Hobby Lobby & Government Forcing Employers into the Bedroom

The Supreme Court held in Hobby Lobby that closely held corporations may be exempted from paying certain employee contraceptive costs if the owners are morally opposed.

Some critics have argued that employers should not have control over employees’ contraceptive choices. For example, White House press secretary Josh Earnest argued that “women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them.”

Well, isn’t that one of the critical flaws of Obamacare, and of socialized medicine in general? Contraceptive choice is a deeply personal matter, and it really is none of employers’ or government’s business.

There is no indication that Hobby Lobby wants to be involved in this decision, either. This is not a case of an employer installing hidden cameras, mandating chastity belts, or forbidding conduct; to the contrary, Hobby Lobby never weighed in on its employees’ contraceptive choices. Hobby Lobby left its employees to their own devices, and everyone was happy.

Then came the government, ordering Hobby Lobby to pay for comprehensive contraceptive care. In other words, the government dragged Hobby Lobby—kicking and screaming—into its employees’ bedrooms. And now, we’re surprised that Hobby Lobby objects to paying for something its owners find morally wrong? Simply retorting that “Obamacare says so!” is the functional equivalent of plugging your thumbs into your ears and sticking out your tongue while making rude noises.

Relying upon a third party to pay for your bills—whatever they may be—implicitly vests the payer with a certain level of influence. Don’t believe me? Then browse the Internet for Nanny State politicians who want to regulate fast food and soda, and you’ll see that government costs of fighting obesity-related illnesses are a primary justification.

If the government respects individual choices—both employer and employee—then it should scrap socialized medicine and explore free market mechanisms for making medical care more affordable for everyone. Proposals to allow over-the-counter purchase of birth control, for example, would greatly improve affordable access to contraception.

After all, if we don’t want employees beholden to their employers…then maybe we shouldn’t tie our medical care to our bosses.

Categories: Constitutional Law and Public Interest Law.