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Selling Stencils and Playing Doctor

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that Hobby Lobby will no longer be forced to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees due to their religious objections.  Specifically, Hobby Lobby’s case targeted birth control that they considered to be abortifacients that would cause a miscarriage or abortion in an already pregnant woman.  Plan B and Ella, both emergency contraceptives that simply prevent implantation and do NOT cause abortions, are being blocked.  Two IUDs are also being blocked due to the misinformation that they too cause abortions.  The internet has exploded with Hobby Lobby’s supporters and opponents attacking each other with spit and venom.  The decision has been called both a victory for religious freedom and an attack on the freedoms of us all.

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Hobby Lobby’s website, in response to the question “Is Hobby Lobby imposing the religious views of its owners on its employees,” states:

Of course not.  The Greens and their family businesses support the individual liberties of all their employees.  The very notion turns the facts and the law on its head.  In fact, it is the federal mandate that violates the deeply held religious beliefs of the Greens by forcing them to violate the law or violate their belief that life begins at conception – a choice no company should have to make.  And by threatening extensive fines, the mandate would place a substantial burden on the Greens’ practice of their faith under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That’s why a federal appeals court ruled in their favor. Meanwhile, Hobby Lobby offers coverage for 16 of 20 drugs and devices included in the mandate in its health plan, and the four objectionable drugs and devices are widely available and affordable, and employees are free to obtain them.

There is obviously no law that is forcing any business to offer health care coverage that would include abortions.  The four birth control methods in question do not cause abortions to occur and seriously toe the line on when life is actually created.  To the woman using them, the IUDs are no different from any other birth control method.  Plan B and Ella are fantastic options for couples who experience an emergency such as a broken condom, or even a woman who was sexually assaulted and wants to ensure that no child results from the involuntary union.  It’s unfair to say that any woman who has used any of the four methods in question has potentially received a number of abortions.  It’s incorrect to compare the two.  Preventing implantation and removing a fetus are two VERY different things.

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The biggest issue for me here is that the Supreme Court just allowed a company to make a health care decision for their employees.  Hobby Lobby is not directly handing money over to their employees per request for doctor visits and medications, but using United Healthcare (I believe) to provide coverage.  Their religious beliefs should not be allowed to have this long of a reach, and certainly should not be reaching into the health and well being of their employees.  The life begins at conception argument is a fine argument to make, but it’s not right for the religious standing of the people on top to affect the type of care that every single woman on the bottom will receive from their doctor at a reasonable or at no cost.

I’m worried about what this decision will mean for the future.  If a gay couple adopts and requests maternity leave, can that be denied due to religious objections to homosexuality?  Can an employer decide that no medications will be covered due to their religious belief that medicinal healing goes against their God’s will?  Those seem like ridiculous notions, but then again I thought that it was ridiculous for Hobby Lobby to object to those four “evil” forms of birth control.  And here we are.  God trumps law.  God trumps employee rights.  God trumps insurance companies, doctors, and individuals unable to start their own business and play nicely with the people they employ.  Maybe I’m off base here but in my opinion, if I’m not having an abortion on company time and/or on company property, it is none of my employers goddamn business what I choose to do and certainly not their right to control the quality of my health care.

Please weigh in!  Leave your thoughts, knowledge, opinions, and rants in the comments section.

 

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on July 2, 2014, in Crazy People, Kids, Life, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Literally every single one of your questions in the last paragraph are things that companies have done prior to the PPACA legislation this case challenged, so all that really happened is we got a ruling that gave companies a way to maintain the status quo without directly violating the law.

    Companies have the power to fire you without cause in every single ridiculously named “Right to Work” state and they can impose fines and sanctions up to and including termination over facebook and twitter posts in the states that aren’t, why is anyone surprised that this ruling came about?

    It’s one thing to be surprised over Hobby Lobby’s hypocrisy in this case, but another thing entirely to be ignorant of just how much actual legal control employers have over your life.

    Sure, you can get a job somewhere else and roll the dice on whether the owners are more or less of a bunch of shit covered dickheads, but odds are you’ll be in the same situation no matter where you go.

    • I suppose I’m just shocked that HL is actually able to dictate the type of health care they provide in such a specific way. Maybe it is ignorance, but I didn’t think that any company of that size could do that. I’m used to hearing the usuals: no cosmetic surgery allowed, emergency vision visits only, etc. I have not once ever heard about a company being able to say that their employees cannot have a specific thing covered by their health insurance because of religious objections. I honestly didn’t realize they had control over that. My assumption was that they needed to provide a certain level of healthcare through a company that was reasonably affordable to their employees. I get the whole employment at will nonsense; we just lost someone in my office due to something on Facebook so I’ve only recently seen how easily employment can be terminated. But this is a whole new world for me. It’s the main reason I posted this. The news articles I’ve been reading haven’t helped much, and all I get on Twitter is argumentative crap.

      • Hobby Lobby’s own “About Us” page on their website claims that they are a major private corporation with 573 stores. They’re fairly huge, ranking in the same neighborhood as companies like Burger King and AMC Entertainment. Burger King brought in 2.38 Billion in 2011, AMC brought in 2.42 Billion and Hobby Lobby brought in 2.28 Billion (all according to Forbes).

        The closest comparative company is Bose (you know, wave radios and noise cancelling headsets and other electronics), who also brought in 2.28 Billion in 2011.

        Point is, Hobby Lobby is not some small family business.

        Prior to “Obamacare”, employers could get whatever health insurance plan they wanted, with whatever coverage exemptions they wanted (to say nothing of all the “pre-existing condition” loopholes insurance companies enjoyed). The downside to PPACA’s “no more pre-existing conditions”, “all policies must cover x areas with a minimum of y benefit” and “no more policy terminations for benefit usage” is that everyone is required to buy in and insurance companies are still allowed to charge as much as they want for a policy.

        Keep in mind that “Obamacare” really hasn’t gone into full effect yet, either. This case was just a challenge to the law before the actual implementation went into effect, and now companies have basically been given the go-ahead to ignore it so long as they can make religion-based claims for the denial of insurance.

        At least the owner of Papa John’s was honest and said he didn’t want to have to provide coverage for employees because it would raise the price of every pizza by $.05.

  2. Its about freedom. Freedom sucks. If you want freedom, it hurts. The employees are free to go work for another company. The employees are free to buy their own birth control. The employees are free to start their own companies and provide whatever health insurance they think matters to their employees. But the employer, is enslaved. They are enslaved to provide whatever health insurance the mob wants. I encourage all employers who are forced to provide any particular type of benefit to liquidate. I think at the moment their freedoms are talen away, they should close all of their branches, lay off all of their employees, cash out, and retire to Bermuda. The company owner could quit and retire on ten million dollars whenever they want. At 9:43am tomorrow Hobby Lobby owners could pack it up and live out the rest of their days on Mimosas and disapearing edge pools. Or they could continue to provide thousands of jobs and benefits and economic support. So, do we pass laws to encourage businesses to shut down, which they are entirely within their right amd freedom to do and there is no law that could FORCE someone to run a business….or do we let everyone live in freedom……………..and accept that we are not always going to like what freedom means for certain people. Dont forget, what YOU would define as freedom…is slavery to others. Do we choose a society where 51% chooses what freedom means to the other 49% or do we choose a society where 100% of people choose what freedom means to themselves. There is a 50/50 chance, if we choose the former, you could be on the enslaved side of that equation.

  3. You are correct about the quality of your healthcare not being your employer’s business. I would say it isn’t the government’s business either. The government makes companies pay for our healthcare because we ourselves and our government can not and/or will not do so. If it is not anyone else’s business what our healthcare quality is to be, then we should not expect anyone to be be responsible for that healthcare. Thank you for your consideration.

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