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a few words on health insurance

For once, I'll post about something that matters outside of my small world.

Hobby Lobby (and some other companies) filed a lawsuit a while back, saying that as a Christian company they shouldn't be forced to provide certain types of contraception (anything they interpret as being abortion rather than contraception).

I think there's a big difference between being required to provide employees with health insurance*, and forcing someone to use a particular form of contraception.

Some people have religious objections to blood transfusions or to other treatments.  But even if they have employer-provided (or individually-purchased) health insurance, they're not required to get blood transfusions.  It is the individual's decision.  Health insurance may cover contraception, but that doesn't mean we're all required to run out and get morning-after pills.

To me, it seems this isn't about freedom of religion:  it's about imposing one's religion on others.  Companies who want to restrict their health insurance obligation are passing those restrictions on to their employees - regardless of the employees' personal beliefs.

So it comes down to whether the company has the right to enforce a specific set of religious beliefs on all their employees.  If they do, then that is how it should be stated, so employees know what they're getting in to.  Of course, in theory people have the option to just not work there if they disagree, but in reality sometimes you just need a job.  If you're doing a good job, then your personal beliefs - and your personal health - shouldn't be anyone else's concern.

Are they legally in the right?  I don't know...just because I object to something and just because I have a logical-to-me argument against it doesn't mean the laws will be interpreted in that way.  We shall see.

For my part, I haven't shopped at Hobby Lobby in months, and I'll continue to avoid them.  That's of minimal impact, but it's a way of stating an opinion.  (Although I feel like I should, I don't do this for all companies/groups I have issues with.  I'd like to attempt it sometime.)

* (Ideally, I'd prefer a single-payer system for some basic level of health insurance, because the people who need it most are the people who are too sick to work.  Anyway, employer-provided health insurance originated as a perk that a company could decide to provide to lure in good people; requiring employers to shoulder the cost of what should be a basic human right in any developed country just doesn't seem right.  I'm nowhere near rich, but I would happily pay more taxes to guarantee everyone a basic level of health care; remove the obligation from employers and leave them with the option to provide above-basic health insurance packages as a perk if they wish.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
You only think this way because you are sensible. (Seriously, this is an excellent analysis. Thank you.)
Nov. 27th, 2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Yup, stopped shopping at Hobby Lobby.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.



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