Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ah, The Supremes.... 5-4 is not good enough for some people!

I really just wanted to publish the link to the opinion in the BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. v. HOBBY LOBBY STORES, INC., ET AL.  case.

Here's the dissent as well.

My thoughts are simple, really. The majority opinion holds that as the current laws are written, it's reasonable that Hobby Lobby, et al, should be able to not pay for 4 after-conception birth control methods based on religious beliefs of the 3 named closely-held (5 or fewer voting shareholders?) incorporated companies' owners. The minority dissent disagrees with that opinion, of course. The laws are not plain enough to remove doubt, so the Supremes have to interpret what is in the applicable laws and decide who is more right, and this time the government's position was held to be less credible. That's how it works.

The decision does not take away access, it does not deny coverage, and it doesn't change anything, really, as the HHS has already, by fiat, said that even religious non-profits' insurance companies must provide contraception coverage regardless of what they religious non-profits' policy says or pays for (essentially sticking the insurance company with the bill, although HHS says there is "no net economic burden on the insurance companies that are required to provide or secure the coverage"). No reason (as Scalia notes in the majority opinion) that they can't make for-profits do the same thing, whether we agree with that or not!

Lastly, the stupid comparisons. Viagra treats a medical condition, a medical problem. It's not the same as covering contraception (and I know that birth control treatments are also used for other medical problems, but those uses are almost universally included already, and not a part of the discussion at all). It's also not covered at no cost to the patient, nor are vasectomies: female birth control explicitly is (if covered under ACA, etc.) at no cost.

Only semi-related, I love it when folks that have pooh-poohed the notion of the "slippery slope" regarding things like property rights and the Second Amendment invoke it over whose responsibility it is to pay for birth control.

No comments:

Post a Comment