Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
The Hobby Lobby decision. You’ve heard a lot about it on the Internet. What is it?
The Problem with Obamacare and Hobby Lobby
The Affordable Health Care Act says companies must provide their employees health insurance that includes certain contraceptives for women.
Hobby Lobby is owned by a group of Christians, who said that paying for these types of contraception violates their religious beliefs.
First of all, they don’t pay for contraception, they pay the insurance company premiums and the insurance company pays for contraception, but whatever. I’ll save argument dissection for later.
The case made it to the supreme court, who ruled that no, the ACA could not force Hobby Lobby to provide these types of contraception.
I’ll start with a mitigating circumstance. Hobby Lobby does still provide 16 types of contraceptives, including birth control pills, implantable rods and female sterilization surgery.
What they don’t provide are so-called “morning after” pills and IUDs, the reason being that they think these contraceptives kill babies because life begins at fertilization.
Just to clarify: that’s THEIR belief. Does not necessarily reflect mine.
The Problem with the Supreme Court Decision
Now let’s start dissecting the problems.
SCOTUS ruled Hobby Lobby couldn’t be forced to provide these contraceptives as they violated “closely held” religious beliefs on the part of the corporation.
“Closely held” beliefs? Hobby Lobby invests in contraception companies for its retirement plan and those companies provide these contraceptives. So clearly they can’t have THAT big a problem with it.
So they’re totally fine with making money off these contraceptives, just as long as nobody who works for the company is having them.
But pay attention to that phrase: “closely held” religious beliefs on the part of the corporation.
On the part of the corporation.
On the part of the corporation.
I’m sorry, the corporation doesn’t hold religious beliefs. It doesn’t. This is symptomatic of Citizen’s United, I know, but it’s still BS.
Those religous beliefs belong to the CEO and executives of Hobby Lobby, and THEY wouldn’t be the ones spending money on the contraceptives—the corporation would.
See, the way a company works is the employees work and bring in money, and then the financial department distributes that money to payroll and overhead, such as insurance.
It’s tempting to think simplistically and say that Hobby Lobby just wants its employees to pay for these contraceptives with their own money, but the money going into their health insurance IS their own money. It’s part of the compensation they agreed to when they signed up for the company and the company doesn’t get to tell them how to spend their paycheck, does it?
The Biggest Problem of the Hobby Lobby Case
That brings us to maybe the most troubling part of the SCOTUS decision.
Lots of people have been up in arms about what this could mean in the future, that Christian Science CEOs could forbid their employees from blood transfusions or…any medical care, really.
Or that Muslim CEOs could forbid their employees to be swabbed with alcohol before an injection or procedure, which is definitely a stretch, but you see where we’re going with this.
But while everyone’s focused on how that COULD happen in the future, I’m more disturbed that it DIDN’T happen now.
Because when government passes laws concerning religion, such as tax exemption or religious displays in schools, they’ve tended to use a one-size fits all approach. In other words, every religion follows the same general rules.
That hasn’t happened here. What’s happened is that the Supreme Court has said that only Christian CEOs have the right to forbid their employees from taking advantage of a health insurance feature that those CEOs disagree with.
Yes, I’m worried about the fact that in the future all CEOs could control their employees’ lives based on religion, but I’m more worried about the fact that the Supreme Court just told us that ONLY Christian CEOs can do that. For now.
Sorry for a depressing post, Rebels. Tomorrow I want to talk about something happy, so why don’t you give me some ideas in the comments.
I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.