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Who Should Pay For Your Birth Control?

Today is Hot Topic Tuesday. Let’s talk about the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby/Obamacare case.

I have several interests in this case. As an insurance salesman, I have seen how consumers suffer when the government forces all insurance companies to provide the same specific benefits. Such coercion can limit options, raise costs unnecessarily, and discourage innovation.

As a business owner, I need to watch my bottom line. Forcing me to pay for stuff that my employees could and should pay for themselves, is an unnecessary burden.

As a religious American, I am sensitive to any ideological agenda the government is imposing when it interferes in the marketplace. There are certain practices that I believe contradict my own Jewish spiritual beliefs, as well as traditional American beliefs. Why should I have to support them?

Sheldon Richman of Explore Freedom does a good job showing how the Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case keeps government in its place. Here are some of his key points:

The favored employers are not making health care decisions for women.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) say the court decision permits the favored employers to make health-care decisions for women. No it doesn’t. It only prohibits, unfortunately in only a narrow set of cases, women from being able to use government to force their employers to pay for those decisions. When did we start equating the right to buy contraceptives—which hardly anyone disputes—with the power to compel others to pay? It is demagogic to insist that prohibiting the latter violates the former.

The favored employers are not forcing their religious beliefs on employees.

Equally ridiculous is the claim that if employers choose not to pay for their employees’ birth control, employers are forcing their religious beliefs on employees. If that were true, it would also have to be true that a non-Christian’s refusal to pay for a Christian’s transportation to church on Sundays would be equivalent to forcing the non-Christian’s religious beliefs on the Christian. That’s ridiculous.

People have no right to try to get the government to force other people to pay for stuff they can’t afford themselves.

But, say the ACA’s supporters, contraception is important to women’s health care and can be expensive. Let’s grant both points. So what? How can that justify forcing employers to pay? That is the question. By what right does someone resort to the aggressive power of government to obtain something he or she cannot or does not want to pay for? (It is not only low-income women who qualify for free contraceptives.)

It seems to me that the key issue at hand is indeed the right to use government to force business to pay for what you want, in this case certain forms of birth control. Who do you think should pay for them?