The ruling for the Hobby Lobby case has come rolling downhill from SCOTUS, like a giant turd. (PDF here, dissents start on page 60, thank you Elise.) A couple of months ago and after a Facebook kerfuffle, I had a nice in-comment chat with a friend of mine who is a lawyer. And he explained to me why he thought the ruling would probably go the way it did today, and it made sense. Ultimately it was about the letter of the law and the way it applies, rather than the principle that has us all foaming at the mouth. You know, that whole “women are people and your boss has no business making your medical decisions” thing. Yeah. That doesn’t really matter so much.
Not a lawyer. Not going to try to rehash my very smart friend’s point. Just saying now that I am still incredibly disappointed, but thanks to Aaron, I am entirely unsurprised.
Rather than railing about SCOTUS and the way this country seems set on just fucking over women at every opportunity, I think there’s another important take home here:
Being forced to depend upon employment and the good will of your employer for your access to healthcare is a shitty, shitty system.
The reason I’ve come to believe that healthcare is a human right is because it’s about survival, and about control. Someone else controlling your healthcare, your decisions, puts them in no small measure in control of your life. Well, America is supposed to be all about “freedom.” We’re so about freedom we got freedom coming out of our goddamn ears. And there’s this unending drumbeat talking about about how freedom is destroyed by dependence on the government. Keep your government hands off my healthcare!
So tell me, what kind of freedom is it to have your healthcare in the hands of a corporation? How is having your ability to get healthcare and, it seems, even some of the decisions you make completely controlled by a corporation better? (And don’t give me that fucking line about “don’t like your job? find a new one!” have you even looked at the fucking economy for the last five years? IF you’re even lucky enough to have a job!) You don’t want to be dependent on the government, great. Why the fuck do you want to be dependent on a corporation? An entity whose sole driving force is making a profit.
When I worked for AT&T and was still in my conservative phase (yes, I did have one, I have the humiliating voting history to prove it), even then I’d get taken aback by some egregious abuse of corporate power against employees or the environment and get told: well, you can’t blame the corporation. It’s just there to make money. Just doing what it has to do to fulfill that purpose. (Which even then made me ask and deregulating that is a good thing how? But that’s another song and dance.)
But fine, if all corporations do is make money and fuck everything else, why the fuck do you think it’s a good idea to put someone who literally only gives a shit about money in charge of your health? In charge of your life?
The government ain’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But at least I can pretend I have a tiny voice, a sliver of input, a crumb of power in a democracy. Maybe YA has missed the boat, with its ceaseless totalitarian government dystopias. At this point, I’m far more concerned about the benevolence of our corporate overlords.