Is Ezekiel Emanuel, often dubbed the architect of ObamaCare, really this stupid or is he only playing the fool?
The justices in the majority go to great lengths to state that the Hobby Lobby decision is limited to contraception. But no principle differentiates contraception from blood transfusions or vaccines—or, for that matter, any other health-care services that employers find objectionable on sincerely held religious grounds.
I realize that Zeke is not exactly the sort of doctor who sees patients, but even he ought to know the difference between birth control and blood transfusions.
Religious exemptions in medicine, for example when applied to children, differentiate between necessary medical treatment and optional treatments. No court is going to hold that a company can deny coverage of blood transfusions.
(For that matter, Hobby Lobby isn’t opposed to birth control, it’s opposed to some very specific abortifacient types of birth control.)
Emanuel tries to dial up the alarmism by acting as if the decision would allow the denial of medical treatments that address a medical problem, as opposed to lifestyle products that are not treating a medical problem. If there’s any loophole here, it was created when ObamaCare mandated contraception coverage. Without that, there would have been no religious objections or loopholes.
From there Emanuel switches to promoting the end of employer health insurance and the beginning of the VA model.
Medicare and the VA system, which provide medical services to Americans across the continuum of care…
Hobby Lobby adds one more reason to tip the balance against employer-sponsored health insurance, though. As of today, an employer can now refuse to cover contraceptive services based on religious beliefs. Tomorrow it might be vaccines, mental health or some other services. Many workers, especially women, might begin to think it is just better to have a voucher—or the equivalent, a defined contribution—from their employer and go into the exchange and decide what insurance plan to buy. Having my employer decide—or even having the power to decide—what basic services are covered now starts to seem intrusive and presumptuous.
The unpopularity of ObamaCare shows why that’s wishful thinking. Even for those few people who work at places that oppose abortifacients and want them, getting ObamaCare is probably not going to be worth the price.
And the number of people who might think that it does is going to be small.