The Hobby Lobby SCOTUS case, if I'm not mistaken, says a company can manipulate the nature of their employees' health insurance, justifying it by the idea that since they're providing it, they should be allowed to demand that it falls in line with their opinion of religious morality, and can thus place prohibitions on certain aspects of it to achieve this end.

Given this, if the justification is based on whom is providing the insurance, wouldn't that mean that, at least with regards to the employer's ability to manipulate the coverage of their employees' insurance, that this power would be stripped from them under a Bernie Sanders style Medicare For All system?

Wouldn't an automatic/assumed form of Medicare not based off an employer's financial burden, mean that only the executive branch would gain the right to dictate the nature of coverage due to religious objections (and then promptly lose this power due to the separation of church and state)?

1 Answer 1


Your analysis is correct.

Hobby Lobby would be irrelevant insofar as health benefits are concerned (although the general religious objection doctrine would still have relevance in other contexts, e.g. pharmacy operators), in a Medicare for all single payer system where health insurance did not involve an employer. And you are likewise correct that a government could not assert a religious objection, although the Medicare for All program could decide what it would and would not cover and would not have to cover reproductive health services at all.

  • Cool, thx m8! Tho, I assume the employer would still be able to manipulate the coverage provided by supplemental insurance they provide?
    – Tirous
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:19
  • Supplemental insurance they would of course never have a reason to offer; outside of maybe... I don't know... some insane labour shortage.
    – Tirous
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:20
  • 2
    @Tirous Only if employers got into that market. It might be that supplemental insurance would be provided primarily in the individual market as it is for Medicare supplemental plans for elderly persons, and then, only if the non-supplemental coverage didn't already cover the controversial parts. Depending on tax law changes there might be no reason to do so.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 28, 2017 at 1:20

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