I live in San Francisco, arguably the tech capital of the world…and perhaps the Universe. I have choices for where I work, and lots of job mobility thanks to both my training and my location. I was able to find a new job quickly, when I quit somewhat unexpectedly in April. Companies in this area offer reasonable health care, in order to compete for top talent.
Many of the people who work at Hobby Lobby, and many other substantially privately owned companies, may not have these choices. They might work in a more economically depressed area, or might not have the skills to have their pick of corporate jobs. They might work in retail and make minimum wage, or in the back office and make only slightly more. They might work in small towns with limited options for employment, or they might need a job that’s close to home because they can’t afford a long commute.
If the company offers health care, it should be good health care…not care that judges the individual for health choices. Covering Viagra and not birth control makes no sense, and excluding IUDs seems nonsensical. In the absence of universal single-payor health care (which I support), a minimal access to care including responsible reproductive health options makes sense. It enables employee choice — and if it allows an employee to prevent a pregnancy so they can contribute more hours to their company…so much the better.
The SCOTUS ruling this week troubled me. We are a nation formed under the ideal of providing opportunities and freedoms to our citizens — the freedom to make reproductive decisions, the freedom to manage your health care without corporate interference. Our laws should protect the weakest among us — those who don’t have access to broad resources, or job choices, or employers — and enable them to lead healthy happy lives to the extent that government can promote the happiness of its citizens.
I think we fell somewhat short of our goals on this issue.