The roll out of the Affordable Care Act has been flawless, save for the countless attempts at repeal by Republicans since 2010, the failed launch of the online market in October and weaker than anticipated enrollment among all groups as of the enrollment deadline.
As if that wasn’t enough, the law is now being challenged once again in the Supreme Court.
This time, opposition to the law is being mounted by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties. Both are citing religious convictions for their resistance to providing emergency contraceptives, like Plan B, Ella and two types of intrauterine devices, to its employees under the new law. Similar suits against the bill have been filed by at least 71 other companies, according to Mother Jones.
Hobby Lobby has filed suit against former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius arguing that providing contraceptives to its employees via insurance coverage goes against the Christian principles that the owners of the company hold.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, the decision would not only set a precedent for companies to challenge an array of legal restrictions based on religious discretion, but allow the company to effectively treat its female employees differently than its male employees by giving men access to all their healthcare needs while limiting women’s. A person’s gender should not determine whether they have access to their health care needs.
Previously, not-for-profit employers with religious affiliations, such as hospitals, churches and some universities, have been excluded from having to provide coverage for contraception.
The Supreme Court must look at the purpose of each group to make its decision. For example, a non-profit religious group wants to promote the values it supports so making these groups pay for medical care that goes against its values is wrong.
However, making a company whose only motive is to make a profit pay for medical care its employees may need or want does not infringe the companies rights.
When someone is hired they are entering a purely economic relationship with that company. Employees are there to earn a paycheck, not be taught the Bible.
Capitalism is about money, not trying to make decisions based on religion. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are clearly capitalistic entities and should stick to trying to improve their profits.
The Supreme Court should realize this, and side with the Department of Health and Human Services based purely on these capitalistic principles. If there is one thing that the Supreme Court loves more than religious freedom it’s money.
Follow me on Twitter @christopholiva