Obamacare is not as much about health care policy as it is about social policy. The massive wealth redistribution accomplished through the ACA’s many taxes, fees, fines, subsidies, and tax credits which reward some while punishing others is just one example of this point. Another example is the requirement for businesses to offer contraception and abortion-inducing drugs through employer sponsored health insurance plans regardless of the religious beliefs of the employer.
The Weekly Standard reveals the extent to which the federal government will advance its social agenda under the guise of health care in its article, “No Insurance Is Better than Unapproved Insurance Under Obamacare.” Under the ACA, businesses which offer no insurance to their employees face a $2,000 annual per employee fine, while businesses that DO offer health insurance, but don’t provide coverage for all preventive services mandated by Obamacare, face a $36,500 annual per employee fine!
Due to the delay of the employer mandate, however, it’s even worse than that. The Weekly Standards writes,
“Actually, for now your employer’s choice is between a fine of $36,500 or $0, as Obama has extralegally decreed that fines for not providing insurance (but not fines for providing insurance that doesn’t cover all “preventive services”) will be waived until after we get to the other side of the midterm elections.”
The left’s blatant disrespect for religious freedom as manifested in Obamacare’s mandates and fines was put on full display in the U.S. Supreme Court with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan leading the charge. The court heard the arguments of Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialities which sued the federal government over the ACA requirement to provide health insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs to employees.
CNSNews reports that Sotomayor and Kagan suggested during the plaintiffs’ presentation that businesses which oppose birth control on moral grounds should abstain from offering any form of health insurance coverage and instead incur the fine – excuse me – “tax” called for in Obamacare. CNSNews provided the following quotes from Sotomayor and Kagan,
“But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than – than the cost of health insurance at all?” (Justice Sonia Sotomayer)
“And in that case Hobby Lobby would pay $2,000 per employee, which is less than Hobby Lobby probably pays to provide insurance to its employees. So there is a choice here. It’s not even a penalty by – in the language of the statute. It’s a payment or a tax. There’s a choice.” (Justice Elena Kagan)
Kagan appears to put a happy face on the payment of penalties/taxes by referring to them as “a choice” and “voluntary”. As if Obamacare is anything, but an oppressive piece of legislation which usurps the free will of Americans.
The Justices’ statements ignore two points:
- Most employees prefer some insurance over no insurance at all, and with the relatively low cost of birth control, these individuals may choose to pay its cost of out of pocket.
- In a free employment market, employees who do not like a companies’ insurance offerings can express their discontent with their feet and offer their skills to another business.
CNSNews also quoted Chief Justice John Roberts who clarified to the Court that the plaintiffs’ case rests in part on their religious commitment to provide health insurance to their employees. Roberts said,
“I thought – I thought that part of the religious commitment of the owners was to provide health care for its employees.”
As such, opting out of providing employee health insurance is not seen by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga as a viable solution.
CNSNews indicated Sotomayor responded to Justice Robert’s statement as follows,
“Well, if they want to do that, they can just pay a greater salary and let the employees go in on the exchange.”
Such a response reveals Sotomayor’s complete disregard for religious and health care freedom as well as an astonishing ignorance of the financial pressures facing businesses. Not only is the Obamacare exchange a vastly inferior option as compared to most employer sponsored insurance plans, but by taking Sotomayer’s advice, the plaintiffs would still pay for contraception and abortion inducing drugs through the higher salaries necessary to cover the cost of insurance on the exchange.
Sotomayor and Kagan have become so blinded by their feminist ideology, they are unable to recognize the basic Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens. Their America is one that disregards religious freedom and subordinates the individual to the dictates of a command and control economy. This is the means by which they can advance their radical agenda in a country that has not embraced it. It’s unfortunate for Americans that such ideologues were appointed and confirmed to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court adjudicating our rights.
The fact is, Americans have access to birth control for less than the cost of a cell phone, and if an individual chooses not to pay for contraception out of pocket, there are a multitude of employers who will cover the costs. And, it is commonly accepted that those who are morally opposed to abortion should not be forced to fund the abortions of others.
Americans deserve better than a federal government intent on pushing its agenda through unpopular and destructive legislation and a court system willing to uphold that legislation with no regard for basic Constitutional principles.