What’s Next? A Ruling that Workers’ Insurance Doesn’t Have to Cover Blood Transfusions?

Dave Lindorff

The vote by the US Supreme Court’s five conservative Catholic male members in the Hobby Lobby case, declaring that companies substantially owned by people who on religious grounds believe that contraception is a sin can not be compelled to offer coverage for it in any health plan provided to their employees raises a few important questions.

The biggest one of course, is: Why if this is a decision based upon the Constitution’s separation of church and state, would it stop at contraception?

How about a company owned by Jehovah’s Witness believers? They believe that the bible, by banning the ingestion of blood, makes any blood transfusions, or even for many believers, the storing of blood for later use, a sin.

Should such employers be allowed to offer insurance plans to their worker that don’t cover blood transfusions, or perhaps that even deny coverage for operations that require blood transfusions — for example dialysis, heart surgery, treatment for leukemia and bone cancer, or just emergency surgery following some injury that involves major blood loss?

Or what about a company owned by a Christian Scientist, who opposes any and all medical intervention. Should such a company be able to offer a plan that only covers palliative care by a hospice nurse, or visits by a religious “healer”?

We have, of course, entered that Alice-in-Wonderland world here of “faith-based conservatism.” Any kind of nonsense could be justified in such a world, and with the five conservative Catholics now ensconced on the court supporting such a mad world view, we should be ready for it.

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