Obama’s health care law received a blow today as the Supreme Court has reached a decision in the Hobby Lobby case. The vote behind the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby ended with a 5-4 result in favor of ‘closely’ held business’s right to oppose mandatory contraception insurance coverage due to sincere religious belief.
Hobby Lobby is a business owned by a devout religious family who filed a law suit against the Department of Health and Human Services in September 2012. The reason was that under the Affordable Care Act, the company would be obliged to provide health insurance covering contraception for their female employees. The principle would violate their religious belief, the files stated.
Statements regarding the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby case
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act lies at the foundation of today’s Supreme Court’s decision, Justice Alito stated as a spokesperson for the five winning voters, all Republican named Justices. More precisely, the decision applies in the cases of companies with 50 percent of the stock in the hands of maximum five people, if they have a clear religious belief.
On the other side, Democrat named Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg provided a 35 pages harsh rebuttal of the decision. She stated that providing no-cost contraception for women is “a compelling interest in public health and women’s well being.” Moreover, she added that companies were not enforced in any way to act in opposition to the owners’ religious beliefs, as the Affordable Care Act “calls on the companies covered by the requirement to direct money into undifferentiated funds that finance a wide variety of benefits under comprehensive health plans.”
The Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby case has wider implications. The former president of the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Dr. Jeanne Conry, says that the Supreme Court’s decision puts the medical personnel in a difficult position to provide health care in the best interest of the female patients. “This clearly puts an employer in the exam room with me and my patient, and that’s untenable”, Dr. Jeanne Conry added.
There is a whole new world of possibilities opening up after this decision has been stated. One of them is that ‘closely’ held business does not necessarily mean small – Cargill, Koch Industries, Dell, and Heinz, for example, have tens of thousands of employees and dozens of $ billions in revenues, but they are closely held. It means that a Pandora’s Box has been opened. Due to the fact that the First Amendament does not differentiate between human speech and corporate speech, the Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby case could influence subsequent decisions on how political campaigns might get funded.