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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Supreme Court Ruled in Favor of Hobby Lobby; Fallout Follows



Just when you thought the ‘worst’ of the ‘Obamacare’ problems were over, something new seems to pop up; the dust never really seems to fully settle on this hot topic. Birth control, which is a hot topic in itself, was specifically included in the Affordable Health care Act and was supposed to be covered 100% by health insurance companies. Not surprisingly, not everybody agreed with providing birth control to women.

Hobby Lobby was perhaps the loudest spoken in regards to how they felt about being forced to provide birth control to women. Hobby Lobby owners felt so strongly about the issue that they decided to take it to the Supreme Court, the lawsuit is formally referred to as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. In the lawsuit, Hobby Lobby states the business is managed on Christian principles, so for them to be forced to purchase health insurance that supplies birth control to their female employees their religious freedoms are being violated. And, on July 7, 2014, the Supreme Court with a 5-4 ruling, determined that any corporations that are being run by religious families couldn’t be forced to pay for insurance that includes contraception for their female employees.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the majority decision, stated that the ruling had a limited scope. If you were to read the decision, you would see that it only applies to “closely-held’ for profit corporations that run their businesses on religious principles. He firmly believes that forcing these types of corporations to pay for contraception coverage puts a huge burden on their religious freedoms. And, we all know that under the Affordable Healthcare Act companies who fail to provide adequate coverage will be fined; Hobby Lobby was looking at around $475 million each year for not providing contraception coverage. While Justice Alito accepted that the government had a reason for providing women with birth control he felt there were better ways to provide that coverage than having a company have to violate its religious principles. One such way according to him was to have the government pay for it.

Now as you might have noticed the ruling was a close one, but the dissent led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg brought out a few arguments that most of us have probably not even considered. One such thing she brought up was how this ruling “invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.” She even mentioned how important contraception coverage was to a woman’s health, as well as to her reproduction freedom. Even the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said, “women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them.”

The Affordable Health Care Act requires employers to provide their female employees with insurance coverage that will cover several methods of birth control. What is interesting to note is that Hobby Lobby did not object to covering all methods of birth control, they simply objected to covering morning-after pills and IUDs. Their reasoning is these methods are just like abortions.

So, while Hobby Lobby doesn’t object to all forms of birth control what is to stop other companies to objecting to the other forms? And, honestly what is going to stop other closely held corporations from filing similar lawsuits, but ones that affect far more SERIOUS health conditions. For example, if an active Jew ran a closely held corporation, what is to stop them from saying any medications that are derived from pigs (gelatin coated pills, IV fluids, and anesthesia) will not be covered.
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