July 18 2014
Patrice J. Lee
The Administration is still reeling from the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case to protect religious freedom in the marketplace and a subsequent failed Senate attempt to override this ruling. Now they’re getting even.
Yesterday, the Labor Department announced that all “closely-held” private companies must disclose to their employees if they will not offer free contraception to their employee health plans. This amounts to shaming companies into publicly acknowledging their owners’ stance on contraception.
A senior Administration official told the Huffington Post that the White House is sending a message to companies: if they plan to opt out of covering birth control, they are required to be transparent about their objections. This is not a new rule, but one the Administration is employing as a PR tool after the Senate failed to pass a bill that would have overridden the Supreme Court's decision.
Their bias is on full display as they suggest they are fighting to expose how corporations such as Hobby Lobby are interfering with a woman’s health care - code words in the fake “War on Women.”
The Huffington Post reports:
The Department of Labor updated its website to indicate that closely held for-profit corporations must include in their insurance plans "a description of the extent to which preventive services (which includes contraceptive services) are covered under the plan." If the company chooses to opt out of covering any of the 20 contraceptives required by the Affordable Care Act, it has 60 days to disclose the change to its employees.
A senior administration official said the move was in response to the Senate failing to pass a bill Wednesday that would have required all for-profit employers, regardless of their owners' religious objections, to cover the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraception in their health care plans. The bill would have overridden a recent Supreme Court decision that allowed Hobby Lobby, a craft supply company owned by evangelical Christians, to opt out of covering certain contraceptives to which the owners religiously object.
“Yesterday, a majority of the Senate voted for a bill to keep bosses from interfering in a woman’s health care," the official said. "Now the House should act. In the meantime, we are making clear that if a corporation like Hobby Lobby drops coverage of contraceptive services from its health plan, it must do so in the light of day by letting its workers and their families know.”
Public shaming is a tactic used by both the Right and the Left. In this case, the Left thinks this will stir up anger from workers and outside spectators against employers and cause them to reverse their positions.
It’s shameful that the administration is using its time and resources to incite fear and stir up tensions between employers and workers. It’s understandable from their position though. They lost to religious freedom in the Hobby Lobby case and another pernicious aspect of ObamaCare has been exposed.
This is the first but won’t be the last of such tactics.