Ron Paul: Hobby Lobby Decision Is An “Island Of Freedom”

“ALL AMERICANS AND ALL BUSINESSES” DESERVE OBAMACARE EXEMPTION By Ron Paul  ||  This week, supporters of religious freedom cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. The Court was correct to protect business owners from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by paying for contraceptives.  However, the…


By Ron Paul  ||  This week, supporters of religious freedom cheered the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. The Court was correct to protect business owners from being forced to violate their religious beliefs by paying for contraceptives.  However, the decision was very limited in scope and application.

The Court’s decision only applies to certain types of businesses, for example, “closely-held corporations” that have a “sincere” religious objection to paying for contraceptive coverage.  Presumably, federal courts or bureaucrats will determine if a business’s religious objection to the mandate is “sincere” or not and therefore eligible for an opt-out from one Obamacare mandate.

Opponents of the Court’s decision are correct that a religious objection does not justify a special exemption from the Obamacare contraception mandate, but that is because all businesses should be exempt from all federal mandates.  Federal laws imposing mandates on private businesses violate the business owners’ rights of property and contract.

Mandated benefits such as those in Obamacare also harm those employees who do not need or want them.  Benefit packages resulting from negotiations between employers and employees are much more likely to satisfy both the employer and employee than benefit packages imposed by politicians and bureaucrats.

Opponents of the Court’s decision argue that Obamacare gives employees a “right” to free birth control that trumps the employers’ property rights.  This argument confuses rights with desires.  Successfully lobbying the government to force someone else to grant your wishes does not magically transform a desire into a “right.”

Redefining rights as desires to be fulfilled by the government also means that the government can modify, limit, or even take away those rights.  After all, since your rights are gifts from government, there is no reason why you should object when the government takes away those rights for the common good.

Those who believe Congress can create a right to free contraception that overrides property rights should consider that the government may use that power to create and take away rights in ways they find objectionable.  For example, if our rights are gifts from the government, then there is no reason why Congress should not limit our right to privacy by allowing the NSA to monitor our phone calls and Internet use.

The politicization of healthcare benefits is a direct result of government policies that not only encourage people to think of healthcare as a right, but to expect their employers to provide health insurance.  Government policies encouraging over-reliance on third-party payers is the root of many of our healthcare problems.

Opponents of the Hobby Lobby decision are correct when they say that their bosses should not decide whether their healthcare plans cover contraceptives.  However, like all supporters of Obamacare, they are incorrect in seeking to fix the problems with healthcare through more government intervention.  Instead, they should join those of us working to create a free-market healthcare system that gives individuals control of their healthcare dollars.  In a true free market, individuals would have the ability to obtain affordable healthcare without having to rely on government mandates or subsidies.

The debate over which, if any, businesses deserve an exemption from Obamacare’s contraception mandate is rooted in a misunderstanding of property and contract rights.  All businesses and all Americans deserve an exemption not just from Obamacare, but from all mandates.  Individuals should be given the freedom and responsibility to obtain the healthcare coverage that meets their needs without relying on the government to force others to provide it.

ron paul

Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.

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idcydm July 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

When the extensions the President has granted to his signature legislation expire this case will become a footnote.

Smirks July 8, 2014 at 9:58 am

What a joke. No other civilized nation runs their health care like how Ron Paul’s dreaming of. The vast majority of our peers prefer having either government mandated, government regulated private insurance, or a single payer system with supplemental private insurance. This is what it takes to ensure that a vast majority of citizens have affordable access to their health care system, which is a goal we should be striving to reach.

True freedom is not being scared to go to the doctor over what it might cost. True freedom is not going bankrupt because you went to the E.R. True freedom is not having to worry if a typical prescription is covered or not. True freedom is health care being decided by the doctor/pharmacist and the patient, not some bullshit negotiations with employers and private for-profit health insurance companies.

A month from now, conservatives will be back to complaining about abortion, single parenthood, WIC, food stamps, Medicaid, free school lunches, free 4K, etc. Health insurance won’t cover birth control, but they’ll have to cover all of the stuff associated with pregnancy and child care, all of which is vastly more expensive. They’ll also possibly have to cover patients who can no longer afford birth control pills to manage other health conditions when those conditions worsen as a result, sending them to the doctor or hospital for something that could have been easily prevented.

On the bright side, there won’t be any shortage of 16 and Pregnant episodes anytime soon, amirite?


idcydm July 8, 2014 at 10:03 am

You mean like the VA?

Now, now, be nice July 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

Are you suggesting that social healthcare isn’t civilized?

The VA’s are just a bonesaw away from success.

Ned Zhian July 8, 2014 at 10:55 am Reply
a face in the crowd July 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

Well-stated. People cannot see the bigger picture and want to remain in their little self-assured, ignorant bubbles.

euwe max July 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm

little self-assured, ignorant bubbles.

…or cubicles.

Timothy Wenners July 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

The only joke here is you.

nitrat July 8, 2014 at 11:51 am

It boggles my mind that the greatest living Libertarian comes down on the side of the religious liberty and rights of the corporation over the religious liberty and rights of the individual human being citizen workers.

Catholic & lovin' it July 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm

You’re so ignorant. And you’re also an Anti-Catholic bigot, like the KKK, Know Nothing Party & many other historical examples of Anti-Catholic bigots in the USA. Neither Ron nor Rand Paul are Catholics, they’re Protestants. Ron Paul was a Protestant Ob/Gyn at a Catholic Hospital once though, so he knows that Catholics have done much good in the USA. Ron Paul also seems to understand the principle of religious freedom unlike you. As for Catholics in SCOTUS, only 2 justices are actually a practicing & faithful Catholic (Antonin Scalia & black Clarence Thomas); the rest are not faithful Catholics (lukewarms, lapsed or “catholic”-in-name-only). Heck, Sotomayor sided against Hobby Lobby & religious freedom. Religious Freedom (which includes running private businesses based on Christian principles like Hobby Lobby closing stores on the Sunday Sabbath) is enshrined in the First Amendment whether you like it or not. If you mentioned that all the remaining Justices in the SCOTUS are Jews (which they are) & all Jewish Justices vote the same way, you’d be called out as an Anti-Semite & rightly so. But when you say prejudiced statements against Catholic Christians you don’t see the hypocrisy. Respect everybody, including Catholics. May the Peace of Christ come to you.

SolitaryPillar July 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Be fruitful and multiply. Mission accomplished five times over, can we now move on? Isn’t this like the old testament mandate to not eat pork, the Christian argument being the reason for the commandment is no longer relevant?

Rakkasan July 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Another diatribe from the president of Crazy Libertarian Mountain. Talk shit all day long but a complete fail when it comes to the feasibility test, like the FITS solution. Doesn’t
Cost much to talk shit, throw rocks, and obstruct. this is what acting out kids do. Then again, gotta remember it’s not about solutions, it’s about keeping a job and pay for clicks. Less talk, more solutions. If that takes doing real legislative work like negotiating with people with different beliefs and goals, well then, that’s better for the state than a bunch of talking heads mouthing their latest ideology with no solutions and forward movement–just an ideological circle jerk

Catholic & lovin' it July 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

I don’t like Libertarianism but Ron Paul seems to support religious freedom, which you somehow despise. I suggest you read the First Amendment, friend. Why so hateful? May the Peace of Christ come to you

Crooner July 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Imagine the exemptions from Federal law available to closely held muslim corporations.

Crooner July 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

This is bullshit. There is no constitutional right to form a corporation. A corporation is a legal fiction designed primarily for the purpose of limiting liability. Much like accepting the government’s grant of a drivers license comes with implied consent to blow into a breathalyzer (giving up your 5th Amendment right) forming a corporation subjects one to governmental intrusion. If you don’t like it don’t form a corporation.

nitrat July 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm

From Sinclair Lewis’ novel “It Can’t Happen Here”:
“But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word ‘Fascism’ and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

Anonymous July 10, 2014 at 5:35 am

I think many of you are missing his point. He isn’t taking the side of corporations, rather stating that trying to get the government to hand mandates to corporations will prove to be ineffective. Healthcare, like our economy, is a system that is controlled by man. Man is greedy and will use control to alter the numbers and rig the mathematical system. If you don’t like it then don’t work for such a company. Paul’s message has always been clear to me, the government will change nothing and shouldn’t have that much power in the first place. If you want change then organize, assemble, and make change. The problem is not just big business and large government, it is that the citizens of this nation are fearful, apathetic, and have a lack of understanding of the potential of our citizens if we unite.


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