Hobby Lobby ruling puts Green family in crosshairs

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  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 3, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    @ gittalopctbi

    "So why do we even have a system at all where we pay for the "sin" and costs of our fellow citizens? It's called Obamacare."

    It’s called insurance. Obamacare didn't invent it.

    I have no complaints about paying for contraception. It’s the Greens that don’t want to pay and have managed to push this expense onto the rest of us. This is similar to what religious institutions are allowed to do. They enjoy all the benefits of our tax dollars, but don’t contribute any of their own. I think this more than anything defines "religious freedom."

    I would add that, from an atheistic perspective, the HL decision is simply absurdity upon absurdity. We have the highest court in the land ruling that a fictional person does not have to do something that its fictional deity allegedly says is a no-no.

    Ironically, you can't make this stuff up!

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    July 3, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    @Karen R So why do we even have a system at all where we pay for the "sin" and costs of our fellow citizens? It's called Obamacare. This would not even be an issue if the dictatorial president and congress didn't ram this unconstitutional (regardless of what justice Roberts says) legislation down our throats. You sound like you are complaining that we tax payers now have to pick up the tab for their birth control. Well, don't blame Hobby Lobby--blame the president, congress members who voted for it (before knowing what was in it, a la Pelosi), and all the voters who elected those officials.

    I applaud the Greens and their convictions. We need more like them and the likes of the family owners of Chick-fil-A.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 2, 2014 8:01 p.m.

    In my earlier post I said:

    "So no potential abortions are being thwarted. No women are being prevented from getting the birth control they want. The Greens have just managed to push the "sin" and the costs onto their fellow citizens."

    It just occurred to me that I proved SCOTUS' point. Hobby Lobby IS just like a religious institution!

    I agree, worf. We shouldn't have to pay for others' behavior. Let's start requiring religious institutions to pay taxes, too.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    July 2, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    Are the employees of Hobby Lobby complaining or are the loud voices coming from the self-appointed women's groups?

    If the employees are complaining, they need to feel grateful for any insurance coverage. My husband and I work for companies that don't even offer insurance.

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 2, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    Some of the posters have pointed out the extremely correct fact that Hobby Lobby does cover most forms of birth control.

    What Hobby Lobby doesn't cover is the birth control given to victims of rape to prevent a pregnancy from occurring.

    Which makes sense, since according to the Bible if you are raped you should be stoned to death for having sex outside of marriage and for putting yourself in the situation where that can occur anyway.

    What a fantastic win for religion.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 2, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Conservatives keep telling us if you want something that they don't agree with just go out and buy it. I stopped by my state owned liquor store on Sunday but was unable to express my own personal belief to have a cold one on the Sabbath. Seems pushing ones' own religous beliefs on another is fine as long as long as their your beliefs.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 2, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Father of Four asked: "What if a woman has endometriosis? Or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? Or a host of other medical problems that are treated using contraception?" The steroid therapy to cover those conditions, contraceptives are steroids, would be covered for those conditions.

    You also said that "However, Viagra only has one use and it is covered." Tell me the company that covers it because the health insurance company that I work for does not.

    DanO said: "Why should those of us who don't have children have to pay for the costs of maternity, schooling, etc?" Because when you are old and sick it will be my kids paying for your nursing home, Medicare, and social security check. If you don't want to pull your own weight by contributing to the workforce that will be needed in the future, at least contribute to educating the children that will be taking care of you.
    K said; "I don't know why contraception in all forms isn't available over the counter. A person making 30K could certainly afford $400 a year." Contraceptives are steroids, that is probably why they are not OTC. A year of contraceptives costs $60 from the WalMart Pharmacy.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 2, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    The Green family is in the crosshairs only because they put themselves there by suing the U.S. government over a provision of the Affordable Care Act that required them to provide pharmaceutical contraception to their employees enrolled in the company healthcare plan.

    They had no objection as stockholders in a company that manufactures those drugs. Their objection was to having to provide that service to employees enrolled in their company healthcare plan. Their objection was based on their professed Bible-based principles which rings hollow considering their position as stockholders.

    Are Bible-based principles disposable when they conflict with self-interest? In this case, they are flexible enough to enable them to sue the Government while simultaneously dirtying their hands with profits earned off of the manufacture of the product. That falls far short of my idea of Bible-based principles.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    July 2, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    What I find interesting on the part of progressives, as articulated by Julian Sanchez from the CATO Institute, is the liberal claim that believers with religious objections are underserving of respect when they are forced to act against their convictions, regardless of whether this makes any real difference to the outcome.

    "The ruling seems to provoke anger, not because it will result in women having to pay more for birth control (as it won’t), but at least in part because it fails to send the appropriate cultural signal. Or, at any rate, because it allows religious employers to continue sending the wrong cultural signal—disapproval of certain forms of contraception—when sending that signal does not impede the achievement of the government’s ends in any way."

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    July 2, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    If you like to decorate in outdated, overpriced Chinese-made Chintz, then Hobby Lobby is your store.

    Leave the politics out of it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 2, 2014 6:25 a.m.

    I agree with Melanna. I think some here don't understand what this ruling says. Alito's solution is to do for the Greens what the ACA does for religious institutions: the government, i.e., you and I, foot the bill. HL employees will still get these particular types of birth control if they want them, but we'll be paying for them, not the owners of a multi-million dollar, for-profit enterprise.

    So no potential abortions are being thwarted. No women are being prevented from getting the birth control they want. The Greens have just managed to push the "sin" and the costs onto their fellow citizens.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    July 2, 2014 5:43 a.m.

    They cover most forms of contraceptives. Just can't participate in pay in for ones that cause aboritions. They won't fire someone on the pill either.

    I don't know why contraception in all forms isn't available over the counter. I would also be in favor of the governement paying for all forms of contraception. These pills aren't ridiculously expensive either. A person making 30K could certainly afford $400 a year.

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 1, 2014 8:18 p.m.

    One of the interesting notes in the opinion was the idea that if employees want health benefits that their employer doesn't want to provide to them, the government should provide that benefit instead - and we have RedWings reiterating it and claiming health care through the government is cheaper than for-profit health plans.

    So basically the Supreme Court and RedWings are advocating for Universal (Single Payer/Socialized) medical coverage because it bypasses employer restrictions and is cheaper.

    This ruling may not be the win Conservatives want it to be.

    July 1, 2014 4:10 p.m.

    DN Subscriber -

    You took the words right out of my mouth...

    I find it intesting that the left dismisses claims of religious discrimination that are resulting from legalizing gay marriage, but they will go overboard on how this ruling will be disastrous for womens rights. Really? You can't make your employer buy the morning after pill and that sets womens rights back 50 years? I hardly think so.

    Not to mention that women can get birth control from the government via Planned Parenthood way cheaper than on any insurance plan....

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 1, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    Regarding tax payer health care coverage for pregnancy:

    First, this wasn't even an issue until Obamacare came into existence. To be fair, this is what many critics of it said would happen with such a vast plan. Previously, you could sign up for a plan that did not include pregnancy.

    Second, pregnancy and childbirth are not considered diseases or necessarily adverse health conditions under the law (other opinions notwithstanding) but are considered generally healthy states that require some medical help. So "preventing" pregnancy in the preponderance of cases is a "choice" not a health-necessity. So costs aren't as relevant by these primary criteria. Obviously there are exceptions to this but SCOTUS was not tasked to rule on the exceptions.

    Most important is that the new contraceptive issue emerging with universal health care has plopped in a territory that has been squarely in the realmof the 1st amendment and religious freedoms in our statutes, case law, and previous jurisprudence for over two centuries. Nothing changed with the SCOTUS decision. It was a challenge to a long-standing protection that simply failed.

  • Cat Centerville, UT
    July 1, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    Hobby Lobby already covers 16 of the 20 forms of contraception included in the mandate, objecting only to those it considers to be abortifacients. So you can work for Hobby Lobby and still get some form of birth control. Guess what, most insurances have worked that way in the past. I've tried just about every kind of BC however there were some that my insurance didn't cover. If wanted those kinds, I had to pay for it myself.

    BTW - I've been with 3 different insurance companies and not one of them would cover Viagra or anything like it.

  • clasiklmuzikbiz Tulsa, OK
    July 1, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    Hobby Lobby was not denying all types of birth control. There were four: those that would cause a possible pregnancy to terminate.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    July 1, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    I love Hobby Lobby. I wish there was one by me because I would certainly support their business. I am grateful for the ruling.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 1, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    What most critics don't know of will not admit is that Hobby Lobby's plan already offers more than a dozen birth control options (condoms, pill, implants, etc), but they refuse to offer only those methods which kill a human life after conception- i.e.- morning after pills and the like.

    Of course, the 100% guaranteed and free method of birth control- not engage in intercourse until you want to conceive a child, is rejected outright.

    This is not about birth control availability it is about the "tolerant left" eager to destroy anyone who fails to worship at their altar of abortion. They will scream about everyone having a "choice" as long as it is the only approved choice.

    The Green family and their successful business will be the targets for all sorts of leftist attacks, verbal, in biased reporting, government harassment, and sadly, probably physical intimidation and even violence. That's liberal tolerance for you.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    July 1, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    You don't have to work for Hobby Lobby.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 1, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    This was a no brainer.

    Why should anyone pay for someone else's behavior?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    Yes, it helps prevent those things.

    So go buy it.

    July 1, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    How will this ruling affect mergers and acquisitions? If my boss now is Jewish, but the company is acquired by another company whose CEO is a Christian Scientist, do our insurance policies all change? What if it is part of a larger holding company and its corporate offices are moved to Dubai? Do we have to make sure we are not in violation of the larger corporate entity's primary religious beliefs? What about medications that are not contraception, but are prohibited by various different religions? Does the coverage for this need to be re-evaluated every time there is a new IPO?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 1, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    So will there now be a special formulary used only by "closely-held" religious companies? Will they also offer some sort of paid maternity leave but only if the employee is married? Will they also offer mental health treatment but only after the employee meets with their local clergy? Does a "closely-held" company owned by Jehovah's Witness get to deny paying for blood transfusions after surgery?

    On another note, it just seems silly to pay $20K for an unwanted pregnancy and birth than $10 for BC pills. I thought with conservatives it was all about the bottom line.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    July 1, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    So we are basically saying that it's okay for women to get pregnant/not get pregnant, and that someone somewhere is going to help pay for it, in either situation? Not trying to be a hater, just asking a question.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 1, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    @Chris B – “I'll pay for everyone's birth control when they pay for my Hawaii vacation.”

    Except that preventing unwanted pregnancies accrues tremendous benefits to society exponentially greater than the cost of birth control. We reduce abortions, single mothers, children for those who cannot afford more, and gain all the benefits of these results (reduced crime, welfare, etc…).

    Unless you’re on the verge of going postal and a vacation to Hawaii will prevent that, your vacation does nothing for the rest us.

    Not making birth control as cheap & widely available as possible is penny wise and pound foolish. Didn’t that use to be a conservative maxim?

    July 1, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    @Chris B,

    What if a woman has endometriosis? Or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? Or a host of other medical problems that are treated using contraception? Female contraception is not just for preventing pregnancy. However, Viagra only has one use and it is covered.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    July 1, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    Chris B, why should insurance than pay for those who choose to get pregnant? Why should those of us who don't have children have to pay for the costs of maternity, schooling, etc? Birth control is certainly the least costly of the two.

    Would you support a company to only cover birth control if the owner's "sincerely held religious beliefs" are that it's morally wrong to bring more children into the world?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    Liberals have been disingenuous in this(and most) arguments. No one is saying women shouldn't have access to birth control. We're just saying if you want to engage in activities that make you susceptible to becoming pregnant and you don't want to get pregnant - you can pay for your own birth control.

    Birth control is a "need" like a Hawaii vacation for me is a "need" because my doctor said it would lower my stress level.

    I'll pay for everyone's birth control when they pay for my Hawaii vacation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 1, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    I'm just making an educated guess here but I would expect Hobby Lobby to be on the IRS audit list for 2014.