The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in cases involving two businesses whose owners don't want to provide health insurance that includes coverage of certain contraceptives.
The businesses, Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., claim that their religious freedom is being violated if the Affordable Care Act requires that they provide birth-control methods, such as Plan B and IUDs, that halt a pregnancy after conception has taken place.
The Daily Circuit gets an update on what to expect as the court hears arguments.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HOBBY LOBBY CASE:
Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Case Goes Before Supreme Court
Hobby Lobby owners contend that the ACA contraception mandate imposes a substantial burden on them because failure to comply results in big fines — $26 million a year for Hobby Lobby if it opts out of providing insurance altogether. Supporters of the mandate counter that $26 million may be a lot of money, but it is less than the company currently spends on insurance.
Of course, Hobby Lobby points out that it wants to provide insurance, that having insurance fits in with both its religious ideas and its good business practices.
The government replies that when you are a commercial enterprise, you may have to make choices. Here, either provide the insurance or pay a fine and let your employees go to the health care exchange to buy insurance that may include public subsidies. (Nina Totenberg, NPR)