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Topics: Obamacare

Deconstructing the White House's childish response to the Hobby Lobby decision

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,White House,Obamacare,Supreme Court,Health Care,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Contraception,Hobby Lobby

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that the Supreme Court's decision in favor of the Hobby Lobby's religious freedom “jeopardizes the health of women.”

Apparently Earnest believes that women were barely able to survive prior to the Department of Health and Human Services' Obamacare-driven mandate that employers provide free contraceptive coverage, which was implemented in August 2012. No, seriously, he must believe it was like the Dark Ages back then.

But that's not the only ridiculous thing in the White House statement. Let's roll the tape.

1. “The Supreme Court ruled today that some bosses can now withhold contraceptive care from their employees' health care coverage based on their own religious views that their employees may not even share.”

Notice he didn't say “without a co-pay.” He also didn't note that Hobby Lobby was already providing coverage for 16 forms of contraception. Had Earnest mentioned those two key facts, he would have undercut the Left's argument that today's ruling allows employers to “deny employees coverage of birth control.”

2. "President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them."

Agreed, but there was nothing in the Supreme Court’s decision that took the decision away from women and gave it to their employer. Women are still free to obtain contraceptives.

Hobby Lobby wasn’t telling its employees that they couldn’t seek those contraceptives, just that the company wouldn’t pay for them through its health insurance.

That’s not the bosses deciding women’s health care decisions, that’s the bosses deciding not to cover something that wasn't previously a required health care service.

3. “Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies.”

Was women’s health in jeopardy before the mandate was applied in 2012? Because if so there might be a lot of human rights abuses to account for, like, why did Obama allow the suffering of women to continue throughout his first term as president?

If women were in such danger, why wasn’t something done sooner? Doesn’t this make Obama a war criminal in the “war on women”?

4. “As millions of women know firsthand, contraception is often vital to their health and well-being. That’s why the Affordable Care Act ensures that women have coverage for contraceptive care along with other preventative care like vaccines and cancer screenings.”

Birth control -- just as vital as cancer screenings. Wait, what? Vaccines prevent diseases like polio and measles; is the White House really making the argument that pregnancy is like a disease to be prevented? Cancer screenings help detect cancer early -- how is birth control just as vital?

5. “We will work with Congress to make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else.”

Fact check: Mostly false. Shortly after Earnest’s prepared statement, he was asked whether Obama would take executive actions over the decision.

Earnest replied: “We'll consider whether or not there's some opportunity for the president to take some sort of action that would mitigate this decision.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the Obama administration sought to mitigate a Supreme Court decision it disagreed with.

The first bill Obama signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, was in response to Ledbetter losing her Supreme Court case against her former employer.

6. “President Obama believes strongly in the freedom of religion.”

Insert your own snarky response here.

7. “That’s why we’ve taken steps to ensure that no religious institution will have to pay or provide for contraceptive coverage. We’ve also made accommodations for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds.”

This is what the Supreme Court found so confusing. The Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because the RFRA didn't make distinctions between for-profit and non-profit entities.

8. “But we believe that the owners of for-profit companies should not be allowed to assert their personal religious views to deny their employees federally mandated benefits.”

This invites government to make business decisions for companies by mandating all kinds of benefits. If, as the Left claims, the Hobby Lobby decision opens the door for discrimination, doesn't the White House's statement open the door for more government intrusion?

9. “Now we will of course respect the Supreme Court ruling and will continue to look for ways to improve Americans’ health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.”

Except see number 5, above, in regards to respecting the Supreme Court’s decision.

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