For many, the real outrage at the heart of the Citizens United ruling isn’t exclusively the utter corruption that it enables, nor is it specifically the ridiculous notion that an organization that exists only on paper is “a citizen.” Those things are bad enough, but for many, what’s most galling about CU is the blatantly convenient hypocrisy of it. And as Sandra Fluke points out, healthcare compliance is yet another example of corporate “citizens” wanting to have their cake and tax shelter it in the Caymans, too.
Sandra Fluke made headlines in 2012 when she crossed paths with a certain weeping sack of feminine hygiene product known as Rush Limbaugh. Fluke, a 30-year-old Georgetown law student at the time, was invited by Democrats to speak at a House Oversight meeting on the “Conscience Clause” that allowed corporations not to cover birth control in health plans. Rush, gentleman that he is, proceeded to imply that women who wanted contraceptives covered were “sluts” and prostitutes who were being paid to have sex and should be videotaped in the act as compensation to taxpayers.
Probably because Rush knows he’ll never again in his life see an attractive, naked woman that he hasn’t paid to see that way — probably with oxycontin.
A year later, Fluke is now a full-fledged social justice attorney. She was invited on to MSNBC to go bang heads with the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney on the employer contraception mandate. Her reply with typically pithy; it’s a bad idea to let companies choose which healthcare services they’ll offer and which ones they won’t.
“The problem is that the argument goes much further, beyond the contraception issue…this could be about a lot of different aspects of healthcare. An employer could decide that they want to deny access to blood transfusions…because the employer doesn’t believe in that on a religious basis.
It’s a corporation picking and choosing what types of law they want to comply with. Our belief in this society has always been that we protect the liberty of individuals in their private lives, but that when you cross that line and go into the public sphere and decide you want to operate as a company, make a profit off the public, you need to abide by public’s laws.”
That’s a fine point…one certainly worth elaborating on. Fluke’s referring primarily to the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs on blood transfusions…but Jehovahs are hardly the only people with medical prohibitions. Using the same logic, let’s imagine a few other scenarios that employers might refuse to cover under the Conscience Clause:
- An employer could deny treatment for heart disease related to high cholesterol, if that employer were “kosher” and the cholesterol came from bacon.
- An employer could refuse to cover painkillers or cough medicine, because Mormons prohibit anything that alters the state of mind.
- An employer could refuse to cover intravenous or staff bottle feeding for at-risk infants, because the Qu’ran states that a mother feeds her children for the first two years.
- An employer could refuse to cover snakebites, because Pentocostals believe that those of faith need not fear the serpent’s venom.
- An employer could refuse to pay for hospital food unless it meets the vegan guidelines of the Hindu religion.
- An employer could refuse to cover antibiotics, because the “Christian Science” religion does not allow them.
- An employer could deny ALL health coverage, because a sect of the Seventh Day Adventists don’t believe in medicare care outside of prayer.
Of course, that’s just a short list — a truly comprehensive one would be practically endless, ultimately negating all employer responsibility for all healthcare whatsoever. In that alone, Ms. Fluke has a definitive point. That aside, she does touch on a significantly larger issue in regard to the “corporations as people” doctrine SCJ Antonin Scalia thrust upon America.
If corporations are “people” as they claim, then do they get to pick and choose what laws they’ll obey and which they won’t? In Citizens United, is there a special clause that allows corporations to pursue the Sovereign Citizens’ Movement, which regard the American government as a false admiralty and grant individuals the “Natural right” to obey only the laws they view as just?
Oh, well, if that’s the case, then my name is Rowe Inc., and my corporation subscribes to an ancient philosophy that practices “Anything I Want Wednesdays.” The Purge will begin in the morning, and Christmas will be at 2 P.M. Oh, and Koch Industries…I expect my $100 billion by midnight tomorrow.