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Health Care and Contraception: Did the Supreme Court Get It Right?

Posted

Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele. Has 27 years experience.

Was the Supreme Court right to rule that the Affordable Care Act violated the religio

  1. 1. Was the Supreme Court right to rule that the Affordable Care Act violated the religio

    • 1023
      No - The ruling allows bosses to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Besides, the Constitution grants religious freedom to individuals, not corporations.
    • 483
      Yes - The religious beliefs of company owners take precedence over their employees' right to have access to birth control.

1,506 members have participated

Should religious family-owned companies be required to cover contraceptives under their insurance plans? The high court says no.

I'm curious how you nurses feel about this? Please take a second to vote in our quick poll.

This is a highly political topic, I'd rather not turn this into a hot argumentative subject, so please keep your comments civil :) But please feel free to comment. Thanks

Here is an article on the topic:

Hobby Lobby Ruling Cuts Into Contraceptive Mandate

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In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.What did the court's ruling do?

The court's majority said that the for-profit companies that filed suit-Hobby Lobby Stores, a nationwide chain of 500 arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a maker of custom cabinets-didn't have to offer female employeesall Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptivesas part of a package of preventive services that must be covered without copays or deductibles under the law. The companies had argued that several types of contraceptivesviolate their owners' religious beliefs. The ruling also covers a Hobby Lobby subsidiary, the Mardel Christian bookstores.

Edited by brian

Cuddleswithpuddles

Has 11 years experience.

I agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in spirit. I am not religious and I am pro-contraception, but I generally agree that a family-owned companies should be able to conduct their businesses in a manner congruent with their beliefs.

The application of this ruling, however, is potentially disastrous for women. What if more large companies start claiming they are family-owned businesses in order to save money on healthcare services for women? Women are then left in the dust.

The bigger issue underlying all of this nonsense is this: Why do Americans have to be deeply reliant on an employer for healthcare coverage?

What's next? There are people out there who sincerely believe that the Bible forbids the mixing of the races. Should they, as business owners, be exempted from Equal Opportunity laws because of that? There are people who have sincere religious views about the role of women in the family and society. Should they be entitled to refuse to hire women, or pay them significantly less than male employees for the same job because of their personal religious views? Once we've started down this road, where does it end??

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

This ruling could be a disaster for anyone who works for a business owned by a Jehovah's Witness or Christian Scientist. It's also another great example of why health insurance should not be tied to employment.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

Would the ruling be the same if, say, an Islamic-owned company made the same claim? An Hmong company claiming cultural restrictions?

Have you all followed the articles regarding how Hobby Lobby has conducted itself in the past? Purchasing most if not all of its merchandise dirt cheap from China, where forced abortions and infanticide are rampant?

Investing in companies that manufacture the very abortion drugs that they are objecting to?

I think this is a disastrous ruling that will open the floodgates for businesses to opt out of providing healthcare coverage for anything they darn well please by claiming a religious objection. A Jehovah's Witness-owned company could refuse to cover blood transfusions because it's against their tenets. A Jewish company could decline to cover organ transplants because they believe that the body should be whole when it is interred.

The list is endless.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

If they pay for Viagra they should pay for birth control. When getting an erection is more important than a woman right for choice about her body...we are in trouble.

This is going to have a trickle effect. It sets a dangerous precedence. Just and gay rights for equality and marriage and FINALLY won in the supreme court...they can still be denied thier rights becasue they are same sex?

Once again I just sit here and shake my head.

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

I agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in spirit. I am not religious and I am pro-contraception, but I generally agree that a family-owned companies should be able to conduct their businesses in a manner congruent with their beliefs.

The application of this ruling, however, is potentially disastrous for women. What if more large companies start claiming they are family-owned businesses in order to save money on healthcare services for women? Women are then left in the dust.

The bigger issue underlying all of this nonsense is this: Why do Americans have to be deeply reliant on an employer for healthcare coverage?

Large companies that want to claim that they're "family-owned" that are Publicly traded (not closely-held) will have to take a serious beating on their financials by being taken private again and then some. That means no more stocks, no (quite literally) non-family members of the governing board. It would be a HUGE disaster for those companies that do this.

Forcing mom & pop shops of all sizes to disregard their religious beliefs could also be viewed as an attack on religion. For hospital chains that are religiously founded that won't do sterilization procedures that aren't medically necessary, would it be OK to force them to disregard their beliefs no matter who wants to be sterilized electively.

In the particular case, the affected companies actually do pay for contraception, they just don't pay for the 4 options that they believe actually are a form of abortion.

Here's the thing about this ruling though: it was decided on statutory grounds and not constitutional law grounds. They didn't reach to the 1st Amendment. They simply applied an existing statute to the specific case. If Congress feels that the Supreme Court was wrong, they can simply revise the statute. The decision was both 5-4 and 5-2 because two Justices thought that Hobby Lobby should lose no matter what (and didn't have an opinion) and the other two actually expressed a dissenting opinion.

I can't choose either answer to your poll as neither one fits.

This decision doesn't mean women will not have access to birth control.

Hobby Lobby only had issues with four of the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA, specifically those that are proven to interfere with uterine implantation of a fertilized egg, such as hormonal contraceptives like Plan B or IUD's. Because of the belief that a fertilized egg is the act of conception and therefore stopping the egg from implanting into the uterus causes the death of that embryo, a human being dies.

Viagra is not the same thing as this at all. An erection and a fertilized egg are simply not the same.

People can certainly disagree about when human life begins. However, in order to understand why people think the way they think, understanding where they come from helps us all.

The ACA (Obamacare) doesn't guarantee that health plans cover it - Obamacare would never have passed with such a guarantee. And this is based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed by Prez. Clinton:

The high court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case refocused attention on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that passed Congress overwhelmingly in 1993, with the support of some lawmakers still serving in both the House and Senate. The statute requires federal laws to accommodate individuals' religious beliefs unless there is a compelling interest at stake that can't be attained through other means.

Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Ignites Debate Over Religious-Freedom Law - WSJ

This doesn't stop women from being able to get contraception. That's hyperbole.

I'm in favor of what the Supreme Court did here.

Edited by Spidey's mom

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 6 years experience.

Would the ruling be the same if, say, an Islamic-owned company made the same claim? An Hmong company claiming cultural restrictions?

Have you all followed the articles regarding how Hobby Lobby has conducted itself in the past? Purchasing most if not all of its merchandise dirt cheap from China, where forced abortions and infanticide are rampant?

Investing in companies that manufacture the very abortion drugs that they are objecting to?

I think this is a disastrous ruling that will open the floodgates for businesses to opt out of providing healthcare coverage for anything they darn well please by claiming a religious objection. A Jehovah's Witness-owned company could refuse to cover blood transfusions because it's against their tenets. A Jewish company could decline to cover organ transplants because they believe that the body should be whole when it is interred.

The list is endless.

Not all companies... just closely-held privately owned ones that provide healthcare coverage.

The potential, however, is obvious. This ruling could very well begin the dismantling of the ACA.

Not all companies... just closely-held privately owned ones that provide healthcare coverage.

The potential, however, is obvious. This ruling could very well begin the dismantling of the ACA.

And that last point makes me happy. :inlove:

HappyWife77, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology RN-BC and FNP MSN student. Has 21 years experience.

Religion and religious beliefs have always been respected in many arenas worldwide.

And for that I'm grateful. I agree with the ruling.

Muser69

Specializes in Critical care. Has 42 years experience.

Supreme Court judges should all be atheists. Only fair way to judge separation of church and state.

Religion and religious beliefs have always been respected in many arenas worldwide.

And for that I'm grateful. I agree with the ruling.

No one is disputing the religious beliefs of the business owners involved in the suit; just their right to impose their own, personal beliefs on their employees.

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

I think there's maybe some confusion about what the supreme court ruled. They didn't actually rule that Hobby Lobby can't in some way be required to subsidize all types of birth control for their employees. They ruled that the less restrictive ways of doing this must be used.

Justice Alito made a few suggestions of less restrictive ways of doing this, which included requiring providers or insurers to provide contraception for free for those with employer provided plans, the providers or insurers would then be reimbursed by the government (with funds that come from taxes, which Hobby Lobby is still required to pay). This seems equally restrictive to me.

I'm curious if people who support this decision also support that employers can still be required to cover all contraception, just with an added moral money laundering step in between.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

Of course they didn't get it right. They put the rights of corporations over the rights of the individual.

But we all know SCOTUS is bought and paid for by the 1 %.

Why can the owners incorporate to create legal distance between themselves and their business for financial reasons then choose to ignore that distance in order to apply their personal religious beliefs to the corporation so that their beliefs may be imposed upon the employees?

Why do those justices feel this expression of religious belief is valuable and relevant but the Native American use of peyote or cannabis is not(as they previously determined)? Why do the justices believe that this only very narrowly applies to contraception and not to other religious beliefs? Why does the SCOTUS view the religious beliefs of the corporation have more value than the religious beliefs of the employee or the the more value than the medical needs of the employee? Why did the SCOTUS allow this ruling to be made based upon junk science that wrongly identified some contraceptives as abortifacients?

Can we now sue for a rebate because our religious beliefs do not allow us to finance war and killing? Where are my tax dollars?

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Nobody was denying access to birth control; they weren't testing women's blood/urine for hormone levels in the way employers test for drugs of abuse or sometimes nicotine. They just didn't wish to PAY for Rx's which have the potential to stop the implantation of a zygote, thus stopping its life.

If something isn't covered, one has two choices. Pay for it themselves, or find an employer who will. Pills are not expensive. I want to say Planned Parenthood has a sliding scale fee. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood wouldn't be in the news if their court battles were common. Almost any other employer, I'd venture to guess, will pay for Rx contraception.

Also, look at the example of the opposites of Rx contraception: fertility treatment or vasectomy/tubal ligation reversal surgery. Is there any outcry pressuring employers to pay for these services? No. And no, I don't think they should be required to either. It would be nice for the people who want these services, but ultimately I believe it to be up to the one paying for it. I do think though, that if one is so on fire for choice, they should respect the choice to have a child just the same as they respect the choice to prevent one.

Just my $0.02.

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