…At least, that seems to be the ruling of a Federal court in Oklahoma, which held that the owners of Hobby Lobby don’t have to provide health care coverage to their employees if it may include nasty things the employer doesn’t like, such as abortions.
Yes, that’s right. Your employer gets to decide health care decisions for you.
This has been framed as a 1st amendment Freedom of Religion argument, but apparently the court only cares about the employer’s religion and not that of the employee.
Could be worse, I suppose. If he was one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses who thinks that you can pray away disease, then you wouldn’t get any coverage whatsoever according to this opinion.
I guess if a business owner didn’t like, I dunno, kidney stones, then those wouldn’t be covered either. Oh, right, only religious reasons allow an employer to discriminate like this.
Let’s see — I seem to remember a Constitutional amendment that prohibited that sort of thing.
This is an absolutely ridiculous decision. Hobby Lobby is not a religious organization; it’s a for-profit business. A business owner should not have the right to decide health care decisions for his or her employees. This is not comparable to a church, for instance, being forced to disobey its beliefs.
Should I, as a business owner, be allowed to force my beliefs on my employees? What if my religion believes women should wear burkas and never speak? Should I make all my female employees wear burkas?
The Court apparently believes employers have powers to ignore laws they don’t like. “If you work here, you have to live by my beliefs, not yours. Don’t like it? Tough!” I think we should say to business owners, “These are people who work for you, who have the right to make their own decisions about health care. You will give them the option, because this is America where we value individual decisions. Don’t like it? Tough!”
Your religion does not give you the right to disobey the law. There are Jamaican religions that believe in smoking marijuana during their ceremonies — tough, that’s illegal. Animal cruelty in the name of religion is illegal. Refusing to give your child medicine in the name of religion is illegal. Religions shouldn’t be exempt from the law just because they “really really believe” something. That’s not what America is about.
Look, if you start a business in America, we expect certain things from you. You have to pay a minimum wage; you have to have a safe working environment; you have to pay business taxes; you have to pay for worker’s compensation; you have to provide health care. Keep in mind that your employees may decide to use their money or benefits to do things you personally disagree with. Don’t like it? Tough. Don’t open a business.
If you don’t like the fact that we have freedom from religion in America, then maybe you should open a business somewhere else, like Iran. I understand they have no problem with you forcing religion on people who work for you.