The situation has not happened recently so it is unfair to say it is a normal situation.
8. Reagan's first choice was shut down by Democrats in the Senate.
9. Compromise and cooperation is now much more difficult.
10. Waiting for the next election

3.6 Will Republicans Block Obama?

1. He means that the next justice should not be appointed by Obama but instead by the next president. The American people are electing the president who should be picking the next judge.
2. The democratic Senate derailed Bork in 1987. :(
3. The Democrats in the past wanted to use their power to prevent a Republican Supreme Court nominee from becoming a justice. Now the Republicans are trying to do the same.
4. The Court will deal with abortion, birth control, voting rights and a ton of other issues.
5. Cruz thinks that if Obama picks the next justice, the second amendment will be taken out of the Constitution, enforce unlimited abortion, and take away religious freedoms.
6. The Democrats (Obama administration) denied the Senate's vote to filibuster the Iran Nuclear Deal and the filibuster was also weakened on a different occasion.
7. The Senate can check President Obama to keep him from choosing someone completely crazy!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

3.5 Revolving Doors

1. Fewer senators retire each year than representatives.
2. Most legislators do not want to register as lobbyists. The number only represents the lobbyists who are actually registered.
3. Congressmen who were party or committee leaders or were on the Ways and Means Committee or Senate Finance Committee are most likely to end up as lobbyists.
4. Congressmen can sell to multiple ideas, which makes them more hirable and gives them more money. They should be knowledgeable on a range of issues.
5. 63% of the time, the side with more former government officials get policy passed.
6. For every one dollar spent by public interest groups and unions, corporations spent thirty-four dollars.
7. Former government members should use their connections and experience to represent general public interest lobbying groups.