Skip to comments.Moral Implications of US Health Mandate Weighed by Ethics Panel [Advises Businesses Drop Coverage]
Posted on 08/11/2012 1:21:04 PM PDT by marshmallow
National Catholic Bioethics Center Offers Guidelines For Non-Exempt Business Owners
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, AUG. 10, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), a research center whose mission is to promote the dignity of the human person, published a set of guidelines aimed to help non-exempt businesses with the moral implications of the Obama administrations Health & Human Services mandate.
The mandate, which has faced opposition from the US Catholic Bishops Conference and other Christian denominations and non-Christian religious leaders, requires non-exempt business owners and institutions to pay for insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization procedures to employees.
Although businesses were given till Aug. 1 to comply with the mandate, the administration has given religious institutions a safe harbor year till 2013 to enforce it. The NCBC, however, stated that such an accommodation is premised on the notion that the federal government has the power to define what constitutes a religious organization, in direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The research centers report, while encouraging companies that have filed lawsuits against the mandate, acknowledge that there are businesses that do not have the means for such action. Thus, it notes, companies are faced with four choices: willingly assent to the coverage, provide insurance that does not comply with the mandate and therefore face legal repercussions, drop all coverage while providing fair compensation for all benefits, or temporarily comply under protest.
The panel of ethicists leading the NCBCs study was led by moral theologian and current president of the research center, John Haas. The panel weighed the moral licitness of the options business owners face.
Of the options for non-exempt businesses, the NCBC stated that dropping insurance coverage altogether would seem to be the moral choice under the circumstances. As unfortunate as it is, this approach appears to....
(Excerpt) Read more at zenit.org ...
This meets the goal of The Obammunist Administration, everyone is covered by the federal government; with socialized medicine there is no need for private medical insurance; the medical industry will be nationalized.
Option 5: Fire employees as necessary to get the number of employees below the threshold, making it clear that this path is followed with great regret but under threat of a lethal fine as the only option to a morally repugnant action that violates deeply-held religious beliefs in addition to violating the First Amendment.
Seems to me that there's an Option 6 and Option 7, too. Will somebody who knows more than I do, please let me know if this is accurate and practical or not?
Couldn't you just do this "on paper" without actually changing your operations? Like the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a "federation" of separately incorporated units?
Would this work? I'm totally ignorant on the technicalities. Anybody know about this?
It would, unfortunately, not work. The IRS has a great deal of experience with this, with almost no limits on their power, and they often redefine fake or even real structures intended to avoid taxes or penalties. In this case, they would define the operation as a single business. I've been under their microscope, several times, and I would not take that risk.
The only real solution to me appears to be to temporize, elected a new Senate and President, and repeal the damn thing.
And then we have threads arguing about whether people should be voting third party or not voting for POTUS.
I'm sorry to hear that.
But I've heard it suggested that, as a rule of thumb, any law needs 95% voluntary compliance to be workable, because the govt can't handle the numbers they would have to prosecute, if more that 5% were resisting by some means.
I'd like to hope, at least, that small businesses that have a workforce of less than 50, could somehow grow and yet keep themselves under the magic number for years and years by some stratagem. Independent contractors, outsourcing of some sort.
Surely if enough small firms tried it, they could make enforcement exceedingly complicated?
The IRS has for years been redefining independent contractors as employees. It has to be real and obvious, or they will come down hard on the employer. As for voluntary compliance, you are right that the socialists need that from us. I will do everything I can to encourage decent Americans (both one-on-one and online) to resist in any legal manner, even if it is costly or shrinks their business.
And once again, ‘conservatives’ will be duped into thinking that the Catholic Church is against socialized medicine.
They’re not. They’re all for socialized medicine - on their own precious little terms.
Obama’s only mistake was not giving these frauds an out for their own organizations until such time as Obama’s cadres had exterminated the private medical system as an alternative.
Breaking your business into smaller corporations works if and only if you can break the organization along functional boundaries and then meet all the IRS tests for closely-held corporations to exist as corporations and not as a tax dodge. Because, you see, there’s also a benefit for small corporations in that their first $X of income is taxed at lower rates. I’ve seen farmers very cleverly set up separate corporations (all S-corps), one of which will own the land and rents it out to the farming organization, one is the farming company and it owns the equipment and does the farming, another is the marketing company that buys/sells/hedges the outputs of the farm.
The farmer is actually employed by the farming company, even tho he (and his family) own the land-owning company in toto.
The IRS loves to come after these types of structures unless you have assiduously clean books, that all transactions happen at reasonably market-informed values (eg, you can’t rent your land out of the land rental company to the farming company at $10/acre/year - it has to be a real lease at realistic, reasonable rents for the locale), and the salaries paid to the officers and employees of all these corporations must be reasonable and market-based.
The amount of paperwork to pull this off is tremendous. Instead of filing two tax returns (eg, one for a LLC or S-corp that does everything, and then your own personal 1040), you now have to file one return for every corporation, you have to file your own 1040, and you must maintain books for every organization individually, with individual bank accounts and no co-mingling of cash, incomes/debts/costs or assets. Everything has to have a real boundary to it.
I’ve looked into this in the past, and ended up not going this route for our farm in the last because the amount of paperwork would keep me tied up for at least two months every year.
“Option 7: then, so the employees don’t get stuck in a public plan, couldn’t they sign up for a medical sharing ministry? I think there are three of them in the United States-— Medi-Share, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Samaritan Ministries International-— which are grandfathered in and exempted under law.”
If your grandfathering works the same as in South Africa, it would apply only to existing members and would allow for no change in benefits. New members would not be admitted under the “grandfather” terms, and existing members would not be allowed plan changes, assuming that the option exists.
Great analysis. Are you sure you aren’t a business owner? LOL!
If you look at page 148 of PPACA (section 1501), in defining what constitutes a health care sharing ministry, it states:
(ii) HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRY.The term health care sharing ministry means an organization
(I) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a),
(II) members of which share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed,
(III) members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition,
(IV) which (or a predecessor of which) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1999, and medical expenses of its members have been shared continuously and without interruption since at least December 31, 1999, and (emphasis mine)
(V) which conducts an annual audit which is performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and which is made available to the public upon request."
This "predecessor of which" is the reason for my hope in a Catholic Health Share Plan. If it takes off though, I fear Obama would use executive order or some authority granted to HHS under PPACA to make Catholics ineligible for health sharing.