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SD Reacts To Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Ruling

June 30, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

SD Reacts To Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Ruling

It is a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that has many wondering what happens next. Based on the ownership structure of Hobby Lobby, the company now can choose whether to offer certain forms of birth control. It argued that based on the owner's Christian beliefs, it should be granted an exemption from the Affordable Care Act, and the court agreed.

Republican Senator John Thune says the decision is a victory for religious freedom and he is pleased that the Supreme Court has rejected the Obama Administration's attempt to limit this most fundamental of American liberties.

South Dakota Democratic Party chairwoman Deb Knecht says the ruling will make it difficult for South Dakota women to access basic preventative healthcare. She also says that the contrast between the two parties is now even more clear.

Other organizations with religious backgrounds, like Avera Health, are looking at the ruling carefully.

"Over the next weeks and months, Avera will be looking at what this means for our organization, our patients and our health plan clients. So, we'll be interested to find out what this really means for Avera in the future," Avera Health Public Relations Vice-President Lindsey Meyers said.

After hearing about the decision, some people sided with the argument of allowing businesses to decide their own coverage plans.

"I think it was a nice win for business and it should be one of those things that each company should get the opportunity to decide what they should get to pay for when it comes to healthcare," Bill Kolb said.

Others join with Thune to say it's a victory for religious freedom.

"I think there should be some control for businesses to decide on that type of situation based on their principles. They should be able to have a choice," Linda Robinson said.

People who we spoke to who wished to remain off camera offer a different opinion on the mater, saying the people should have the right to be covered by their insurance, but they will be like Avera Health and wait to see how this will impact area business.

In the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court justices made it clear that this ruling only will impact closely-held companies, situations where the majority of the business is owned by five or fewer people. According to the IRS, that accounts for nearly 90% of companies across the country.

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