All You Need to Know About the Hobby Lobby Case

2014-03-31 Hobby Lobby

The Washington Post has a couple of great sources if you want to know more about the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court is considering right now. In a nutshell, Hobby Lobby is a Christian company that doesn’t want to provide access to certain kinds of birth control that can work as  abortifacients instead of as contraceptives.1

To get even more of a background in the case, I recommend Jaime Fuller’s Here’s what you need to know about the Hobby Lobby case. For legal analysis of the constitutional issues, I recommend Prof. Michael McConnell’s post at Volokh Conspiracy (which now operates within the WaPo). These two articles will give you a solid understanding of this controversial and well-known court case.

3 thoughts on “All You Need to Know About the Hobby Lobby Case”

  1. I know this is outside of the scope of this lawsuit, but I am frustrated that the ACA further entrenched employer-provided insurance as the norm. It just isn’t a smart way to offer insurance overall, and this lawsuit wouldn’t even be relevant if corporations weren’t tasked with this responsibility. Wishful “what ifs” right now, I know.

    I am so thrilled with our “insurance” situation — It’s not legally insurance. My husband is working for a small firm, so they escape some ACA problems. If we went with firm insurance, we would pay $800/month out of pocket to cover our family, and the firm would pay $450 monthly on top of that toward the premium. Insanely expensive, especially when considering deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. We instead negotiated with the firm — They will give us the $450/month, and we can use that to cover our own health care. Instead of buying individual insurance on the exchange (cheapest policy being $700/month with a $10,000 deductible, not eligible for subsidies because Rick’s individual employer-offered insurance is considered “affordable”), we participate in Samaritan Ministries, Christian medical bill sharing ($370/month for a family), which has excellent coverage and doesn’t touch the unethical procedures. A win-win for our situation.

    Not everyone wants exactly the same thing, but this is the stuff of security and freedom. Even if the law firm gave us nothing, this program would be reasonable. Samaritan Ministries isn’t for everyone, but we need more options like it for different people. That isn’t going to happen under ACA, because three Christian bill-sharing organizations are exempt under ACA after being grandfathered into the law, and no other medical bill-sharing organization can achieve exemption status at this point. There’s no incentive for other groups of people to organize themselves.

    I just thought I would air my frustration coupled with my joy over finding a way for us to largely remove our family from this insanity…for the time being. Despite our individual solution, many of our fellow Christians are unable to disentangle themselves from this problem due to different circumstances under the law.

  2. I wonder what would happen if we removed insurance from employment, and removed government from it as well. This would require insurance companies to compete for business at every level and could possibly reduce some of the insurance cost.

    Doctors and hospitals should also be posting prices for services, instead of hiding everything so that people can shop around for most health care services. I know you can’t price ‘everything’ but the generic stuff can easily be priced so why isn’t it?

  3. LT and Joel-

    You guys are both absolutely right. To make matters worse, the reason that employment and insurance are tied together (and also, as a result, that there are no real prices in the health insurance sector) goes back to (you guessed it!) government intervention. This was during World War II, and the government created wage caps to prevent people from offering too much money to employees. I don’t know what the original rationale was (maybe it even made sense), but the way that companies got around the caps to continue to compete for talent was by offering benefits. Including healthcare.

    Just another fun entry in the long, long list of unintended consequences from government intervention into markets.

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