Hank  Adler

So, this is nuts! If Hobby Lobby loses their case at the Supreme Court, they are not going to be able to back down from their religious beliefs. If the owners truly believe that using these drugs is the equivalent of murder, they cannot back down. They will not be able to earn $791 million per year to pay the HHS fines and will have to cancel health insurance for 13,000 employees.

Undoubtedly, Hobby Lobby will ask their employees to pay a portion, let’s say one half of the $43 million penalty cost. So, rather than their employees self-funding a series of drugs that are readily available to the public, every employee will get additional compensation to pay for their health insurance. That payment would be about $1650 less than the cost of Obamacare and of course, the employees would need pay taxes on one hundred percent of this additional compensation before purchasing Obamacare policies. Perhaps needless to say, many of these employees will determine to keep the additional compensation and take the risk of being uninsured.

We must conclude that in a practical sense, if the Supreme Court forces Hobby Lobby to either provide these four specific drugs or cancel their health insurance plans, there will only be losers at Hobby Lobby. The owners will earn lower profits and therefore build their business more slowly which benefits no one. Their employees will be faced with the unacceptable choice of not having health insurance or paying much more for it and the winner will be, of course, no one.

Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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