Annas on Hobby Lobby: Bad Medicine

Posted on: July 16, 2014 Topics: Bioethics & Human Rights, Health Law

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Hobby Lobby case is a consequence of the country’s fragmented health care system, in which “idiosyncratic religious claims” can derail the goal of universalizing certain basic health-care entitlements.

So writes BU School of Public Health Professor George Annas and two colleagues in an article titled, “Money, Sex, and Religion — The Supreme Court’s ACA Sequel” in the July 16 New England Journal of Medicine.

Annas, professor and chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics and Human rights, and two co-authors view the Hobby Lobby decision — allowing a for-profit company to opt out of providing comprehensive contraceptive coverage to its employees and families on religious grounds — as a “sequel” to the Court’s narrow decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In the new case, the majority decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is “a setback for both the ACA’s foundational goal of access to universal health care and for women’s health care specifically,” Annas and colleagues say. “It is also especially worrisome that abortion is again at the center of the continuing debate over the implementation of the ACA, and that the challenge of abortion has been expanded to include birth control.”

Read the full article here: http://www.nejm.org


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