June 30, 2014

Beyond “Religious Objections”

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

I’ve seen many Progressives complaining that the SCOTUS decision might lead to corporations getting out of Obamacare altogether by simply claiming religious objections. Although that would be a grand development, I’m not as optimistic.  The Government would never allow such libertarian progress.

Ideally, corporations would not need to “claim religious objections” but could simply make an employment agreement with their workers on a voluntary basis.  Here’s a solution: I think that Obamacare should be completely voluntary.  If it is such a worthy idea, why does a law need to be made to enforce it?  I have the sneaking suspicion that making Obamacare voluntary would result in nobody adopting it.

If it was voluntary, corporations could simply not comply if they didn’t want to.  And in fact, they wouldn’t even have to vocalize their reasons.  Sort of like when we go to the store and we choose not to buy, say, spinach. There is no bureaucrat sitting there with a pad and pen: “could you please explain why you just walked past the spinach?”

Here is a list of possible objections that could legally be made as to why corporations would refuse to comply with Obamacare if it was voluntary:

It is against our religious convictions.

We can’t afford it and adopting it would drive us into the ground.

We want to offer a different plan or product.

We don’t like the name of the insurance plan.

We aren’t going to be offering insurance at this time.

We don’t feel like it.

We are against the very idea of insurance.

None of your business.

Insurance is an illuminati conspiracy.

Our employees like what they already have.

Our employees aren’t productive enough to afford insurance.

#thanksbutnothanks

It is too complex and regulated; it covers way more than we can afford to cover.

 

In other words, the whole “religious objection” schtick is overdone.  It is a Progressivist smear phrase. The “religious objections” argument is really about property rights.  Religious objections is only one expression of a deeper legal right to make one’s own decisions with one’s own capital. Religious rights exist inasmuch as property rights exist.  It is good that religious rights can be used in the given circumstances to protect what little freedom remains.  But we should never forget the bigger picture. Frankly, the corporations should be free to either participate or not participate and their employees can either work for them or work elsewhere.  For whatever reasons suit them.  This is the nature of the big scary world of voluntary interaction.  It is better than beating each other over the head to get what we want.

Unless you are a Progressive.  Then, as displayed in the first paragraph, the possibility of companies making decisions that you cannot combat with the State’s legal arsenal will cause utmost despair.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com