So, as I’m sure many of your Facebook news feeds are exploding in outrage about the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Decision today, I thought I’d join the crowd – kind of. If you haven’t guessed it yet (although I’m not sure how many clues have made it onto this blog yet), I’m very much a (centrist) Republican. And, as I’m sure you can deduce, I’m very not in favor of Obamacare – before you jump down my throats, yes, it is a great idea to help people get health care, but I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for how to pay for it. Need further proof that it’s NOT actually affordable for businesses? My little sister and her boyfriend used to work in the fast food industry while going to community college – they had the option to either work hours that conflicted with their class schedule or get no hours, because all the full time staff had be either laid off or switched to part time so the company wouldn’t have to pay for insurance. Think fast food restaurants are a totally shit example? Me too. Try this one:
My mother is a pharmacist. She has multiple college degrees. She worked in a local compounding pharmacy – a family operated small business. Because of the rising insurance costs, the owners were no longer able to pay for the insurance for 98% of their non family employees – my mom, another pharmacist, and several pharmacy technicians were laid off. It did not just happen at the one small family business. It happened at the pharmacies in both hospital groups in the region, several national chains, and three other small business pharmacies. Why? Because the rising costs for Obamacare requirements are NOT affordable.
Now, before I get into the main reasons why I support the Hobby Lobby Decision, I’d like to qualify some of my statements. Please do not think that this is me criticizing Obamacare to the point of saying it does no good. It has actually done an incredible amount of good for quite a large number of people throughout the country. The disability requirements allowed my older sister to have access to a much better Bipolar Disorder medication that she couldn’t afford otherwise – but if it wasn’t for her disability status and medicaid she wouldn’t be able to afford Obamacare, or any other insurance plans, anyway. I also included the “(centrist)” comment because I really, really, really hate to be considered as a member of the Tea Party. It’s not that, like, “hate”, the Tea Party, exactly. I just feel that some of the more publicly well known members are not representing the entirety of the Republican Party in the best way. Granted, that’s a problem with silent majorities, but still, it’s not something I’m really all that happy about. So, on to the reasons why I support the SCOTUS decision today.
First off, I was inspired to blog about this topic after seeing several angry Facebook posts (and a few funny ones), and this article from Townhall. Mainly, I was intrigued by how many of my extremely educated and generally open minded friends (mostly democrats from WM) didn’t bother to read the entirety of the issues – Hobby Lobby’s reasons for appealing all the way to the Supreme Court. No, it was not to screw with women’s birth control, to keep women from using birth control, or to remove contraceptives from their employee’s health care plans completely. Actually, Hobby Lobby provides 16 of the 20 types of contraceptive required by the mandate (don’t believe me? Read this or the already linked Townhall article), they just have religious issues with 4.
So, I’ll start off by saying simply that I would rather have SCOTUS ruling in favor of religious freedom than allowing the federal government to continue telling business owners what they must pay for. I personally do not believe that the government has the right to require anyone to buy anything – but that doesn’t stop them from doing it. So, the fact that SCOTUS ruled in favor of the religious beliefs held by the company owners – which allowed them to not provide contraceptive services that are fundamentally against their beliefs – is a step in the right direction in protecting the basic freedoms provided to us by the Constitution. The company’s decision not to provide these specific types of contraception for their employees is also not banning them completely, or preventing women from taking them, it is simply the company making the decision not to pay for them. While yes, I realize that they may keep employees from being able to afford those specific types, in my opinion it is not the responsibility of the company to pay for contraceptive services – something that has continually be argued as a “woman’s choice” to decide to use. The fact that it is exactly that – a choice – for me causes this to fall under an optional medical procedure/medication.
I will qualify that by stating that yes, I have taking birth control pills for several years, although currently I do not take them. No, they were not because I was having unprotected sex – or protected sex, for that matter. I happen to have several medical conditions that cause certain things to either not happen or happen way too much. To regulate hormones and prevent cyst ruptures, I was prescribed birth control pills. If this is the case, then I think that it is fully the responsibility of the company provided insurance to cover it – especially since there really aren’t any other ways to treat ovarian cyst syndrome. However, the 4 contraceptives that Hobby Lobby did not want to provide did not fall under this category.
I also do not think that this case will create a huge precedent banning birth control in many companies based on religious beliefs. This specific decision didn’t even actually ban anything. It simply upheld the religious freedom rights of the Hobby Lobby company owners, rather than forcing them to provide optional medical care that went against their beliefs. If anything, it provides a minor precedent that will find future cases in favor of limiting the federal governments abilities to force the private sector to purchase specific health care options for their employees.
Well, that’s the end of my politically minded post (I did warn you I had a longer post in the works, haha). I’m very open to any opposing or supporting comments and opinions, so please comment or send me a message if you’d like to discuss this matter further! 😀 I love hearing from my followers and readers out in internet land. Now, I have to double check all of my packing and then head to bed – early morning for the long drive to Alabama tomorrow!!!