Hobby Lobby: We Don’t Want to Cover the Morning-After Pill for Our Employees

The evangelical Christian owner of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain says he doesn’t want his employees’ health insurance to cover certain kinds of birth control because… I guess he figures they can just make their own using the store’s products?

CEO David Green and his family actually filed a federal lawsuit (PDF) yesterday against the government to get out of paying for comprehensive health insurance:

The [health care] Mandate illegally and unconstitutionally coerces the Green family to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines, penalties, and lawsuits. The Mandate also forces the Green family to facilitate government-dictated speech incompatible with their own speech and religious beliefs. Having to pay fines for the privilege of practicing one’s religion or controlling one’s own speech is alien to our American traditions of individual liberty, religious tolerance, and limited government…

The lawsuit later says the family doesn’t oppose all forms of birth control — only the abortion-causing ones. Like the morning-after pill. Which doesn’t cause abortions.

Keep in mind this isn’t a church. This is a company with over 13,000 employees, many of whom presumably don’t have the same religious beliefs as the owners. (It’s not like they have to sign a statement of faith to work there.) But that doesn’t matter to the Green family. Because they obviously know what’s best for all the women they employ.

For a company that claims in the lawsuit to care so much about their employees, it’s apparent that letting them live their own lives as they see fit is not a value the Greens hold in high esteem.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Cue the right wingers screaming about how a distant bureaucrat got in between a person and their health care.  

    (Sounds of crickets….)

    Oh, I forgot.  This time they agree with the bureaucrat and therefor it’s ok.   So when is HobbyLobby going to set up death panels?

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    Here’s the elephant in the room: no one is forcing them to provide health coverage for their employees. If they don’t want to play by the rules, they can always just get out of the game. 

    • MJS

      Aren’t full time employees required to be covered by their employers by federal law, including the new PPACA?

    • amycas

       Only small businesses aren’t required. This is a chain store with thousands of employees (both part and full time), they are required.

      • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

        I stand corrected.

    • Stev84

      No one is forcing them to provide any kind of medication. It’s not like employees walk into the boss’s office to collect their prescriptions. They are merely providing insurance and never even learn what exactly it is used for. So claiming that their so-called “religious beliefs” are violated is beyond absurd.

      • fifthoffive

         I never thought of it that way.  Excellent point about the wages. Why aren’t the Greens squealing because some employees use their wages to buy alcohol, go out dancing, gamble, or give money to their temple, mosque, or humanist organization?  The wages come from the same source as the health insurance benefits – the profits from the stores.  Seems to me the Greens are already bankrolling their employees’ sinful lives.

    • William Snedden

      Unfortunately, I think due to their size, they are obligated by law to provide some type of insurance coverage…

      • Stev84

        The only thing they might get away with is denying coverage of prescription drugs altogether. But they can’t pick and choose which drugs to cover specifically.

      • rx7ward

         Why do you consider that to be unfortunate? Also, the new ACA law will not obligate them to provide insurance coverage; rather, it will fine them if they don’t (and then use that money to provide insurance to those employees). Not *quite* the same thing …

  • http://profiles.google.com/sullivanjd Jason Sullivan

    Keep up what you are doing.  You make it easier for me decide where to shop.   Never been to a Hobby Lobby. Now I never will.

    • amycas

       I love crafting. And I always loved Hobby Lobby. I would shop at Michael’s, their competitor, but somehow I have feeling that Michael’s has the same kind of Christian backing.

      • Coyotenose

         I think I recall hearing that Michael’s ownership has a religious background, but the question is, do they inflict it on their employees?

        • Lorimakesquilts

          Michael’s is publicly traded, so I doubt they’re gonna try some of this nonsense.

  • Stev84

    They also constantly play Christian music in their stores. And like Dan Cathy, their owners give millions to theocrats, dominionists and far right “universities” like Liberty and Oral Roberts, or the Alliance Defense Fund.

    As for “caring for employees”. Employees apparently have to sign a statement that they won’t form unions.

    • ara

      as someone who’s seen Hobby Lobby second hand through the eyes of middle management, I can tell you they don’t give a shit about their employees.  My father in law was fired for refusing to follow orders from a new regional manager when he was told to start giving negative reviews to good workers who were nearing retirement age, because the new regional wanted to fire them before having to pay for their retirement.

      I tried to convince him to keep evidence and help the about-to-retire-but-now-terminated employees file discrimination lawsuits, but he refused…. :(

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

        Yup… good Christian values at work there.  Sickening.

      • ara

        I can also confirm (wanted to wait on this one) that Hobby Lobby has always covered birth control

  • alfaretta

    I think Hobby Lobby is pretty much a Bible Belt phenomenon, but I still wonder, since probably 75 – 80% of their customers are women, how this is going to affect their bottom line.

    • The Other Weirdo

       What do women customers have to do with the discussion in question, namely the company refusing to provide birth control for its employees.

      • Nena

        Women customers are likely to resist shopping at a store that discriminates against its women employees. Although, the women who shop at Hobby Lobby probably hold similar beliefs/misinformation as the owner, so there will probably be very little business lost.

        I buy my crafty stuff from JoAnn’s. :)

        • Atheist Amy

          “Although, the women who shop at Hobby Lobby probably hold similar beliefs/misinformation as the owner, so there will probably be very little business lost.”
          No, they just like crafts.  Are most people who eat at Chik-fil-A evangelical Christians?  No.

      • Baby_Raptor

        I’m a woman who used to shop at HL.

        I won’t now, since they think their refusal to believe facts and supposed right to dictate how others should live are more important than their employees’ rights.

        And I can assure you I won’t be the only one.

    • PJB863

      They’re not just in the bible belt – they’re in the Chicago area now too.

    • Ibis3

       Here’s hoping they get Chick-fill-A’d.

  • amycas

    I applied at Hobby Lobby a few years ago, and it did have a statement about the “values” of the company that were awfully Christian. I don’t remember having to sign though. They also had a special “church” reference right underneath employment references, but they said that was optional. Suffice it to say, I never got a job there.

  • Tainda

    They aren’t forcing him to take the morning after pill.  Having to provide for your employees has nothing to do with the CEO practicing his own religion.

  • 00001000_bit

    I still find it ridiculous that health care coverage is provided by the employer.  This is terrible for worker mobility – if you leave your job, you may have to change providers. I think health care should be organized so that you get what you want and your employer can contribute pre-tax money into the account without having to know any particulars about what you have.

    My employer can direct deposit my paycheck without having any say as to what type of bank account I have, the same should be for my health insurance. I procure the plan (aggregated and regulated at the state level, maybe) and provide a plan number to the employer that they can use to make contributions. If my plan has provisions for birth control, it is none of the employers business, any more than it is their business if I use my paycheck for it.

    This would eliminate all of these stupid religious objections, as well as make things easier for small business, all while giving workers more selection (as an employee of a small business, I often only have one or two plans from which to choose, as the providers need minimum participation to offer more.)

    • Stev84

      Yeah, it’s really silly and an historical artifact. During WWII wages were capped by the government, but not secondary benefits. So companies used fringe benefits to compete for scarce workers – that included health insurance. That proved to be very popular and was kept after the war.

      As a stopgap measure that wasn’t a bad thing to do, but it should have long since been replaced by a proper, universal healthcare system. There are tons of countries were employers cover part of the health insurance costs. But they don’t run the plans themselves. An employee merely picks an insurance company and the employer will pay a certain percentage of it.

      • WoodyTanaka

        It started as a historical issue, but it continues precisely because it hinders worker mobility.  The money class who runs this country like it that way so that the poor shlubs they employ don’t complain at the low wages and bad working conditions.  That’s why this system should be smashed.

    • Reginald Selkirk

       Yes, a single payer system would completely eliminate this issue. But GACK! Soshializm! No ken haz!

    • Verimius

      Good point, 8-bit.

      I’ve sometimes thought it would be a good idea to make it illegal for employers to provide health insurance. That would oblige patients to actually take an interest in how much their healthcare costs.

      “Doctor, are you sure this test is absolutely necessary?”

      • Eric D Red

        There’s a problem with that, exactly along the same lines as the benefit. 

        “Should I have that prenatal checkup that might catch a treatable problem, but will cost me $150, or do I just take a chance?”

        “Can we afford to bring in the fevered baby, or should we wait to 105 degrees?”

        In a recent trip to a US clinic (we were travelling) we saw a family scraping together a few dollars on this card, a little cash here, to get a child treated.  That child was clearly overdue.  He beyond lethargic, and should have been treated earlier.

        I’m not saying you don’t have a point, and overuse does need to be addressed, but not having the option, or having to choose between food and treatment leads to other problems.

        With our evil socialist system in Canada, you get the treatment you need.  That’s what most of the world does, in some form or another.

        • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

          I love the Canadian system. My wife is canadian and even her ultraconservative father would not change a thing about it.
          In past elections and during our own health care debacle it was nauseating how misrepresented the Canadian health care system was here in the states. 
          Conservatives that debated me at the time al would get the same offer: let’s call canadians at random off the white pages or the internet and ask them if they would switch their health care for our present system.

          Only once I convinced one of them to give my sister in law a call (whom I had no idea if she liked it or not) and she gave him a glowing report. It was worth to see his face after the call and the circular arguments he had to use to make that phone call disappear in a sea of misconceptions and lies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Buchy/542338898 James Buchy

             Many Americans are slaves to the notion that the “American Way” is ALWAYS the BEST way, in ANY endeavor. They just can’t wrap their heads around the notion that another nation does something better.

            • smrnda

               True, and America is always the best nation on earth ever and will be forever. Any attempt to provide a counterexample is met by accusations of lack of patriotism.

              In school, we’re forced to constantly assert the superiority of America and calls for evidence are usually not viewed very favorably.

            • Liberated Liberal

              My dad is one of those people, even though our entire family has been proving the contrary by being fucked in the ass by this country constantly in the last few years.  He has no clue, because he doesn’t want a clue.  This is a’Murka!  He’s a staunch republican, and if Bush said it’s true, it’s T.R.U.E.

              He is the one who has had to sell his home to pay nearly $80,000 for me in the last couple of years, because I don’t have health insurance to cover a few things that happened.  And he still doesn’t get it.  

              I wish I could make it clear enough how much I hate this country.  Words just don’t suffice.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7XRZYHIF7ELJTK34TWIMIJOJA Ex Patriot

            I totaly agree with you. I live in Europe and am on their health care system. While it is not perfect it beats what the U.S has by 1000%. You are lucky to live in a Canada. I had to move to Europe to have what I have, and what I have is wonderful, compared to what I would have had in the states

          • ReadsInTrees

            There is definitely misconceptions here about the Canadian health care system. No one can ever get a doctor appointment, when you go to the ER there is at least a three hour wait, no one can get any prescriptions that they need, old people are left to die in nursing homes…

            • Liberated Liberal

              Oh wait… You just described the U.S. system ;).   

              I honestly wish I were kidding.

              The biggest fear of most elderly is living to see the day they end up in nursing homes.  They are vile places and they are usually left in horrible conditions.  They are also devastatingly expensive.  My grandmother actually starved herself to death within her first few weeks, because she didn’t want to be miserable AND she didn’t want to see her entire life savings drained in just a few short months rather than go to her children.  Once again, not the slightest exaggeration.  

        • Idiot Eric

          Eric, Canada is and always will be socialist. It is not evil. It is Canada. Otherwise we would be doomed like America. Now you need to get out of my country as u r not worthy to be Canadian!

      • smrnda

         Yeah, because with a bunch of chronic health conditions that, without insurance, would cost me over $2000 a month to treat I might have *decided* not to be born with a disability. Or I could decide to die of brain-damaging seizures. Totally with you – having to pay my full health care costs would teach me a lot about personal responsibility :-)

        • Liberated Liberal

          I’m not sure I’ve disagreed with you anywhere yet :).

          I am incapable of getting healthcare .  I am unemployed (Thank you College Degree that will saddle me with debt for the rest of my life!).  I am being denied health insurance because I have PMS (I’m a woman!  How dare I have been born with a uterus!?).  I can’t get basic healthcare, go to the doctor when I’ve been sick for months, get joints popped back into place, have my splitting headache that’s been going on for months get checked out, etc., so for anyone to say that we should be responsible for our healthcare, so that we can be put in our place financially is sick.  Sorry Verimius, that was a douchebag thing to say and very insensitive for those of us who will probably end up with very serious medical consequences because we literally cannot afford to get checkups or be seen for “normal” things. Fuck you.

          We KNOW how much healthcare fucking costs.  Even people WITH insurance are forced to pay quite a lot of money.  That is not why the current system should be illegal.  

          • smrnda

             I feel for you, the system is clearly pissing and shitting on you and no level of personal responsibility can fix that.

            The idea that health care costs are inflated because people go to doctors ‘too much’ or ‘over nothing’ or ‘don’t have to pay the full cost’ is the most know-nothing bullshit around. First, going to a doctor often can help detect health problems before they become severe and when they are much more readily treatable. Wait until you have to go, and you’re looking at a worse prognosis and more money.

            The other end is that some health care procedures that are necessary exceed almost anyone’s ability to pay. How much does open heart surgery cost? And let’s also dismiss any nonsense that an absence of insurance would drive costs down – insurance probably inflates costs a little, but you can’t drive the cost of something below it’s actual production cost (well, price gauging can work in the short run, but not forever.) The whole point of insurance is to distribute costs across a large group of people *most of whom* will be paying premiums more often than they are getting treatment.

            If we had a national health care system, we’d be spreading the costs over everybody, and since it would not be a for-profit system, we wouldn’t  have people who need to skim money out of the system, money that could have been spent delivering treatment.

            • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7XRZYHIF7ELJTK34TWIMIJOJA Ex Patriot

              I retired to a small county in Europe in 1999 and am on their health care system and all of the above conditions mentioned above would be covered under this system, while it is not perfect, I do know that should some major health care problem confront me it will be taken care of and I won’t go bankrupt. for this coverage I give the government about $80  per month, I was put in the system with no thought of pre existing conditions. Also my prescription s are covered, although I do make a co-payment that amounts to about $10 per refil. The people in the U.S are stupid to put up with bs system of medical care you have.Last thought our Dr.s are as good as any you have 

              • Liberated Liberal

                I agree with you.  However, our own President wanted to give us universal healthcare and he couldn’t pull it off.  At this point, I’m not sure what to do about it. And you have enough rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans who will defend America’s healthcare system to the death, even when confronted with the millions of reasons why it sucks ass.

                I am trying to move to Canada, but Canada apparently doesn’t wanted  a PMSy unemployed woman.

            • ReadsInTrees

              SOME people definitely do overuse the health system. I work alongside a bunch of paramedics, and I hear all of the ambulance calls that they get. Seriously, it would never occur to me to call an ambulance because I was “feeling funny” or because I broke my finger or because I twisted my ankle five days ago and it’s still hurting. It costs a LOT to have an ambulance respond, and a very large portion of our ambulance bills go unpaid. Everyone else absorbs the cost of those unpaid bills. Now, this is just what I’m seeing from the ambulance side of things, I can’t speak for the rest of the health care industry.

              • Liberated Liberal

                Some do, but to be honest, the vast majority of people do not.  For example, I have an aunt who will take her kids and grandkids to the emergency room for any reason she can come up with (mostly for attention).  However, she pays the bills.  She is the only person I have ever been aware of to use the system in this way.  Most people don’t LIKE going to the doctor, for any reason.

                For all of us to be punished for a few stupid morons is disgusting.  And there will be nothing you can do about these people in any system.  It’s going to happen.  It’s the same argument used against any kind of welfare – “Well, those .2% of people just take advantage, so FUCK EVERYBODY who might need government assistance.”  By the way, I made that figure up.  I have no idea what the percentage of actual capable “freeloaders” is, but it’s not that much.

            • Liberated Liberal

              Thank you, and I totally agree.

              Just as you said, regularly check-ups, even if they’re “frivolous” will catch things before they become catastrophic.  Therefore, if people pay their premium or whatever is required for these visits, emergencies and big events are more likely prevented and the costs will go down.  

              I’ve had fights with so many doctors in the past who were scamming insurance companies, and the whole thing has become such a joke.

    • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

      That’s why Single payer health care makes the most sense. Right now in the land of the brave, home of the free, there are people chained to their job or having to take an additional job just to qualify for health insurance.

      I would like to see how many of those people would go out and start their own small business if we had a single payer system. I know scores that would love to either change jobs or venture into business but do not because they cannot afford to lose health coverage.

      it’s a backward system and it stifles mobility and entrepreneurship.

      • Johannsone

        This is the smartest conversation I’ve read on health insurance in a long time. We all deserve to know we will be cared for without fearing financial ruin. And starting businesses…what the country was founded on right? I hate that my spouse had to settle for a job just for the benefits and when asked for a raise they sent us a paper outlining how much the company was spending on us as a family. Nothing like a little guilt to add insult to injury. Not only do you feel obligated to stay with companies so you can care for your family, you feel guilty for having the nerve to question it. Imagine the possibilities if stopped living in fear.

        • Troglodyke

          Not to seem like an evil shill for (gasp!) businesses, but most spend lots of money on employee health care, and far too many employees don’t realize what a financial benefit that this is for them. Most workers think wages are the end-all, be-all. But compensation is more than wages.

          I think younger employees are definitely like this. As we age we tend to realize how nice it is to have health benefits.

          • smrnda

            Before you speak for ‘younger employees,’ I don’t know a single young person for whom health insurance hasn’t been an issue. The whole ‘you’re young and don’t need to worry about that’ is bullshit that middle aged and elderly people tell us when they want to argue that they aren’t exploiting us by not offering us health care.

            Many businesses do all they can to avoid spending money on employee health coverage by adopting plans with large out of pocket expenses and high deductibles.

      • Eric D Red

        I did start my own business here in Canada, and I wouldn’t have dared try it if a heart attack or discovering a congenital illness, or any other significant medical issue would hav bankrupted us and made me forever uninsurable and probably unemployable. 

        American conservatives love to talk about freedom to choose, but not having a decent social and physical infrastructure makes it purely academic.    

      • Blacksheep

        That’s an excellent point about a single payer system possibly fostering entrepreneurs and new ventures. I never thought of it that way.

  • WoodyTanaka

    If they don’t want to follow the law, then the government should fine them and rescind their corporate charter.  Run them out of business.   

  • Johannsone

    This is what happens when the media coins terms like  “abortion pill”. The actual use of the medication is lost. It doesn’t cause a spontaneous abortion, if it did it should be called a  “miscarriage pill” and that will never happen because no woman ever choses a miscarriage. Same thing happened with the affordable health care act – Obamacare. The important stuff gets lost in the inflammatory nickname. “I’m prochoice, I hate the abortion pill.”  “I don’t agree with Obama’s policies, so Obamacare is no good.” 
    I say let Hobby Lobby make that choice and the next store they build, they shouldn’t be offered a single state, federal or county concession to build. You can’t have it both ways, your religion as your shield and your citizenship as your weapon.

    • Stev84

      Abortion pills do exist and are widely used in Europe as opposed to surgical abortions. The most well-known one is RU-486 aka Mifepristone aka Mifegyne (which incidentally can also be used as an emergency contraceptive). The media just needs to use the term correctly.

      • Johannsone

        I agree, it does need to be termed correctly. I had forgotten about that pill. It is actually used in intrauterine surgeries, as well. Honestly, it all comes down to “none of your business” Taking rights away because someone thinks they know better than you is insulting.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Why is it that only employers seem to have rights, and not employees?
     

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

      That was my thought, but I couldn’t see through my fog of anger to put it to words.  Thank you.

    • Stev84

      Because the US is a plutocracy and businesses have all the money and thus all the power.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    But strangely enough they still sell cloth made of mixed fibers. I think there is a bible verse against that somewhere.

    • The Other Weirdo

       This was explained to me once. Their issues with same-sex marriage and birth control are due those being sexual morality commandments, which will be in force forever and ever, but mixed cloth and all that was made moot by Jesus Himself. What wasn’t explained, however, was why if the the sexual morality laws are on the books forever they don’t stone their daughters who can’t prove their virginity on their wedding night, or whatever the hell they call it.

      I suspect they would love to(witness the Pat Robertson fiasco), but can’t because the wider society doesn’t permit it. Same-sex marriage is sort of an iffy question anyway, you can make arguments one way or another. Perhaps not good arguments, but it can be done. You can’t really make those arguments for stoning non-virgins on their wedding day or rape victims who you think didn’t cry out loudly enough for help.

      • Lorimakesquilts

        What valid argument can you make against some citizens not getting the same rights and privileges that the rest get for no other reason that what they are?  There’s nothing iffy about it.

  • RKHB

    This whole argument is just bizarre.  If the owner of a company were a christian scientist most of whom are against all medical procedures – wouldn’t it then follow that providing any health insurance whatsoever would violate his religious rights.  Maybe we will see mass conversion of business owners to the chritian scientists or jehovah’s witnesses in the near future.

  • Philo Vaihinger

    He can join the crackpot faith healers whom American law requires to provide adequate medical care for their own kids, despite their stupid, deeply held beliefs.

    Tough break.

  • Glasofruix

    How the fuck it’s an employer’s business about what a health insurance covers and what it doesn’t?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

    This is going to be my last comment for awhile… it is crap like this that I’m angry ALL THE TIME now.  The more I read, the more angry I get and I have to stop before I start taking it out on my family.  I’m going n0 news until at least after the election.

    These Christians don’t get it, won’t get it, and don’t care that they don’t get it.  They want to stay stupid and take everyone down to Stupid Lane with them, whether we want to go or not.  Until we all get labotomies, we can fight and fight but it will not get better.  The little lawsuits we win occasionally or battles we can bypass with a letter (prayer at football games?  Really?) are so small and insignificant compared to what these people are doing.

    They do not want facts.  They do not want to be educated on the truth of the “morning after” pill.  We couldn’t educate them even if we tried because their fingers are Super Glued into their ears.  There are more of them than there is of us and they are procreating faster than we ever will.  Add homeschooling and heavy-duty right-wing indoctrination, and we lose.  Period.

    • Johannsone

       I feel the same way.. Exactly the same!

  • Chris Kilroy

    Denied for lack of standing since he has not yet incurred any actual harm. The mandate does not take effect until 2014. And he could opt, as I understand it, to revoke insurance from his employees and allow them to find it in on their own. He is not forced to do anything. This case is complete bs. Also, since when is a craft store owner an expert on medical science? Is he going to deny his male employees Viagra and Cialis? And really, when you negotiate plans with medical insurance companies as an employer – how does that conversation go, saying, look, Blue Cross, please do NOT pay for this pill. 

    • Hallydally

      Actually, yes.  As a large company, you create your own health plan as the employer pays all of the medical costs.  They simply pay a health insurance carrier for access to their network & to administer the claim  (or a 3rd party does this).   But given the Employer pays for all the medical costs, they do have the ability to choose what they want covered.

      • Atheist Amy

        Wait, don’t most employees contribute to their insurance coverage?  

      • Lorimakesquilts

        Wow, who’s your employer?  I’ve never worked anywhere where I didn’t have to pay part of the insurance premium.  And I’ve also never worked anywhere where the employer paid all the medical costs directly.  Who does that?

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    I love how they seem to be equating free speech with actions. they get to say to the insurance company “don’t cover X,” and thus the company won’t. They get to exercise free speech that results in an action of preventing some people from having access to treatment they request. Of course, it all seem questionable since I would assume the employee/patient is actually paying for quite a bit of the expenses attached to whatever treatment or medication he/she requests. Whether through the employee premium portion, co-pays, or deductables, Hobby Lobby ain’t footing the bill for the full care for any of its employees.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

      The people will have access to the treatment they request… their employer can’t stop someone from getting treatment or meds if they are deemed medically necessary.  The employer just doesn’t want to pay for it because their magical sky fairy will be mad at them.  It’s the stern father model… they have to be the protector for their employees who obviously can’t think for themselves.

  • smrnda

    In any conflict of interest between worker and employer, the State ought to be taking the side of the party who is at the disadvantage, which means the worker. If the CEOs of a company have to cover a pill they don’t like, that’s what, a handful of people inconvenienced? Why should a bunch of workers be screwed in favor of a select group of privileged snots?

    Also, last I checked, insurance companies didn’t sell special policies that don’t cover contraception because it’s good economic sense. Do Christian businesses think they have a right to tell insurance companies what sort of products they have to offer? That they have to offer special contraception free policies to Christian businesses?

    I just can’t figure out the stupidity of Americans who go on about ‘government bureaucrats’ getting in between people and health care. It’s your employer who is likely to do that, stupid.

    And just like a Christian company to say No Unions. After all, the boss answers to God, not some lowly worker who has the gall to pretend to have a right to be treated like a human being.

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com/ Kacy

    The most disturbing thing here is not the blatent push-back against women’s rights.  Although, that is disturbing.  The MOST disturbing thing is the idea that the employer has a right to decide the kind of health insurance his or her employee receives.  Health insurance is earned by the employee.  It therefore, belongs to the employee, not the employer.  The government setting a bare minimum for what should be included in health insurance packages, as the HHS mandate does, is akin to minimum wage laws.  The employer may not like having to pay a fair wage or a fair health insurance package, but this is the 21st century, not the F*^#in Gilded Age!

    • smrnda

       Great point. The government needs to set minimum levels of compensation for any type of compensation – it is done with medical leave to some extent with FMLA where government mandates take precedence over any internal company policy.

      The problem is that conservatives seem to want to repeal the entire 20th century now in the 21st.

    • Foster

      You can regulate up the ying yang, but the more you do so, the more business owners are simply going to pick up their bags and move to places like Singapore, where employers are permitted to run their businesses as they see fit. 

      • John F

         Yeah! And think of all the assassination tourism the US is missing out on by not making murder legal!

      • Stev84

        Large businesses that actually have the opportunity to move abroad often see the benefit in treating all its employees fairly and equally. Being an evil employer causes too much negative publicity these days and is bad for the company image.

        All these businesses run by religious nutbags usually don’t have the size for it or are in the wrong sector altogether. A retail chain is obviously not going to move elsewhere. That only works for manufacturing or research.

      • smrnda

         So then, if regulations on businesses are bad, why are there still businesses operating in Scandinavia or Western Europe? Shouldn’t they have all closed up shop and moved to India or China? You seem to have the standard defeatist attitude that we all should accept things are awful and just forget improving anything

      • WoodyTanaka

        Fine.  let them move to Singapore and we simply pass a law preventing them or anyone who does business with tehm, from doing business with the US.  (And charge them a 99% exit tax for any and all assets they may have.)

        • Foster

          99% exit tax, eh?  Freedom and Justice for all indeed.

          • smrnda

            I would argue that it’s exactly that. If the 1% want to stop supporting the US with their taxes  and move overseas after having enjoyed the benefits of what they got in the US, they can all go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned. Freedom for people like that means no freedom for anyone else.

            O yeah. poor widdle rich people Foster. Life is just so unfair to them.

          • WoodyTanaka

            No, I don’t believe in Freedom and Justice for all.  I believe in Freedom and Justice for all who’ve earned it.  If you’re a 1% d-bag who oppresses other people to put money in your pocket or a religious lunatic who’se imposing your religion on other people, then you haven’t earned it, so I have no problem imposing a 99% tax on you.  Maybe you’ll learn a bit of decency afterward.

  • ;he

    So, let’s see, that means a Jehova’s Witness employer should be able to exclude blood transfusions from their employee’s insurance and a Christian Scientist employer should be able to exclude all medical procedures, right?

    • ReadsInTrees

      Yup. And I wonder why it is that only religious “moral” issues are allowed to be used. I got into this with my brother-in-law, who feels that pharmacists should be allowed to not sell birth control pills or the morning after pills if it’s against that pharmacists morals. Or doctors should not have to do abortions if it’s against their morals (first, why would a doctor train to do abortions in the first place if that’s the case?). Anyway, I wanted to know whether a doctor can deny treatment to a guy serving life in prison for murder? Can a doctor refuse to operate on a convicted sex offender? Does it only count if it’s against their religion? I mean, I work for a police department. If someone calls for help because they locked their keys in their car, can I deny them assistance if I know that they’re going to use their car to go to an anti-abortion rally? That’s against my morals. Shouldn’t I be allowed to deny them service?

      • GraceAlexander

        In related news, doctors in some states are now legally allowed to lie to pregnant women to prevent them from getting an abortion that would save their lives. In other words, if a doctor finds out that the pregnant woman has a life threatening condition and that bearing the child will KILL her, he can decide to not tell her on the grounds that he doesn’t believe in abortion and is afraid she might get one to save her own life. And he is protected by law to do so. So basically doctors get to decide that women should die in order not to interfere with THEIR personal skydaddy based laws.

    • Atheist Amy

      Yep and Scientologists can deny mental health coverage.  That would make for some seriously unproductive workers.

  • Sue Blue

    I bet this CEO doesn’t have a single iota of a problem with paying for health insurance that covers Viagra or Cialis for the guys – “morals” and “family values” be damned when it comes to male sexuality (except gay male sexuality, of course).  He doesn’t seem to be all torqued up about condom use…nope, it’s just any form of reproductive-related health pills or devices for women.   
    Oh, the poor, poor butthurt religious business-owners.  My heart pumps purple piss for them.

    • Atheist Amy

      Because any woman that has sex for any other purpose than procreation is a slut and a whore.  Whoops that means little ol’ married me is a total harlot!

  • Paul_Robertson

    *cough*singlepayer*cough*

  • CanadianNihilist

    this is such a load of shit.
    “The [health care] Mandate illegally and unconstitutionally coerces the Green family to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs”

    So the health care mandate is forcing members of that family to take the morning after pill?
    No?
    Then they need to shut the hell up and stop trying to force their beliefs on their employees.
    That is the only thing in this story  which is unconstitutional.

  • onamission5

    They are not having to pay fines for practicing their religion. They would be having to pay fines for trying to force their employees to practice their religion.

    Yes, this is a freedom of religion issue, but not in the way that they think it is. As a business owner, you no more have the right to force your employees to conform to your religious practices than you do to force them to attend your church, because guess what? Your employees? They have freedom, too.

  • Foster

    So let me get this straight,
    I don’t want to pay for you to get an abortion. = I’m not going to let you live your life as you see fit.

    Nope, sorry, I just don’t see it.  You can’t in justice force people to directly support what they believe to be murder.  That’s why we allow conscientious objectors to avoid the draft.  It’s a brave new world indeed.

    • amycas

       Abortion has nothing to do with this. The mandate covers contraception.

    • Coyotenose

       They are not paying for the pill, let alone abortions (which this isn’t even about, thanks). They won’t save a penny by having the pill removed from the plans, because the plans are bundled anyway. What they are doing is interfering in business between the EMPLOYEE and the INSURANCE PROVIDER, and trying to inflict their religious beliefs on the employee. Since insurance is compensation, they are trying to tell the employee how he has to spend his money on his own time.

    • Lorimakesquilts

      They are paying health insurance premiums, not for abortions or whatever it is they object to.

      You’re comparing apples and oranges.  No one is asking them to perform abortions.  And conscientious objectors still have to pay taxes that pay for war.  Your comparison, if anything, supports the requirement for complying with the minimum coverage requirement.

    • Lorimakesquilts

      They are paying health insurance premiums, not for abortions or whatever it is they object to.

      You’re comparing apples and oranges.  No one is asking them to perform abortions.  And conscientious objectors still have to pay taxes that pay for war.  Your comparison, if anything, supports the requirement for complying with the minimum coverage requirement.

  • Tyrrlin Flamestrike

    Dang, I need more super sculpey for my handmade cake toppers.  Guess I know where I won’t be shopping anymore.

    Good thing we have a Michael’s, AC Moore and a Jo-Ann’s in the same general area.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597605006 Mary Driftwood

    Damn it! I really like Hobby Lobby, too. :(

  • Atheist Amy

    My understanding is that Plan B is simply a high dose birth control pill and it needs to be taken within a day or two of intercourse (before implantation).  Are they not required to cover standard birth control under the ACA?   How is Plan B different?  

    It is there should your regular birth control fail (it happens), or in the case of rape.

    Oh yeah, women’s bodies have a way to shut that whole process down.

    I’m hitting my fatigue limit on this kind of religious overstepping.

  • kaydenpat

    Well I guess if Romney gets in, Hobby Lobby and all the other religious employers who want to control the bodies of their female employees, will get their way when he repeals the ACA.

    I don’t see how Hobby Lobby and their ilk don’t understand that their personal religious beliefs have nothing to do whatsoever with the beliefs/lack of beliefs of their employees.  Can their female employees sue them for interfering with their rights to control their own bodies?  Or to exercise their religious/non-religious views in terms of birth control/abortion?

  • Step

    The irony of all of this is that they get a lot of their products from china…where the national religion is atheism.

  • Lorimakesquilts

    Another company that’s going to be losing my business as well as that of many other women.  I hope they’re prepared to take a hit in their sales.


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