We all know Hobby Lobby isn't really about health care. Brian Beutler summed it up best of all I saw. It's about cultural signifiers.
By declining to extend the ruling to other insurance mandates, the five justices affirmed what liberals have suspected all along: Hobby Lobby supporters weren't fighting for "religious liberty." They were fighting for an affirmation of privilege for advocates of conservative sexual morality.
Beutler also asks hey, why do we get our health insurance at work anyway, a point Uwe Reinhart expands on:
The ruling raises the question of why, uniquely in the industrialized world, Americans have for so long favored an arrangement in health insurance that endows their employers with the quasi-parental power to choose the options that employees may be granted in the market for health insurance. For many smaller firms, that choice is narrowed to one or two alternatives – not much more choice than that afforded citizens under a single-payer health insurance system.But it's Jonathan Chait who REALLY cuts to the chase:
In the meantime, the case should help puncture the illusion that employer-provided health insurance is an unearned gift bestowed on them by the owners and paid with the owners’ money, giving those owners the moral right to dictate the nature of that gift.
Conservatives are now representing their true bedrock position on Obamacare. It is largely a transfer program benefiting people who either don’t have enough money, or pose too high a health risk, to bear the cost of their own medical care. Conservatives don’t like transfer programs because they require helping the less fortunate with other peoples’ money.And some of the less fortunate look different or speak a different language. And looking at Kevin McCarthy's election as House Majority Leader (not to be confused with former Iowa House minority Leader Kevin McCarthy), Dara Lind notes:
Pew asked voters whether they believe that unauthorized immigrants who met certain requirements should ever be eligible for citizenship, or not. Then, people who said immigrants shouldn't ever be eligible for citizenship were asked whether there should be a national effort to deport unauthorized immigrants, or not.And in Mississippi, tea partiers are enraged that black people voted. All sorts of ugly precedent there. They're SAYING that they're mad Democrats voted, but Mississippi has no party registration. Doesn't need it. The state is so polarized that skin color is de facto affiliation. And you thought walking over to the corner on caucus night was too obvious. Right, Hillary?
What they found: the overwhelming majority of Americans either want unauthorized immigrants to be eligible for citizenship (now or eventually), or want them deported. There's no real middle ground.
Hillary is off to crucial early caucus state England - that's OLD England, not NEW Hampshire - on her book tour, even as Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul announce their visits to Iowa to raise money for GOP candidates and fire up the troops. Now, we have great candidates of our own to fire up the troops - Bruce Braley is in town Saturday and Brad Anderson has a great plan to make us the highest turnout state in the country - but there's nothing like a likely candidate making a personal visit to really excite folks.
Supposedly that doesn't matter because Clinton has won over the skeptical left, it says here. Count me as still skeptical. But before everyone gets on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon, can we wait till the man actually calls himself a Democrat?
And a couple last random thoughts: why free parking sucks (attention: fourth place supervisor candidate) and a better way to deal with child support.