LANSING – State Representative David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights) and State Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) have introduced resolutions in the Michigan House and Senate calling on Congress to act to protect employees’ access health care. The resolutions ask congressional leaders to pass the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (H.R. 5051 and S. 2578) which would prohibit employers from denying employees health benefits that are required by federal law.
The federal legislation was introduced in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that granted closely held corporations similar rights to individuals who wish to deny women access to several forms of legal contraception. This decision further solidifies previous rulings from the United States Supreme Court that have redefined corporations by granting them rights similar to those enjoyed by individuals.
“Congress should act immediately to protect women in the workplace from this unfortunate and misguided decision,” said Representative Knezek. “The precedent set here could have devastating effects on access to basic health care that should be left between a patient and their doctor. Furthermore, the notion that a corporate entity should be granted the same rights as an individual is completely at odds with our democratic principles. Neither people, nor corporations, should be granted the ability to discriminate against women.”
“Everyone benefits when families have more access to the health care they need,” said Ananich, who has also sponsored SB 732, the Not My Boss’ Business Bill, to keep employers from interfering in employees’ use of contraception. “Private medical decisions should be made between families and health professionals, without employers or politicians getting in the way. Congress should act swiftly to reverse the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision.”
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