Hobby Lobby

The Nazgûl managed to stir up a bunch of political drama by ruling that privately held companies whose owners hold strong religious beliefs can be exempted for providing funding for certain contraceptives:

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.

The ruling deals directly with only a small provision of Obamacare and will not take down the entire law but it amounts to a huge black eye for Obamacare, the administration and its backers. The justices have given Obamacare opponents their most significant political victory against the health care law, reinforcing their argument that the law and President Barack Obama are encroaching on Americans’ freedoms.

As you can expect the Internet has exploded. Feminists are decrying this as a direct strike against women’s rights and the religious are hailing this as a great victory for religious freedom. Both sides, in their fervor to be louder than the other side, are missing the big picture. This battle isn’t one of women’s rights versus religious freedom, it’s the inevitable outcome of this country’s state-employer-insurer complex. Or as I like to call it the trinity of fuckery.

The state really made this entire fiasco possible. Today most people receive health insurance as part of their employee benefits package. Have you ever wondered why health insurance is tied to your employer? It’s because employers needed a way to provide higher wages during a time when the state implemented wage controls. Since the state said that employers couldn’t pay employees a higher wage employers decided to offer benefits, including health insurance, to bypass the controls. Today the state has further solidified the unity between health insurance and employment by mandating almost every employer provider employees with specific types of health insurance. That last part, requiring specific types of insurance, is the real kicker because it mandates certain types of contraceptives that many religious individuals oppose.

An employer with strongly held religious convictions is going to have problems funding coverage for certain types of contraceptives and abortions. Since they’re being mandated by the state to provide health insurance and that health insurance must cover some of the contraceptives they find objectionable they are using the only avenue left open to them: the courts. Hobby Lobby in this case decided to fight the contraceptive coverage and the state made an arbitrary decision, which sided with Hobby Lobby in this case. You can argue that the ruling was just or unjust until you’re blue in the face but it doesn’t matter what you believe. It only matters what the state believes.

Had the state never implemented wage controls and thus tied health insurance to employment we wouldn’t be in this mess. Assuming a lack of some other form of state meddling, employees would then be free to buy whatever health insurance plan worked for them. People with strong religious convictions against contraceptives could get a health insurance plan that didn’t cover contraceptives while people who want contraceptive coverage could get a plan that offered it. Their employer wouldn’t have a say in the matter since they wouldn’t be providing it. So the only viable solution is to break apart the trinity of fuckery.