"Because nobody is forcing Hobby Lobby or Conestoga to provide health insurance, they can simply pay the tax penalty instead."What do these two high courts justices seem to think a "tax penalty" is for? Do they think its a charitable donation? No, the penalty is intended to "force" employers to provide insurance to their employees with an included contraception mandate. To say "nobody is forcing" these two companies to provide health insurance is plain stupidity.
Then, too, those words seem to imply that "freedom" -- as in "freedom of religion" and as guaranteed by our Constitution -- now comes with a penalty. A penalty that would cost Hobby Lobby $26 million dollars a year by Justice Kagan's own calculation!
What these justices don't "want" to understand is that the contraception mandate was never defined in the initial health care law nor, is it to be found in the Constitution. It was one of the 22,000 pages of regulations that were spawned by the original Affordable Care Act. And, it was a discretionary decision made by Obama and his Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius. Initially, as an interim ruling in 2011 (a year after the law was enacted), it was then finalized and made permanent in 2012. So, the issue here is whether or not this President has the right, by dictate, to override the rights that are protected by our Constitution. Is it possible that these two female justices are siding with the President on the basis of their gender bias?
Supreme Court Women Raise Questions on Contraception Coverage: http://time.com/37055/supreme-court-women-dominate-arguments-on-contraception-coverage/
Supreme Court seeks compromise in contraception case: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/25/supreme-court-religion-contraception-hobby-lobby/6860479/
A statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (on contraception): http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/01/20120120a.html