Politics & Policy

Not Your Boss’s Business

Individual coverage would stop birth control from being The Man’s concern.

‘NOT MY BOSS’S BUSINESS,” screamed several protest signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Hobby Lobby case was argued on March 25 and decided last Monday morning. Another placard hollered: “HEY SUPREME COURT — NO BOSSES IN MY BEDROOM.”

The first slogan belongs to NARAL Pro-Choice America, previously called the National Abortion Rights Action League. NARAL has lost the courage of its convictions. While it once proudly preached abortion rights, NARAL now peddles “choice,” without saying what, precisely, will be chosen. Perhaps the choice is NARAL itself.

In any case, these banners are laughable in one sense and laudable in another.

The accidental comedy involves demonstrators who want birth control to be none of their bosses’ business — until the bill arrives. Then it suddenly becomes their bosses’ business to purchase whatever contraception these protesters want. This includes drugs and devices that may kill human beings soon after conception. And, if bosses refuse to finance such birth-control methods, the federal government will force them to do so and fight them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if they disobey.

So, to be clear: Bosses should stay the hell out of America’s bedrooms — except to deliver contraceptives at no cost to their employees, especially when Uncle Sam so orders.

Thankfully, the Supremes excused from this unconstitutional contraceptive mandate Hobby Lobby and other companies closely held by pious owners. This odious rule is yet another reason to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Indeed, crushing Obamacare and its relentless edicts could give the “Not my boss’s business” crowd precisely what their posters demand.

This brouhaha exists because most Americans get group medical insurance through their employers. Consequently, it is the boss’s business to decide whether to cover birth control, mental-health or substance-abuse treatment, and even pills for erections. The protesters are right: Why should bosses control such intimate details of workers’ lives?

The answer is to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a robust market for individual health insurance. Companies simply could pay their staffers to purchase whatever health plans satisfy their needs and wants. Employees who prefer insurance that includes birth control could buy it. Those who neither want nor need contraceptives could choose plans without it.

Those who accuse Hobby Lobby of shoving its nose into its employees’ personal affairs should answer this question: How dare Obama command lesbians and post-menopausal females to purchase policies that feature birth control? As HealthCare.gov explains, “Plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace must cover contraceptive methods and counseling for all women.” This includes those who are sterile or incapable of triggering or experiencing pregnancy, no matter how energetic their efforts.

And why, oh why, should the federal government forcibly include contraceptives in the healthcare plans of women who are trying to get pregnant? This is a woman’s choice that Obama clearly does not respect.

Why does Obama’s surreal regulation deserve applause while Hobby Lobby’s owners endure scorn for spurning abortifacients that violate their sacred refusal to destroy microscopic Americans?

Imagine that an environmental group called Eco-Friends insures its employees’ automobiles — except for evil, gas-guzzling, globe-warming SUVs. So, its workers who drive Ford Broncos and Jeep Cherokees sue Eco-Friends, seeking justice.

“NO BOSSES IN MY PARKING SPOT!” their signs shout.

This scenario lightly echoes the illogical case against Hobby Lobby. But it wouldn’t happen. Eco-Friends’ personnel would spend their own money on whatever car insurance pleases them. It’s none of Eco-Friends’ business whether their workers purchase low-deductible or high-deductible plans for their Subarus, Audis, or Cadillacs. Within a thriving market for individual auto insurance (as with boat, fire, home, and life policies), consumers routinely make these choices without alerting their supervisors.

But, by dynamiting the individual medical-insurance market, corralling Americans into government exchanges, and reinforcing the folly of buying policies through workplaces, Obama is collectivizing health-plan decisions. Thus, birth control becomes a coast-to-coast controversy. Coming soon: national wrestling matches over Obamacare coverage for gay spouses, sex-change operations, divorce counseling, in vitro fertilization, yoga-based orgasm tutorials, and more.

The USS Obamacare should be evacuated and then torpedoed before it sails Americans into more troubled waters. Instead, individuals should be liberated to buy mandate-free health insurance that they want, even across state lines. They should use their own cash and whatever contributions their employers wish. Government vouchers can assist the truly needy and those with pre-existing conditions and limited resources.

Whether or not such insurance includes contraceptives will be neither the boss’s nor Obama’s business.

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been amended since its initial posting.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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