Obamacare, Hobby Lobby, and where we go from here

Shoebox did it again:

Oh my goodness Conservatives were so sure Roberts would right this Obamacare problem. Instead, we ended up with a confirmed individual mandate – granted one with a deadline as malleable as one of Dear President’s lines in the sand, but nonetheless, if you fail to get covered, in theory, you are expected to pay a tax for your individual liberty. You screwed the great government master plan and so you must pay.

The Hobby Lobby case now has folks excited that this could be the one, the case that ends the long national nightmare. It won’t be. If anything this case could harden the individual mandate and eliminate employer involvement.

The justices could easily determine that you are the captain of your own ship, and while employer coverage has been a lovely little bit of American history, it’s over now. You are obligated to secure your own coverage or pay the fine. That way your employer will never be argued as making your health care choices. Nor would your employer have to worry about violating his/her conscience to provide health care choices he or she considers morally demeaning.

Poof. It would be over.

When you read the history of health insurance in the United States, you realize just how wrong it was from the very beginning. Employers offered health insurance to provide incentive to a tight workforce. Eighty-five years later health insurance is mandated as a right by Democrats in 2008.

Don’t harp on that statement. The right to health care may exist. The perceived right to health insurance is a convoluted disaster.

And that’s where we are now. Because the leadership in this country could not intelligently separate the right to health care from the big contributors who lobbied for health insurance, we are in a mess.

Just to reiterate, that’s why I think SCOTUS could easily trash the employer mandate and take health insurance back to an individual responsibility. The individual mandate holds firm; every American is to be registered as accepting or declining the responsibility, the tax stays in place to spank you for not cooperating if you choose to go rogue.

Companies could increase compensation to employees, but employees decide on their own to have coverage. It would be the opposite of why health insurance began post WWII when there were wage controls. The insurance companies have to retool to market to individuals instead of corporate leadership. Companies would also save the expense of managing plans.

SCOTUS would also have the quiet pleasure of paying back the insurance companies that lobbied to have it all. Insurance premiums are through the roof. So are insurance company earnings.

By the way, this ruling will be interesting but the one I will be watching decides whether or not residents in states without a state exchange are eligible for health care insurance subsidies from the federal government.

PS – Hobby Lobby happens to be opening a new store in Waukesha County in a couple of days.

PPS – I grew up going to the original Hobby Lobby on NW 10th in Oklahoma City as it was only a few miles from home. Half of my crochet hooks probably came from there.


  1. Well, I’m not sure what I “did” other than point out the overly effusive nattering that some were doing following the verbal arguments. Truth is, there’s always a couple of Supremes that we can’t predict how they will vote….let alone another surprise like Roberts on the original Ocare case.

    Beyond that, I don’t think there is anyway this case would cause SCOTUS to trash the employer mandate. That really isn’t the issue of this case. The case is very specifically focused on whether there is an ability for a corporation to have a religious exemption. To move from that to a complete striking of the employer mandate, I think would be nearly impossible with this case.

    And yes, the other case you raise could cause far greater complications for Ocare….of course, all of this assumes that his highness, Barack the first, pays attention to any laws he doesn’t like.

  2. No way they’d trash the employer mandate. Just like there was no way they’d let the individual mandate stand.

    Got it. 😉