White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett called out Hobby Lobby and insisted the Obamacare mandate case that will go before the Supreme Court is about whether big corporations can restrict women from having access to birth control.
“No corporate entity should be in position to limit women’s legal access to care, or to seize a controlling interest over the health care choices of women,” Jarrett wrote on the White House blog. “To take that type of power away from individuals, and to let the personal beliefs of a woman’s boss dictate her health care choices would constitute a major step backward for women’s health and self-determination.”
The case is actually a religious freedom complaint against the administration for the Health and Human Services mandate requiring insurance to provide free coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. If the plaintiffs win, it would not allow them to restrict employees from buying these products on their own, only that the employees would not get them for free.
The high court will hear the case from two family-owned companies, the Oklahoma-based chain Hobby Lobby and the Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Store Corp., both of which argue that paying for employee-based coverage of these drug violates their religious freedom.
“Today, there are people trying to take this right away from women, by letting private, for-profit corporations and employers make medical decisions for their employees, based on their personal beliefs,” said Jarrett, whose blog was cross-posted on the Huffington Post.
Jarrett predicted victory in the high court, and called out just one of the plaintiffs.
“Among the first cases to reach the Supreme Court is one filed by Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain whose owners want to be able to take the option for birth control benefits away from their employees,” Jarrett said.
The two litigants in the case are not trying to restrict anyone’s freedom, said Sarah Torre, policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“This is an interesting argument from the administration that pushed a health care law that severely restrictions the ability for Americans to choose health care that aligns with the value of their family and restricting companies that could be creating jobs,” Torre told TheBlaze. “Obamacare is about restricting choices.”
“No one is suggesting a ban on anything,” Torre continued. “This is about family businesses – the Green family and the Hahns family – about their freedom to continue to create jobs while respecting their values.”
The Green family is the owner of Hobby Lobby. The Hahns family owns Conestoga Wood. Lower courts split on the decision, ruling in favor of the Green family and against the Hahns family.