On June 30, 2014, Dave Jones, the Insurance Commissioner for the State of California, issued a press release in which he responded with disappointment to the Supreme Court’s decision concerning the Hobby Lobby case. This decision permits for-profit businesses to have the ability to refuse to offer a contraceptive method, if they believe that contraceptive method is in opposition to their beliefs concerning when life begins.
Mr. Jones indicated that, “The Hobby Lobby decision will deny many women access to contraception, and allows for corporations to impose their owner’s religious beliefs on employees.” The Hobby Lobby decision stated nothing about an employer’s religious belief system being imposed, and it will not prevent employees of Hobby Lobby from still obtaining contraceptive methods their health plans offer. Only four of the 16 contraceptive methods offered by the Hobby Lobby health program were deemed to be abortive in character and not preventive, and as a result did not have to be offered.
I am concerned about the reasoning employed by the Commissioner in this instance. If we have a for-profit company such as Hobby Lobby, employing a work force to present their products to the public, and if that for-profit company offers a health insurance program they should be able to offer the type of program they want to offer, and can afford. The plain truth of the matter is that companies do not have to offer a health insurance plan and can just direct their employees to the Affordable Care related programs for protection; then where would all of the Hobby Lobby employees be who cannot, like myself, even afford the Bronze Program.
Individual for-profit companies are not robots of the Federal and State Governments, existing only to implement their ideals and turn their backs on their own conscience. For-profit corporations are not evil, they are the result of individual initiative and hard work, and if they are successful, such as Hobby Lobby, that individual initiative and character needs to be respected by those in elective offices in this country, such as Commissioner Jones. Individuals like Commissioner Jones are employees of the people, and if the actions of one of those for-profit companies has been found acceptable by the highest court in this country, that decision needs to be respected and not degraded in public.