I really thought the Hobby Lobby thing had been covered from just about every angle, until a Mother Jones report was released today in which they uncovered the fact that Hobby Lobby’s retirement fund has over $73 million invested in pharmaceutical companies that produce contraceptives. Yes, you heard that right. The company that wants to refuse contraceptives to their employees under the false pretenses of “religious freedom” invests money in corporations that make contraceptives and even drugs used in abortions.
Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).
Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices. (Source)
Here’s the thing, I honestly don’t think Hobby Lobby really cares about birth control. Heck, most Protestants don’t have a problem with contraceptives of any kind and many don’t even get that worked up about abortion. That area of self-righteous indignation has usually been reserved for Catholics and as pointed out in this article from Prospect.org, neither of the parties in the case currently before the Supreme Court are Catholic. Also, neither Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Specialties are religious organizations, they are corporations.
Oddly enough, neither of the business owners involved are Catholic, even though the first objections to the contraception mandate were raised by Catholic leaders, who didn’t want religiously affiliated hospitals and schools to provide birth control, which the Catholic hierarchy considers taboo. One case—Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, documented extensively for the Prospect by Sarah Posner earlier this summer—deals with an arts-and-crafts chain owned by evangelical Christians. The other—Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius—hones in on a smaller, Mennonite-owned cabinet door manufacturer. (Source)
So what is Hobby Lobby’s case really about? It’s simple. By allowing a corporation – not a church or other religious non-profit organization – to deny access to specific healthcare products on the grounds they have some sort of objection to it, then it will open a door to allow other companies to make decisions on the behalf of their employees that aren’t rightfully their decision to make. The Affordable Care Act itself has been upheld by the Supreme Court and conservatives are still fuming about it. They know that the Supreme Court has spoken and Obamacare just isn’t going to go away, but what they can do is undermine it as much as possible. Instead of accepting that decision and moving on, political operatives and the groups that fund them will try to punch as many holes as they possibly can in the Affordable Care Act to weaken its ability to function properly.
If they can make it expensive and dysfunctional through various means of sabotage, then they can trick people into voting for politicians who will then try to repeal the law in full. Don’t think that can happen? If we fail to show up to vote in 2014 and 2016, you can bet that with a newly held majority in the Senate (and certainly with a Republican in the White House) every attempt will be made to return us to a day when an insurance company could drop anyone, at any time, and for any reason. My daughter who has severe asthma or my son who has seizures could find themselves without private insurance because no company wants to cover a child with health problems they will deal with for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t about “religious freedom” and this is absolutely NOT about being “pro-life” – it’s about undermining Obamacare by any means possible. It is about turning the clock back to before Obama. That’s all it was ever about.
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