Within weeks we will have a decision on a Supreme Court case that could destroy the entire employer provided healthcare system we have created. I am not opposed to destroying the current system if we are finally going to accept that we should adopt a national single payer system. Since many politicians are too afraid to talk about a single payer system, we will have to live within the system we have.
What would you do if your boss told you that your son’s immunization shot was no longer covered by the company health insurance policy?
You would probably say, “That is outrageous that would never happen!”
It has not happened, yet, that does not mean it will not happen.
What if your employer told you that the company healthcare policy no longer covered your ortho-tri-cyclen, otherwise known as birth control?
Suddenly these examples seem factual. Hobby Lobby took their case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States arguing that because the owner of the corporation is an ultra-religious evangelical — who is adamant against any form of birth control– arguing they should not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act mandate for employer based insurance plans to fully cover birth control.
This is a continuation that “corporations are people,” now corporations can have religions too!
Churches have already been excluded from this mandate based on religious beliefs, though I disagree with that ruling too. The church is not giving the people birth control, or any other medications. They are paying a market-based fee to cover the medical costs of their employee. They are not paying for individual services, and therefore should not be allowed to dictate what is covered by the policy.
The same applies to Hobby Lobby. They are not paying for specific services, and should not be allowed to dictate what is covered.
There are also the obvious arguments that just because you work for Hobby Lobby does not mean you support the same evangelical beliefs as the owners. Does your employer’s religion dictate what you believe too?
The real question is would we be truly having this argument if the owners of Hobby Lobby were Satanists, or Wiccan?
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, then your employer could say they will not pay for a doctor, unless you are seen by a wiccan medicine man first.
The fact is that a corporation does not have a religion. Only people can choose to have religion. You, as my employer, have no right to force your religious beliefs on me that is my “freedom of religion.”
The Supreme Court ruling will come down to who has more freedom, the corporation that has no soul and is made legal documents, or the employee who has the free will to choose what or if they want to be religious in any way.
We should know more by the end of the week. Stay tuned!
Matt Murray is founder of the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message, and oversees the NH Labor News Facebook page. Follow @NHLabor_News on Twitter.
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