01 Jul 2013 Hobby Lobby’s Court Victory in HHS Mandate Case is a Victory for Religious and Economic Freedom: Claims of an “Attack on Women who Use Birth Control” are Foolish Leftist Spin
In an article published Friday, the left-wing spin group Think Progress continued its wild exaggerations relating to the HHS mandate, which is the portion of ObamaCare that requires employers, including religious employers, to pay for coverage for early abortion and birth control services.
Think Progress has repeatedly attempted to portray an employers’ decision not to provide coverage for early-stage abortion and/or birth control as blocking employees’ access to such services.
This is, of course, is ridiculous, as birth control and early abortion services are sold on the open market and no one is ever required to get a note from their employer in order to purchase them.
Think Progress and its ideological ilk attempt to fudge this question by implying these items are unaffordable unless they are paid for by an employer. Quite aside from the very pertinent fact that these are not especially expensive items, the thesis is ridiculous: Employees EARN their wages, whether they receive such wages in cash or in benefits, such as health insurance, and they spend them according to their own desires.
Let us take a company such as Hobby Lobby, which, happily, won a case last Thursday that will, for now at least, permit it to continue employing Americans without paying for services that prevent the implantation of fertilized human eggs (Hobby Lobby does not object to birth control coverage), and without paying, as the Obama Administration wished, a $1 million dollar a day fine for doing so.
Hobby Lobby pays its employees a wage acceptable to the employees, in a combination of cash and benefits acceptable to the employees. We know this because no one is forced to work for Hobby Lobby, yet people willingly do so. This tells anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of capitalism (which may exclude many at Think Progress) that Hobby Lobby employees have judged their overall wage and benefits package to be acceptable in exchange for the work Hobby Lobby requires in exchange for it.
All this says nothing about the desire or lack of same among Hobby Lobby employees to purchase drugs or devices that prevent the implantation of fertilized human eggs — and, more to their point, their ability to do so. Most of a Hobby Lobby employee’s compensation is in cash; they can buy these items if desired. Hobby Lobby can’t stop them and is not even trying to stop them.
In fact, the coercion here comes from the Obama Administration, which is attempting to force Hobby Lobby employees to take part of their compensation in anti-implantation drugs and devices coverage instead of in cash or other benefits.
Most employees will never buy anti-implantation drugs or devices, making these benefits useless to them. Yet somehow, Think Progress equates the forced acceptance of a benefit most employees will never use in lieu of cash or a preferred benefit as not only a bad thing, but an out-and-out ban on an employee’s ability to purchase a commonly-available an inexpensive item at a drug store.
Which it is not.
By way of analogy, consider a hypothetical company that declined to invent and supply its employees with something we’ll invent for illustrative purposes, “food insurance.” That is, a policy that would buy food for the employee so they did not have to use their cash wages at the grocery store. Would an employer who did not provide a “food insurance” benefit be denying its employees food?
Of course not.
And similarly, employers who do not offer anti-egg implantation drugs and device coverage are not blocking their employees from purchasing such things.
As Think Progress well knows, really, but it likes to spin.
And speaking of spinning, this article on Think Progress attempts to claim that if religious employers are not forced to buy early abortion drugs and devices, then religious employers will be allowed to discriminate against gay people. As Think Progress puts it, “Today, religious conservatives have their sights set on women who use birth control. If they win, gay people are next.”
But no one’s “sights are set” on women who use birth control. Think Progress should stop spinning and respect its readers enough to tell the plain truth.