The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is rushing to find alternatives for comprehensive health coverage for women that includes contraception in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. Religious institutions and private corporations claiming religious belief will be rushing to prevent coverage of contraception in group health insurance policies.
Without an alternative, many women will lose coverage they now have or be denied coverage that was required by the Affordable Care Act.
One simple alternative would be government-provided coverage.
The Times says, politely, that this would be difficult for political and financial reasons.
Read: The House Republicans, particularly, oppose government spending except on their pet projects and they oppose contraception for women. Ultimately, the result of the Hobby Lobby ruling will be clarity on the latter point. The far-right starts with abortion, but it ends with control of women’s reproduction, except for the Just Say No method. And you don’t have to read much to find some politicians who think No is not an option for married women.
The fight will at least broaden the understanding of what the U.S. Supreme Court has done in the name of corporate personhood and advancement of the majority justices’ religious beliefs. Some think the Hobby Lobby ruling, fore example, applies only to morning after pills and IUDs that some THINK work after fertilization (science disagrees). That’s the Hobby Lobby policy on its group health coverage. But Hobby Lobby also would have prevailed before this court if it refused coverage of the conventional birth control pill, as some Catholic-controlled corporations favor.
It’s becoming clear how disingenuous Justice Alito was in is Hobby Lobby decision, most recently with a speedy order clearing the way for a religious college to dodge the requirement of a form to say it won’t provide contraceptive coverage.
Yet officials are struggling to make sense of a sunny sentence in the court’s order on Thursday exempting Wheaton from the opt-out form. “Nothing in this interim order affects the ability of the applicant’s employees and students to obtain, without cost, the full range of F.D.A.-approved contraceptives,” the majority said in the unsigned opinion.
It said Wheaton could merely notify the government of its religious objections in writing rather than send the opt-out form to its coverage providers.
The difference sounds trivial. But it could create quite a roadblock for the Department of Health and Human Services, Justice Sotomayor wrote in dissent. “Does the court intend for H.H.S. to rely on the filing of lawsuits by every entity claiming an exemption?” she asked. She questioned whether the government was supposed to create “a database that tracks every employer’s insurer or third-party administrator nationwide.”
Obstacles to contraception are precisely the aim of Alito and the others bent on imposing their religion on others.