Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court allows religious-centered employers to refuse to pay for some contraceptives under Obamacare

The Supreme Court has ruled that closely held corporations, including those for-profit, can refuse to pay for some kinds of contraception that they believe are effective abortifacients ("morning-after pills") and the owners have religious objections.  The plaintiffs in the case, regarding the Affordable Care Act, had been Hobby Lobby, a Christian bookstore chain, and Conestoga, a Pennsylvania working company owned by a Mennonite Family. A key bone of contention in the case was whether (profit-oriented) "corporations" are "people" entitled to religious beliefs. 

The Court left open the idea that in these cases the federal government can pick up the cost of the contraception itself.  Maggie Fox has a story for NBC News suggesting that for most employers in practice this ruling will have no effect, here. The slip opinion for Burwell v. Hobby Stores is here.   In a practical sense, some employees said they felt uncomfortable submitting claims for contraception to employees of this nature.  

Update: July 1

Petula Dvorak writes that Hpbby should live up to its teachings and offer paid leave for new parents. 

The Washington Post writes that Congress should fix this problem, and the New York Times weighs in likewise (one of two editorials called "Limiting Rights") and offers a discussion board here. 

I''ve always believed one should not work for employers with whom, one has an ideological or religious disagreement. 

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