The Supreme Court case that Hobby Lobby won last month blew a hole in the healthcare coverage of many Americans. On Tuesday, the Congressional Democrats announced that they had been developing legislation that would override the damaging Supreme Court decision on contraceptives; the bill would ensure that all women have access to coverage for birth control, even if they work for businesses that have “religious objections.”
The bill, which was developed with help from the Obama administration, would require for-profits like Hobby Lobby to provide and pay for contraceptive coverage, along with other preventative services, under the ACA. The measure could be on the Senate floor as early as next week, the Senate Democrats said.
Senator Patty Murry, who lead the effort by Senate Democrats in response to the ruling, said, “Your health care decisions are not your boss’s business. Since the Supreme Court decided it will not protect women’s access to health care, I will.”
A companion bill is in the works by the House Democrats.
The legislation, however, faces long odds in the House, which is controlled by the do-nothing theocratic Republicans, beholden to big money interests. Speaker Boehner (R-Cheetos) described the Hobby Lobby case as a “victory for religious freedom,” which translates as “a victory for corporate special interests and your boss,” since nothing says ‘Jesus’ quite like rich people money.
According to the New York Times:
The Supreme Court said in its decision that a federal rule requiring many employers to provide contraceptive coverage for female employees was unlawful because it violated a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That law says that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless the burden is “the least restrictive means” to advance “a compelling governmental interest.”
The court said that a family-owned for-profit corporation may engage in “the exercise of religion” like an individual.
The Senate Bill, sponsored by Murry, slams the Supreme Court for their majority opinion and repudiates it by declaring that “employers may not discriminate against their female employees” in coverage of preventive health services, and that an employer “shall not deny coverage of a specific health care item or service” where coverage is required under any provision of federal law. Moreover, it says this requirement shall apply to employers notwithstanding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The bill wouldn’t amend that law; it explicitly preserves the federal rules providing an exemption for houses of worship that would have “religious objections” to providing coverage for contraceptives.
The bill also preserves the “accommodation” President Obama devised for the nonprofit religious organizations that do have “religious objections.” The First Amendment also protects religious liberties, but the Supreme Court decision was based on a reading of an act of Congress, not the Constitution, so lawmakers said that Congress could change the law to deal with the problem.
It likely won’t survive Speaker Cheetos and his pinhead-buddies, but the death of this bill will be one more thing that the Democrats should use to hammer the Republicans with this year and in 2016.
More about Hobby Lobby from AATTP
- Christian Taliban Hobby Lobby Doesn’t Want Doctors Even TALKING To Workers About Birth Control!
- Twitter Users Wage Hilarious War on Holier-Than-Thou Hobby Lobby Bigots!
- MUST SEE: Planned Parenthood’s Blistering Rebuke of Horrifying Hobby Lobby Attack on Women (Video)
- Maddow: Christian Segregationists Would be ‘Stunned’ and ‘Possibly Pleased’ By Hobby Lobby Ruling