Sunday, February 19, 2012

Constitutional Religious Freedom for ALL

The argument that I have seen NOWHERE about the Republicans' effort to deny mandatory insurance coverage for women's reproductive health is this:

By giving my employer the right to deny benefits on the basis of HIS religious conscience, they are trying to deny me the right to health care according to MY religious conscience. I happen to be Jewish, and my religion is fine with contraception and early abortion. Letting the Catholic Bishops have their way amounts to favoritism toward one religion, and that seems to me to be clearly against the First Amendment.

Shifting the cost to insurers or the individuals themselves doesn't solve the problem, which is carve-outs for specific religions. Jehovah's Witness employers could use the same arguments to deny payment for blood transfusions, etc. etc. etc. and it leads to a slippery slope where the employer can actually determine whether an individual lives or dies.

So this is not only unconstitutional; it's WRONG!


  1. Is this for real? 1 - The First Amendment applies to Congress or the government more broadly, not private individuals like your employers. 2 - You're not owed any health care coverage through your employer constitutionally or legally, so health insurance through your employer is at your employer's discretion. 3 - You have the freedom to not work there, pay out of pocket or pursue coverage outside your employer.

    And, by the way, if you're extremely concerned about employers having such control over health care coverage, then all you need to do is support legislation that would transfer the tax benefit of health care insurance onto employees from employers so that individuals could purchase their own insurance plans privately. What would also lower the cost is allowing people to buy insurance coverage from outside their states (more competition --> lower prices). Instead, you're supporting something that's explicitly and shamefully un-free while simultaneously arguing that you're standing up for religious freedom. No, you're standing up for economic authoritarianism to bring about a goal that you think is just, and there's nothing free about it.

  2. My comments did not involve the issues you bring up. I'm ONLY commenting on the Catholic carve-out on the Affordable Health Care act as it currently stands. If you want to change this law, feel free to advocate for that, but as it stands, I stand by my comments.