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The Breadth of Hobby Lobby’s Attack On Its Employees

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The companies advancing the farcically specious religious freedom arguments against the contraception non-mandate want their employees to get even less for the health insurance they pay for with their labor than you think:

Arguments in front of the Supreme Court start next week in the Hobby Lobby case. Hobby Lobby is suing for a religious exemption from the Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring that employer-provided health insurance cover contraception. Most of the coverage of the case has focused on Hobby Lobby’s objection to the contraception itself and how, if the business prevails, its employees will have to pay out of pocket for things like birth control pills or IUDs. But, as Tara Culp-Ressler at ThinkProgress explained on Wednesday, Hobby Lobby and their co-plaintiff, Conestoga Wood Specialties, are also objecting to insurance plans covering “related education and counseling” for contraception. In other words, these for-profit businesses aren’t just asking their female employees to pay for their own contraception, even though they are already paying for their own contraception by paying for their insurance coverage. These companies want to elbow their way into doctor’s offices and call the shots on what doctors can and cannot say to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood employees.

In summary, Hobby Lobby et al. are citing a “burden” on religious practice so trivial as to be non-existent in order to impose actual burdens on the rights of their employees. This nicely summarizes how American conservatives think about “freedom.”

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