The first thing to note is that this is not a First Amendment case. The Supreme Court did not find the mandate unconstitutional. Instead the Court found that, as applied to closely held family owned companies, the mandate did not meet the requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of1993, which passed Congress with a nearly unanimous vote in both chambers. However, in 1997 the Court found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional in its application to state laws.

The law on which this decision is based requires that when a person's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a law of general applicability, the government may impose that burden only when it can show a compelling interest and then only by using the least restrictive available means. However, this requirement can only be applied to federal laws and not to state laws by the 1997 decision.

That last wrinkle will turn out to be important in this case since twenty-eight states have a contraception coverage mandate in their state insurance laws or regulations. Ordinarily a Court decision of this type would automatically invalidate those laws, but not in this instance where the decision is based on a law that can only apply to federal statutes.

Will Hobby Lobby have to sue in twenty-eight states? It's not clear at all what the implication of this decision will be for state mandates.

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Already the decision is prompting others to demand concessions that would exempt them from laws of general application. This was a bad decision that is getting worse.

So DO people who are offered health insurance through their employer, have the option to reject that health insurance and buy the insurance available through the govt instead? 

And, are companies entitled to NOT offer health insurance to their employees?

Maybe the appropriate answer to Hobby Lobby is "OK, if you can't accept the legal standards for health insurance, you can't offer health insurance to your employees". 

Not every employer offers health insurance to their employees...in all my adult life I have only worked for one company that did...JCPenney Co...   Most of my employers were not large enough to have group insurance policies....

The only other large company I ever worked for was Holiday On Ice, and we were bloody lucky to have workers comp for injuries sustained on the ice.  BFD.  I sprained my ankle so badly that they sent me home, but since it did not happen during a rehearsal or a performance, I had to pay my own bills, and my doctor here at home was outraged....he said the ER should have put my ankle in a cast before they sent me to the airport..

Somebody brought up a pertinent subject...we do not expect our employers to provide homeowners, auto, or other forms of insurance.  JCP did offer life insurance, but it was expensive, and few of us opted for it.  The premiums for all the medical and life insurance were deducted from our paychecks...it was NOT a gift, or even considered part of our compensation.  AND we had to be employed by JCP for two years before we were eligible. 

After I left that company, they forced everyone to join an HMO....total disaster, especially when all the guys in my department started coming down with AIDS.  Nobody wanted to treat them at all, and they all died.

Sounds like Hobby Lobby should be told they can't offer health insurance, since they have moral objections to health insurance that meets the legal requirements. 

I agree with you fully on that one, Luara. The thing is, HL doesn't do the insurance anyway. It may be contracted through them so the employees get a discount, but seldom do businesses do the actual insuring. To me, this makes their arguement very lame and it should have been thrown out of court.

Oh, I forgot! They may have enough money to influence elections. Now maybe we see what it is all about.

What I meant is, Hobby Lobby shouldn't buy a group insurance plan and offer it to their employees, since they have moral objections to it. 

With the Affordable Care Act, it's up to the employees to "shop around" for whatever plan suits their needs.  All these bigots hate any kind of government-administered health insurance.  They bitched and moaned about Medicare till they found they couldn't survive without it. 

They want us all to die ASAP so they can hire new employees at lower wages, or put them on part-time hours so they don't have to insure them at all.

My 40 years of working in small offices taught me never to depend on anybody but myself for medical, dental, and eye care.  (I've "only" been wearing reading glasses since 1947....before that my teachers thought I was retarded.) 

Medicare still only pays for glaucoma meds, cataract surgery, and a simple exam for retinopathy (for which there is no cure) for diabetics.  They don't give a rat's ass if a person needs a Guide Dog to get around town....you have to pay for that yourself.  Or your family does.

In many ways, the USA is rapidly sliding into 3rd World status...and very few people realize it.

So DO people who are offered health insurance through their employer, have the option to reject that health insurance and buy the insurance available through the govt instead?

According to this, the answer is NO:

Under ACA, if the cost to the employee for employer subsidized health insurance is less than 9.5% of household income this is called "affordable coverage."  When an employer offers this, the employee is not allowed to reject this insurance and purchase insurance through an exchange and get government subsidies

The employees certainly should have that right, if the company offers them health insurance that has been altered by religious beliefs. 

My response here is prior to the ACA. My company offered health insurance and you had the option to take or reject it. I took it and the cost for myself and my wife was $97 per week. I paid for both of us at the time. If we each paid individually the cost would have been $57 per week.

As far as I know you still are offered a similar insurance package and you have the option to take it or decline. The difference is that today under ACA you are required to have insurance. In the time I am writing about you were not. Companies are no longer required to carry insurance for you, but many do in order to attract workers.

Under the ACA if you pay for insurance yourself you can pay upwards of $300 to $450 for an individual package. One of my daughters is a nurse and she pays close to $300 or more, but I don't think she has the coverage that company insurance would be able to offer.

$97 a WEEK????!  That's outrageous! 

When I was working at JCPenney Advertising, in the early 1980s, our premiums (for a single person) were less than $8 a MONTH.  That was before the insurance companies went into the HMO business, raised the rates....and restricted the amount of care available. That happened after I quit the company to stay at home and take care of both my parents.  At that time JCP had thousands of employees, all paying into the Aetna pool.

As far as I know NO insurance company has ever lost a cent....  Like BofA and Wells Phartgo, they rake it in, but they charge their customers an arm and a leg for the privilege of being taken to the cleaners.

This country is totally corrupt....I hope there's a huge earthquake in Arlington today caused by all the REAL patriots spinning in their graves.

$97 a week was both of us. It was about $57 for one person and they paid about 80% of things with many things free, or cheap prescriptions like 80 cents. That was a small company with less than 100 employees a shift.

Today my wife has cheap insurance and works for a global company with 16 plants worldwide. Originally Cosgrove and Greaves, this company is now based in India.

As for me, my medicare at $107 a month has allowed me to have Coventry Gold Advantage with free prescriptions and $10 office visits. I'm also a card carrying veteran with $15 office visits and $8 prescriptions regardless of the medication. I probably have the best medical care of my life right now when I choose to use it. I'm not the man to go to the doctor often, but it's nice to have. Either one of the 2 plans I have meets the ACA standard.To qualify all I need is one.

In reality I was covered as a veteran even before I turned 65. That meant the ACA would never affect me at all.

I have a friend in DC who is a veteran from the Cold War era....he was a translator stationed at a listening post in Turkey when Gary Powers' U2 was shot down over Russia... and he is delighted with the care he receives from the VA....

I've never actually met him face-to-face, but we were exchanging e-mails several times a day for almost 15 years until recently.  Right now we are both so disgusted with the Roman Catholic SCOTUS, the TP Congress, and the  POTUS caving in to the "xian nation" screamers, that we have decided to cut back on our rants because we were depressing each other too much.

Anyroad, as long as I have been in touch with him, he has been in remission from cancer, thanks to the care he has received from the VA.  I think he has a very low co-pay on meds, and no co-pays for the radiation and chemo that he received before I "met" him on another Atheist forum in 2000.

The VA works!  So does Social Security, and Medicare...as much as they are allowed to.  BUT evey other civilized nation has single-payer health care...and the TP is trying their damndest to reduce us to a Third World country. 

I am no longer taking my diabetes meds, and am thinking about also quitting everything else.  At this moment, all I want to do is "leave the building" forever.  This is NOT the USA I grew up in, and was so proud of till the 1970s or '80s.  (Although I was having doubts by the time JFK was murdered.)

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