According to the “logic” of Senator Mark Udall and his “progressive” allies, if government forced businesses to provide a new cell phone to each of their employees each year, but then gave businesses a little “flexibility” regarding which cell phones they could select, that flexibility would be cause for outrage. “Which cell phone I use is not my boss’s business!” they would scream. Never mind the fact that, in this hypothetical example, government made their cell phones their bosses’ business in the first place.
Of course, Udall is concerned not with cell phones but with birth control—but the “logic” is the same. Recently Udall announced he was sponsoring the so-called “Not My Boss’s Business Act” to overturn the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision and again force businesses to provide employees with health insurance covering the full spectrum of birth control mandated by ObamaCare. (See “Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision: Good Outcome, Mixed Reasoning” for details about the Hobby Lobby decision.)
If Udall were truly concerned with not making birth control our bosses’ business, he would not have voted for ObamaCare—a law that (among other evils) makes birth control our bosses’ business as a matter of government coercion. He would fight not only to repeal ObamaCare but to repeal laws forcing businesses to “offer” insurance or pay higher taxes. (See “Moral Health Care vs. ‘Universal Health Care’” for details about federal taxation and regulation of health insurance and health care.)
Udall’s mendacious and absurd proposal notwithstanding, employers and those seeking employment have a moral right to freely negotiate terms of employment, including financial compensation and other benefits. If companies wish to offer health insurance of a particular type—or cell phones, company cars, nap pods, free lunches, beer kegs, or free ponies—they have a moral right to do so, or not to do so. And employees have a moral right to accept the terms offered or to seek employment elsewhere.
If you went to work for a company that offered you a company car as part of your compensation, but it offered “only” a Toyota and not a Lamborghini, you could not legitimately complain about the Toyota on the grounds that the kind of car you drive is “not your boss’s business.” Of course the car your company provides to you is your company’s business—and so is the insurance your company provides to you (if any). If a company does not wish to offer its employees a car or insurance or what have you, or if employees do not like the car or insurance their employer offers them, the employees are free to seek work elsewhere or to buy a car or insurance on their own.
Thankfully, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the Senate blocked Udall’s particular proposal; unfortunately, Congress has not made headway toward repealing the monstrosity that is ObamaCare or toward establishing rights-respecting policies with respect to health care and health insurance.
If Americans wish to blame those actually responsible for America’s health-insurance fiasco, they should point their fingers, not at their bosses, but at the elected officials who advocate these rights-violating laws, and at the Americans who elected them. What we need is not a “Not My Boss’s Business Act,” but a “Not the Government’s Business Act.”