Should businesses have the right to discriminate? Should employers be able to decide for their employees what their health insurance covers? Most Americans continue to say no according to a new poll by Public Religion Research Institute.
- Roughly 6-in-10 Americans say that publicly-held corporations (61%) and privately-owned corporations (57%) should be required to provide their employees with health insurance that includes contraception at no cost.
- A smaller majority (51%) of the public say privately-owned small businesses should be required to provide health care coverage that includes contraception, while 46% disagree.
- Majorities of Americans (56%) say that religiously-affiliated hospitals and religiously-affiliated colleges (52%) should be required to provide insurance that covers contraception for their employees.
This latest poll, the fourth since February, reconfirms yet again the broad support for the birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act and an overwhelming rejection of claims that businesses or employers should be allowed to discriminate based on their personal religious beliefs.
All of this, of course, is against the backdrop of one of the most anticipated Supreme Court decisions expected this month: Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Woods v. Sebelius, where the bosses at two private corporations has sought to claim a religious exemption to the birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act, which would allow companies to interfere with important preventive care for their employees.
A ruling in favor of these companies could create a slippery slope where employers would be able to deny coverage to their employees for any procedure to which they object, as well as open the door for employers and businesses to discriminate in other ways against women and minorities based on their own personal beliefs.
Preventive care, including birth control, is basic health care for women – and the decision to use birth control is between a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss. In its first year, the birth control benefit has saved women more than $483 million.
As we wait for the Supreme Court decide, we’re asking the question: Will majority opinion be the Majority Opinion?