March 26, 2014

Supreme Ignorance

The Hobby Lobby/Obamacare case is being heard by the Supreme Court, and it didn't take very long for a couple of female liberal justices to make their opinion known.
During oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday which focused on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan suggested employers who have moral objections to birth control should not provide health care coverage for their employees. “But isn't there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than -- than the cost of health insurance at all?”
To be clear, I don't have a religious-based concern in this matter.  I do have the same concern that I have had since Day One of Obamalamadingdongcare - the government mandating ownership of federally-approved insurance, or they will be fined, taxed, flogged, whatever.

Sotomayor continued to show how out of touch she is:
“Those employers could choose not to give health insurance and pay not that high a penalty – not that high a tax,” Sotomayor said. 
“There’s one penalty that is if the employer continues to provide health insurance without this part of the coverage, but Hobby Lobby would choose not to provide health insurance at all.
"And in that case Hobby Lobby would pay $2,000 per employee, which is less that Hobby Lobby probably pays to provide insurance to its employees,” Kagan said. “So there is a choice here. It’s not even a penalty by – in the language of the statute. It’s a payment or a tax. There’s a choice.”
I got news, lady, while insurance is costly, I doubt Hobby Lobby is paying $2,000 per employee.  I am involved in making benefit choices for my company.  My employer has a wonderful philosophy about health insurance - and our coverage is paid 100% by the company - for the employee and dependents.  We are the only company that our insurance broker knows of that provides fully funded coverage for employees.  We are a small group, so we get the crappy prices, but, even then, family coverage (and it is a 'Gold'-type plan) does not exceed $2,000.  I am sure Hobby Lobby does better in the pricing department, and I would venture to guess that the employees pay a share of their coverage.

The real lesson here, regardless of the decision that will be handed down in the Hobby Lobby case, is this: the Supremes are reinforcing their earlier decision that labeled the Obamacare penalty a "TAX".  Sotomayor and Kagan both labeled the penalty as such in their comments.

The precedent is now set, it seems, that gives the government the power and ability to regulate private conduct through the tax code.

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

The damage that obama has done to this country will linger long after he's out of office, as evidenced by those two idiots he's stuck us with on the SCOTUS (and numerous other federal judges at lower levels).

And speaking of those two particular idiots, isn't the job of a Supreme Court justice to interpret the law, not to find work-arounds? Opting out on religious grounds is either legal or not, regardless of how much the 'tax' is.