When the Supreme Court ruled that religious liberty applies in the workplace too, the howls of dismay from the left were as predictable as they were shrill. Feminists wasted no time in wringing their hands and proclaiming that "employers are now free to harm the health of their female employees." Others sobbed about the loss of "access to birth control."
This was not unexpected in the least. But what was surprising was how weak the response from conservatives was. The vast majority of politicians and commentators who claim to be pro-life, pro-constitution conservatives were quick to adopt the language of the left, attempting to pacify the left's outrage.
For example, they point out that Hobby Lobby's insurance still covers all 16 birth control methods which can properly be classified as "contraceptives", only refusing to cover the four methods which are not contraceptive, but abortificient. Of course they do have a point. The morning-after pill is not a contraception. It does not prevent conception. It causes an abortion.
Or they respond to the absurd suggestions that this ruling opens up the door for any employer to refuse to cover blood transfusions or other life-saving treatments for religious reasons by pointing out that the ruling explicitly states that it only applies to closely held companies with religious objections to abortion-causing drugs.
Conservatives don't seem to be up to the task of pointing out that not subsidizing your birth control is different from banning it. To any normal person, having "access" to a product means that you can walk into a store and buy it. But to a leftist, "access" to birth control means that the government forces someone else to pay for your birth control. The Hobby Lobby decision doesn't prevent anyone from getting whatever birth control they want. It just means that if you choose to work for Hobby Lobby, you might have to pay for your own morning-after pills.
Even as leftists scream about how contraception is none of their bosses' business, conservatives don't seem capable of making the point that if contraception is none of the bosses' business, employers shouldn't be compelled by law to pay for it.
Instead conservatives accept the premise that employers should be required to provide insurance, with a few minor exceptions.
When George Takei, who is an expert on health care policy based on
pretending to be a space man on TV, said that "Your boss should not have
any say about your health care", did he mean that your boss should not
be required by law to pay for your insurance? I can demand that my boss stay out of my health care, or I can demand that my boss pay for my health care, but I can't demand that he do both.
The decision for a company to hire an employee is between the employer and the employee, and the terms of that arrangement should be whatever the two parties agree upon.
If one employer decides to not provide any insurance at all, they should be free to do that. If you don't want to work for that employer, you are free to go elsewhere. If that employer can attract the people needed to run the business without providing insurance, great. If not, they may be forced to change their policy to stay in business.
In an employer happens to be against appendectomies because of a bad childhood experience, he should be free to offer insurance which excludes that particular procedure. Employees are free to accept that or work for someone else. Health care is not a right, and the free market will work all these things out.
If another employer decides that they will try to attract the best employees by offering a Cadillac insurance policy, they are free to do that too. Employers don't provide insurance because the government mandates it. They provide insurance because it is necessary in order to compete in the job market. Most employers provided insurance before the mandate, after all.
If one employer can find the people he needs by paying six dollars an hour, he should be able to do that. Both the employer and the employees agree to that pay, so why should be government say they can't hire at that pay? If you want to be paid more, show that your work is valuable and earn a raise, or go find a company which will pay you more. If there isn't one, your work is not worth more.
The bigger point is not that Hobby Lobby is reasonable to only cover 16 of the 20 available birth control methods. It is that government shouldn't be meddling in the employer/employee relationship in the first place. Government has no business mandating what product a person should be required to buy, or what product an employer should be required to buy for their employees.
It is time for conservatives to stop quibbling about what reasonable exceptions should be made to the mandate and return to the core issue which is that the mandate itself violates the principles of freedom which made America great and lies completely outside of the authority which we grant to the government through the Constitution.