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Culture, God, Government, Life

Health Insurance and Hobby Lobby

Ok, now I realize I’m a grumpy old man. Really I do. However in all of the hoopla surrounding today’s decision on Hobby Lobby’s case against mandates in the Affordable Care Act it seems to me that no one is really paying any attention to what it was they were really trying to accomplish.

They didn’t want to pay for someone else aborting a baby.

That’s all.

Did they want to change the law such that women in their employ couldn’t buy the “morning after pill?”

Did they want to say their female employees couldn’t take birth control pills?

Did they want to not pay for daily birth control pills?

No (in fact they’ve paid for those pills all along).

They just didn’t want to cover abortive measures. Somehow though, this is the ultimate offense to women (or at least it is portrayed that way). I’ve read a number of snarky tweets like, “I bet hobby lobby covers Viagra.” Of course there is no similarity between the two medications. One inhibits a process a healthy body would normally have; the other corrects a health issue where the body can’t do what it’s supposed to. Yes I realize some women take birth control pills for reasons other than birth control. However those pills are not what Hobby Lobby was in court about. But even assuming you could extrapolate from this case that you don’t have to pay for any contraception, most health care plans have appeals processes where you can make the case for a medication you need for life saving treatment.

However, the bottom line is, what your health plan covers is a benefit of working at that specific job. I had slightly better medical coverage when I worked for the State of California than I do now. But I had to pay for it (my employer pays for my coverage now). That was a benefit of working there. I have every Friday off at my current job. That’s a benefit of working where I do. Should all employers be mandated to provide me with 3 days off every week because I want them? Of course not. Your benefits directly feed into how much your company pays for the work you provide. The more you cost in benefits, the less they can afford to pay you (or the more work you’ll have to do because they can’t pay someone else too). That is the nature of things.

In the end the solution is simple. If you want “the morning after pill,” don’t work for Hobby Lobby. If you don’t need it, then feel free to. But don’t work there, knowing they don’t cover it and then act outraged when you have to pay for it yourself.

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