PART VI: Hobby Lobby’s Case Is NOT About Religious Liberty


Picture 2Why the heck should an employer be required by law to have the honor of paying at least 60% of the insurance fees for not only the people who work for them, but their dependents who are under the age of 26?  When it comes to these individuals who are making minimum wages, and are demanding an increase to a living wage, do they even take into consideration the fact that they could have more money in their pockets if their employers weren’t required to shell out almost up to 50% more that their take home pay for things like social security, medicare, unemployment, and now health insurance? This doesn’t even count the fact that everyone taking home a pay-check is subjected to having a huge clump of it deducted for their ‘contributions’ to social security, medicare, and taxes.

We have a problem here.  I don’t trust the anti-ACA stories from the right wing media.  I don’t trust the glowing reports from the left wing media, and I don’t trust anything coming out of the Administration, the Senate or Congress, regardless of the party.  Everyone has an agenda here.  No one is being honest. And, no, I no longer have health insurance. I found a recent column in RCP by Mickey Kaus that mirrors, exactly the experiences I’ve been having. Right now, I’m just going to pay the fine and hope that I don’t get sick or in an accident. If I do, just shoot me. I’d have a better chance at survival. I’ve discovered that the policy I could get is a fortune, and I can’t choose my doctors. Freedom? I don’t think so.

During the writing of this series, I have done an about face.  I now think that David Green of Hobby Lobby is 100% correct. I think the way he has gone about doing it is 100% wrong.  This is NOT a religious issue.  Because he is going about this on religious grounds, I think he is totally and completely wrong.  He has hurt himself and his business by his holier than thou self-righteous position.  If he had fought this on the basis that the federal government does not have a right to force companies and to force a business to even provide insurance, let alone dictate to them what they must cover, I would fight with him to to bloody end.  The more I think about it, the angrier it makes me.  Maybe I’m coming late to the battle, but at I’ve always thought that business should be allowed to do certain things they wish to do, not because they are ‘individuals’ but because people do have some rights, remaining, or they should have.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not going all libertarian.  On the contrary, I am now more convinced than ever that the reason a business should not be required to pay for insurance is because I think the whole process should be socialized with a single payer. It should also be monitored by people who are not in the government.  Right now, as much as I admire the man, and would vote for him again, I think Barack Obama’s presidency has been an absolute disaster for small business.  I don’t think he has anyone around him who even knows what one is, let alone how to deal with one. The man’s empathy for people is important, and commendable, but he doesn’t grasp how difficult it is for a small business to stay open, and the owner to stay alive.  Given the consequences of what is to come with the ACA, it is going to get worse.

If owners of business who have over so many employees do not provide health insurance, then they are to be fined $2000/person.  If you have, as one small business owner I know, has about 80 employees or so, this is $160,000.  Like many who are living on a shoe-string and a dream, everything this person owns is on the line, home, life, every single thing.  This person is physically ill over what is to come.  If it continues the way it is now, they will be forced to close their business because another $160,000 is impossible to squeeze out of it.  The first 30 employees will be exempted, but that still puts a extra burden of at least $80,000 on a business owner barely managing to survive.  You don’t see anyone from the Obama Administration even giving a damn about these people. They are treated like parasites, to be maligned, abused and turned into the monsters of society by the media.

I blame the left and the right.  Liberals think because a person has a nice house, nearly 100 employees, and is working like crazy, they are rich and should be able to spread the wealth, to provide all of these benefits.  They don’t grasp the fact that the person who may be paying minimum wage is also paying.  They don’t get the fact that a business owner must cough up about 7.5% in addition to wages just to cover their ‘contribution’ to that person’s social security and Medicare.  I saw one calculation where, if a person is making a salary of $50,000 a year, that their employer is shelling out anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 a year in additional costs, many of them mandated.   In fact, if a person is making about $14/hour, their employer is paying out at least $20 in things like social security, medicare, and now in health taxes.  There is now an estimate that the average employer is going to be shelling out nearly $10K a year to meet ACA requirements.

“…According to BLS, the average employee earning $19.85 per hour cost the employer a total of $28.10 per hour, not including taxes, as of March 2011 and at the time of publication. Employers in the Northeast spent the most money on employees during this period, averaging $22.35 per hour in wages and salary and $9.81 in benefits, for a total of $32.16 per hour. An article published by CNN Money in 2010 posits that the average employee earning $14 per hour costs an employer approximately $20 per hour when considering all associated costs. Assuming an employee made $14 an hour but really costs the employer $20 per hour, 40 hours per week and 52 weeks per year, that person costs the employer a total of $41,600 per year, despite only earning $29,120 per year….”

When you take this into consideration, the entire process is terribly inflationary.  In other words – thanks to the way the ACA was put together, costs on everything will be going up. To bad we’re dealing with an Administration that is economically tone-deaf.   Oh, and you must cover your employees dependents under the age of 26.

Just because a person owns a business should not require that business to provide health insurance.  It should be suggested, but if a business owner can’t afford it, they should not be treated like some sort of a monster, they way they are now being treated.  Business owners just trying to survive are not the real monsters here.  Neither is the Obama Administration, even if they have turned this into a total and complete disaster.  The disaster comes from assuming – ASS – U – ME – that insurance companies would be honest.  I fault the Administration for this, for being happy-clappy about this, and not comprehending the fact that insurance is big business.  Big business is going to be corrupt.   Not anticipating the corruption is something an Administration that is not corrupt would do.  For all its faults, the Obama Administration is not corrupt.  I am absolutely convinced that Barack Obama is sincere and well-meaning.

The problem is the fact that we don’t know what is going to happen.  From what I can find, unbiased, there are some small businesses that are going to be hit, disproportionately.  These are also the businesses that well meaning individuals (myself included) have stated need to raise the minimum wage.  That’s nice.  But – there comes a time when a business can’t keep shelling out more and more to their employees and expect to survive.  For government and politicians to think this can happen is unrealistic – and just plain – stupid.

It’s too bad no one in Washington is willing to deal with the real problem.  They can’t.  They’ve prostituted themselves to the highest bidders via the insurance agencies, big pharma, and the medical community.  Ergo, no one is willing to admit that we are dealing with out of control costs, that the rest of the world is not paying.  There’s nothing wrong with an industry making a 200% profit – but when it gets up there lights something is wrong.  We are a nation controlled by the medical industry.  And – as a people, we are their serfs, that’s the only way to put it.  Until our elected officials are willing to do the difficult dead of reigning in this out of control industry, it is going to increasingly destroy us as a nation.  We now life and work for health insurance.  We have sold our souls to them.  If something isn’t done, there’s no hope for this country.  We’re going to increasingly fall into third world status.

We live in a country where one sector of the public worships at the foot of big industry. What they want is what they get, damn the rest of the world.  They are to be bowed too and adored, feted, and cherished.  It doesn’t matter if they are destroying us, little by little.  The ACA isn’t helping, at all.  In fact, it is going to hasten our demise as a viable nation – because we the little people are working for our health insurance, and little more.

Liberals aren’t helping, either.  They demonize anyone, any small business that doesn’t do what they want them to do, in the way of insurance, and coverage. People who own businesses have as many rights as those who work for them.  You wouldn’t know it, though, to listen to them.  It’s too bad people don’t comprehend the fact that when someone is in business they’re playing out almost half again what their employees are taking home.

David Green is 100% right, for the wrong reason.