The Left is Freaking Out about the Supreme Court's HobbyLobby Decision, and Needs to Calm Down
The Supreme Court Didn't Just Declare Women Not People
The news coverage has been insane. Do people with working brains actually suspect that women are no longer considered people under the eyes of the law? The whinging and bombast has been predictably devoid of actual close readings of the decision at hand, from the majority opinion that decided the case. The radical notion that when an alternative program is available from the federal government for religious organizations, that program should also be available for privately held, for-profits is apparently too much for some people to wrap around their heads.
Women are still people. Insurance will still be covering contraceptive care. The employers are simply opting-out of paying for it, and making reasonable objections per their faith in a very narrow, specific case where the public good is still upheld through a federally-subsidized program.
So, women aren't going to be buying intrauterine devices out of pocket. Pills can still be administered and paid for with insurance. For the women involved, it will be a seamless process as similar as if their employer actually covered the medicine. All it means is that a federal program designed for non-profits that helps cover those aspects of healthcare will be picking up the tab on the portion of the insurance plan that the employer finds morally objectionable.
Again, Let's Be Very, Very Clear
A better interpretation of the decision, regarding precedent, is as follows. Private, non-profit religious institutions have access to a special federal program to mitigate their organizations moral positions on contentious issues while balancing the public good. Following this Supreme Court decision, privately-held organizations and companies with the same religious and moral position can access the federal programs that non-profits have, in these very specific, special cases.
So, that's it. That's the decision, in a nutshell. It bodes very well for the case coming down the pipe where the federal program that is cited as a solution is being challenged. In fact, it looks like that federal program is very secure in light of this new judgment.
No pitchforks necessary. No revolution in the streets. If anything, the women at HobbyLobby can feel more secure knowing that they are guaranteed coverage from the state when their religions don't line up with the religions of the owners of their own business.
And, nobody has to make an issue out of it. The employer clicks a box somewhere with their insurance agent, and everything happens behind the scenes. There isn't even a need for a storewide, all-hands meeting about it. It just seamlessly happens.
But the dissent was so noisy and everyone quoted it!
The popular memes and images I see, along with all the most shared articles, talk not about the decision, itself, which is the actual law, and is narrowly defined, but about the dissent written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In this, she imagines a long string of hypotheticals and fantasies that are not spelled out in the majority, and have nothing to do with the decision, itself. Instead, it frames what is a decision related to the ability of equal access for private and non-profit companies to federal programs into a bombastic, over-the-top yowl about women's rights and women's bodies and nothing to do with the actual case, as it stands.
Again, no one is saying there aren't some women who might need access to these medical devices and pills. They are saying that if a non-profit can ask the federal government to pick up the tab because of religion, that a for-profit can also ask the federal government to pick up the tab for the same reason. It has nothing to do with bosses telling women employees how to live, or what is covered and not covered. This isn't a case or a precedent about women. It is a case about equal access to federal relief for both non-profit and for-profit companies.
Seriously, go read the thing. It's publicly available.
Don't believe me? Why not go read the whole decision, yourself. It's very clear, and paints a very narrow picture of what is actually happening, here.