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News & Politics News & Politics

Hobby Lobby case isn't that big of a deal

Posted by on Jul. 4, 2014 at 7:14 AM
  • 15 Replies
The Supreme Court's opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. on June 30, 2014, that addresses whether a closely held business’s health plan must comply with the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide certain contraceptive benefits if providing such benefits would violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the business owners.  In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) by requiring closely held, faith-based for-profit businesses to provide contraceptive benefits to their employees. 

So the cost sharing requirements of ACA will have an HRSA guidelines exempt religious employers from this mandate.  Further, regulations issued by HHS permit religious non-profit organizations to request that their insurance carrier (or third-party administrator) exclude contraceptive coverage from the non-profit’s plan and provide plan participants with separate payments for contraceptive services without imposing any cost sharing requirements on the plan participants or costs on the non-profit.  

So now, RFRA prohibits the government from burdening a person’s exercise of religion, unless the action is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling government interest.  A divided Supreme Court found that closely held, for profit employers are “persons” (from the Dictionary Act of 1871) who can avail themselves of the protection of RFRA.So the Court held that the HHS’s regulations regarding the contraceptive method mandate do not comply with RFRA since there were other less restrictive means for HHS to further its objective of providing no-cost contraceptive methods to women. It's no biggie.

The Court’s decision is limited to whether certain closely held businesses will have to comply with the ACA mandate to provide the full range of contraceptive methods specified by HRSA if the provision of those methods would violate the religious beliefs of the owners of the businesses.  The various ACA insurance market reforms, coverage mandates and individual and employer mandates remain in place after the Court’s decision. 

My big issue with this case, ACA wouldn't of passed in Congress (I remembered the debate) if the ACA provided an exception of RFRA in that bill. There were times, many people tried to put that exception into the bill; but, was taken out by a few Democrats for precisely this reason that went to SCOTUS. This case should never have went to court, The RFRA is legal and the HHS was wrong for trying to overturn that law.

Also, the government has other means in providing these services, other than, forcing employers to violate their religious liberty.

To me, this is a case that clearly is a religious liberty case that has backing from already stated law. So I think we should be content with the law.
by on Jul. 4, 2014 at 7:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
TappyToes
by Bronze Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 7:16 AM
1 mom liked this

Religious liberty for a corporation ???going crazy

paknari
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:11 AM
2 moms liked this
I disagree. This is only the beginning. What would you do if you needed a new heart valve and the doctors were going to use a pig heart valve and your employer didn't cover it because they are kosher? I doubt most have $100,000 saved up for heart surgery. Your freedom of religion is slowly being dictated by corporations.
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lwalker270
by Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:20 AM
2 moms liked this
I disagree it's "no biggie." When my employer's religious beliefs dictate what medications or procedures are covered, I believe it's actually a very big deal.
Donna6503
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:24 AM
The Dictionary Act of 1871 is too be blamed for that; that law needs to be repealed.

Quoting TappyToes:

Religious liberty for a corporation ???going crazy

Donna6503
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM
The opinion of SCOTUS, that would not apply; also, such a surgery could have other factors that wouldn't require an employer to pay for such a surgery so your example really doesn't apply.

Quoting paknari: I disagree. This is only the beginning. What would you do if you needed a new heart valve and the doctors were going to use a pig heart valve and your employer didn't cover it because they are kosher? I doubt most have $100,000 saved up for heart surgery. Your freedom of religion is slowly being dictated by corporations.
Donna6503
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:31 AM
This case, the employer isn't dictating your medication, you're allowed to take any medication you need ... It's a matter of an employer having a choice in what benefit that they help to provide for an employee.

Quoting lwalker270: I disagree it's "no biggie." When my employer's religious beliefs dictate what medications or procedures are covered, I believe it's actually a very big deal.
ChrisKingston
by on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:35 AM
1 mom liked this
Glad I live in Canada. Religion shouldn't dictate law.
Donna6503
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM
There is religious liberty in Canada

Quoting ChrisKingston: Glad I live in Canada. Religion shouldn't dictate law.
paknari
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this
What does the opinion of SCOTUS have to do with it? This is an issue with corporations attemting to force their religion on others. Honestly, your religion should stay out of the workplace and it is just as bad as bringing religion I to government. If you can't help yourself from doing something out of temptations and you need a law to enforce it, you are not very devout. The employer should acquire a health plan and remain oh of medical decisions after that. It is my decision what I believe concerning my body. And why wouldn't am insurance plan pay for such a surgery? I don't know what kind of insurance you have but being that this is not a trial type surgery, mine would most likely cover it.

Quoting Donna6503: The opinion of SCOTUS, that would not apply; also, such a surgery could have other factors that wouldn't require an employer to pay for such a surgery so your example really doesn't apply.

Quoting paknari: I disagree. This is only the beginning. What would you do if you needed a new heart valve and the doctors were going to use a pig heart valve and your employer didn't cover it because they are kosher? I doubt most have $100,000 saved up for heart surgery. Your freedom of religion is slowly being dictated by corporations.
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paknari
by Silver Member on Jul. 5, 2014 at 9:39 AM
Your employer shouldn't be picking and choosing what medication I can take. They shpuld just purchase a health plan. Understand that different plans cover different things, but they should be choosing solely on cost not on different medications. If I hold the se beliefs, I would refrain from taking those medications. I do believe birth control should be over the counter any way, but there are many religions with many various beliefs regarding medication. A corporation should not be deciding that. You don't like my surgery comparison how about religions that don't believe in blood transfusions? Or what about what about vaccinations?

Quoting Donna6503: This case, the employer isn't dictating your medication, you're allowed to take any medication you need ... It's a matter of an employer having a choice in what benefit that they help to provide for an employee.

Quoting lwalker270: I disagree it's "no biggie." When my employer's religious beliefs dictate what medications or procedures are covered, I believe it's actually a very big deal.
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