Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and the Yahoo Answers website is now in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.

Should corporations have any say over the type of health coverage provided to employees?

The ACA already has a contraception exemption for religious organizations like churches & church-backed hospitals. Some groups are now arguing that private employers with strong religious beliefs should be entitled this exemption. Hobby Lobby has a suit pending before the US Supreme Court on this issue. But there's a problem with this logic.

The corporate directors and officers of Hobby Lobby are not the ones providing health insurance - it's the corporate entity (Hobby Lobby, Inc.). If the corporation is a separate legal "person," then why should the directors, owners, officer, board members, etc... get to impose their personal views on employee benefits?

This is consistent with recent Supreme Court opinions holding that corporations have many of the same rights & liabilities as people.

6 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Individual or corporate, they do not have the right to do so according to precedent:

    "When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity."

    -- Chief Justice Warren Burger; from decision 'Lee v. United States' (1982)

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Since the federal government has no Constitutional authority to interfere in health care, who else would make the decision about employer provided health care? If an employee wants different insurance, they should be free to go out and pay for it.

  • 8 years ago

    This "corporations aren't people" argument sounds good superficially, and for publicly held companies, it might even be valid. But for privately held companies, it parses things a bit too much. The family ARE the "corporate entity," and their beliefs should be respected. Do you really think it would be better to have a law that encourages people not to do business and give people jobs?

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    No, same way private employers have no right to dictate an employees religious beliefs

  • 8 years ago

    There was a time when group health plans offered by employers was an added benefit to working for that company, not something to be expected or required by law. If you work as a contract worker, you provide your own health insurance. That is the future of working. Employee/employer type work will soon disappear, replaced by contract worker/client.

    Employers should offer the health plan/s that they want to offer, and if the employee does not like that plan, then they are free to buy their own insurance as an individual. The employee should never be forced to buy into a health insurance plan chosen by their employer. Health insurance provided by employers should remain a perk... an additional compensation that employers offer in order to retain quality employees. People want to work for company X because they have great employee benefits.

    If every company was required to offer the same package by law, then how could companies differentiate themselves from their competition for the purpose of retaining quality employees?

    Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of other type perks, but ultimately the option for a company to have no group health policy and thus the ability to pay a higher take home pay which the employees could use to buy individual policies if they choose is lost if the company has no choice but to be forced to offer one bland government sanctioned offering.

    "If the corporation is a separate legal "person," then why should the directors, owners, officer, board members, etc... get to impose their personal views on employee benefits?"

    If the corporation is a separate legal 'person', then the directors, owners, officer, board members, etc. are the brains and soul of such corporate person.

    Nevertheless a strong weight should be given to the incorporation papers in which the purpose of the business is set down in writing. If such corporation included a commitment to a particular set of religious beliefs, then such deference should be accepted by the courts. If there is no mention of such beliefs in the incorporation papers, then less weight may be given as the board members and owners etc. of a company are generally transitional in nature. Here today, gone tomorrow.

  • 8 years ago

    Yes, but the corporate entity does not pay the bills...the corporate directors and officers pay for the benefits through the account held by the corporate entity.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.