Today, the Supreme Court struck down the contraception mandate portion of Obamacare. Known as the “Hobby Lobby” case, named after a Christian craft chain store where the Obamacare stipulation that employers must cover birth control was legally challenged on a religious freedom basis, the 5-4 decision has deep effects for future legislation.
First and foremost—it’s a stunning blow to Obamacare. Finally, the Supreme Court realizes that Obamacare has too many mandates that the government simply can’t make of people.
Second—it’s a stunning victory for the First Amendment.
By insisting that employers cover birth control despite their personal or religious beliefs, Congress (with a party-line Democrat vote on Obamacare) was violating the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
By the way, it was Congress’s law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that the Supreme Court based their decision off of. Sounds like something passed by a bunch of crazy right-wing Republicans, right?
What this law basically says is that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion.
That was said by the president who signed the bill into law: Bill Clinton, in 1993, where the law was introduced by Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY (who is outraged by the Hobby Lobby decision) and unanimously by a Democrat House and 97-3 in a Democrat Senate.
Same situation as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell—Democrats passed a law under Clinton, were totally fine with it, the Supreme Court rules on it later, Democrats pretend like that never happened.
Third—it’s a victory for small businesses.
Employers are simply not required to provide health insurance to begin with, so requiring them to cover health insurance AND then requiring what kind of health insurance they have to cover down to individual medications, is many, many steps too far.
Everyone from Seth Rogen to Barbara Boxer is pushing the meme that “WELL, they still cover VIAGRA, don’t they? VASECTOMIES too? Clearly, Hobby Lobby hates women!” which goes to show that few people have any idea how the body actually works (also, I just caused you to imagine an unlikely and uncomfortable coupling):
First and foremost, Viagra (and other erectile-dysfunction drugs and treatments) aren’t widely covered by insurance. That’s one reason why a large online market for inexpensive purchases of the drugs exist. Second, as anyone who gives a moment’s thought about the subject would realize, such drugs would be appropriate to help empower natural procreation, which isn’t against anyone’s religion.
So why does the government require that companies cover birth control and not erectile dysfunction drugs?
Birth control is not dialysis. It’s $9 a month at Target. It’s intrusive to require employers to cover such a personal product.
In fact, the ruling in regards to Hobby Lobby and not paying for birth control doesn’t even affect the birth control you normally think of:
It doesn’t affect:
• Most birth control pills
It does affect:
• Plan B “morning-after pill”
• Ella “morning-after pill”
• Hormonal and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs)
By the way—morning-after pills are available over the counter, so Obamacare’s requirement that insurance covers those is like requiring that they cover Claritin or Vicks.
The objection that Hobby Lobby wants to “go into an employee’s bedroom” or “come between her an her doctor” is exactly what Hobby Lobby is NOT doing.
The lawyer for Hobby Lobby raises an important point:
Hobby Lobby would love to stay out of this, and leave this decision to a woman and her doctor. It’s the federal government that told them that they had to be involved and cover these things, even though they violated the Green family’s faith.
The major problem is this: as soon as everyone heard “Hobby Lobby”, “Christian”, and “birth control” the meme became “Hobby Lobby is anti-sex”. That’s how something as stupid as “well, they cover Viagra right? And not birth control? Hobby Lobby hates women!” came to pass.
It says a lot about the Supreme Court that this decision was a slim 5-4 vote. It’s a good thing they judged on the right side of that razor.