The Affordable Care Act is a Soviet-style Leviathan, enacted by a Congress eager to crush liberty under a boot of mandates.
The Affordable Care Act is a half-hearted, ineffectual Potemkin village, enacted by a Congress that didn’t really care one way or the other.
Paul Clement warned the Supreme Court in 2012 against Obamacare A—the dystopian Big Brother. Today, he was back at the Supreme Court to warn against Obamacare B—the flimsy Funny Uncle.
The facts of the two cases the Court heard today, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius, are these: The ACA requires employers either to pay a tax or to provide health insurance for their employees. The health insurance provided must comply with guidelines developed for the Department of Health and Human Services by the Institute of Medicine. These guidelines require coverage for vaccination, diabetes screenings, domestic violence counseling—and the full set of medically approved contraceptive methods.
There are exemptions, of course. Businesses that have 50 or fewer employees do not need to provide the insurance or pay the tax. “Religious corporations,” such as churches and convents, may omit contraceptive coverage from their plans altogether. Religiously affiliated non-profits, such as hospitals, may certify their objection to contraception; their employees will receive coverage from the third-party insurer without participation by the employer. And for-profit companies with existing plans are temporarily “grandfathered”—if the current plans don’t cover contraception, they don’t need to add the coverage until they make major changes to their plans.