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rant

So about Hobby Lobby...

Of course, the Repubs calling this a "victory for individual rights against the government" are blowing smoke: it's a victory for the individual rights of a few corporation owners against the individual rights of their hundreds or thousands of employees -- or, if you prefer, a victory for the individual rights of a corporation to have its own religious views, against the individual rights of actual human beings.

Interestingly, like so many Republican suggestions in the past five years, it would actually be fairly harmless or even good if we were in a thriving economy: "if you want your insurance to cover contraception, and Hobby Lobby doesn't cover it, get a job somewhere else."  Of course, in a depressed economy, "get a job somewhere else" is frequently not an option.  Similarly, cutting Federal spending and hiring would be harmless or even useful if those were "crowding out" private hiring, and cutting Federal deficits would be harmless or even useful if those were "crowding out" private borrowing, and raising Fed rates to restrict the money supply would be harmless or even useful if there were an inflation problem.  All of which is not happening, and hasn't been happening for five years, and won't be happening until more people are working real full-time jobs at decent pay, but Republicans don't believe there is such a thing as involuntary unemployment or business cycles, so they blithely go on prescribing what might be the right medicine for a booming economy with full employment.

Anyway, back to the SCOTUS decision.  Hobby Lobby and friends actually do have a bit of a point: if you ran (say) a small business, and the law said you had to allocate a certain fraction of your payroll to the local Baby-Seal-Clubbing Program, which you considered immoral, you would have some cause to object, even if a few of your employees inexplicably believed in clubbing baby seals.

However, the "right" answer isn't to say "because of your religion, you don't have to obey this Federal law that all of your competitors do."  The "right" answer is to get employers out of the business of providing health insurance for their employees -- that way it wouldn't MATTER much what your employer thought were legitimate health expenses -- or lifestyle choices, for that matter.  And if you lost your job, it wouldn't mean losing your health insurance at the same time.  And and and.

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However, the "right" answer isn't to say "because of your religion, you don't have to obey this Federal law that all of your competitors do." The "right" answer is to get employers out of the business of providing health insurance for their employees --

Exactly. Do I want employers in the business of supplying health insurance? No. But given that they are, should anybody get to pick and choose which rules to follow? Hell no. Work to change the system for everybody, or just suck it up. I don't approve of how all my taxes are spent nor how my liberties are limited either, but that doesn't give me the right to create my own rules.