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View Diary: Hobby Lobby demonstrates that RFRA violates the establishment clause (154 comments)

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  •  The court also applied RFRA wrong (17+ / 0-)

    It assumed that having to pay insurance premiums was a burden.  But it is clear, from the accommodation offered to secular arms of religious organizations, that there is no additional cost of providing the full panoply of FDA-approved contraceptives to women.  Thus, there was no financial burden.

    In addition, the court, and Hobby Lobby, misconstrue the nature of insurance.  Hobby Lobby's premiums are not segregated (unless they are self-insured, and nothing in the opinions seems to indicate so) from other employers.  Hobby Lobby's premiums simply disappear into the assets of their insurance company, which commingles those premiums with other employer's premiums, individual premiums, government subsidies, and investment earnings.  Hobby Lobby either pays no particular claims (the correct view, in my opinion) or it pays a part, by virtue of being in the pool, of every claim made by any of its insurance company's insureds.  Thus, if its religious beliefs are to be considered in any way "sincere," would dictate that it not participate at all in health insurance of any sort.

    In particular, I note that insurance companies are now directly subsidized by the federal government under ACA.  Hobby Lobby is thus seeking to be a free rider, not a principled objector.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:33:43 PM PDT

    •  Apparently they are self insured. (7+ / 0-)

      I also read that prior to ACA, their insurance did cover the contraceptive methods they are now objecting to. So they seem to be unilaterally changing the conditions under which they hired, and under which their employees agreed to work. Isn't this some kind of labor law violation?

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 01:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are self insured. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They are self insured.

    •  I'd argue the same even with self insurance, (0+ / 0-)

      since the provision actually means LESS cost; one pregnancy can wipe out years of savings for pills.

      Nor is it a burden to beliefs: here, an employee is either going to pay for contraception with HL provided insurance or HL provided wages.  Making the employee use the HL provided wages doesn't distance HL from the use of contraceptives one bit, which is why I assume the next step is HL making its employees contract to not use certain birth control methods.

      Retrospectives on 25th anniversary of Tiananmen at

      by Inland on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:20:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The court side steps this question (0+ / 0-)

      By saying they could never deign to look into the hearts of religious beliefs and say if the belief if reasonable (even though reasonableness is basically a standard courts use and apply every single day of the week).  Instead, the court says as long as someone sincerely believes that's how insurance works, then that's good enough for the court (leaving the courts to examine into the sincerity of plaintiff's beliefs - how courts are supposed to be better equipped to look at that, as opposed to fact-based reasonable inquiries, I have no idea).

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