For Corporations, It’s Not Just Business Anymore

Faculty member Brett Crawford

Faculty member Brett Crawford

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that certain for-profit companies cannot be required to pay for specific types of contraceptives for their employees.  On the surface, the decision protects the religious freedom of corporations and enables them to operate as sovereign faith-based entities. On a deeper level, the Supreme Court’s decision continues to strengthen the right of corporations to exercise their moral compass.

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) represents, among many things, a move toward equality of access to healthcare. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act reinforces the American Medical Association’s wish to provide non-discriminatory healthcare to everyone in need. Those protesting the contraception mandate, including the company named in the suit, Hobby Lobby, argued that forcing organizations to provide contraceptives to employees was a violation of religious freedom, both for the organization and its employees. The Supreme Court decision favored this perspective. As a result, people who believe their employer has the responsibility to provide reasonable levels of healthcare, including access to contraceptives to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and reduce the likelihood of conception, are placed at the mercy of their employer to decide whether or not contraceptives violate the corporation’s religious freedom. Continue reading

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Two (Healthy) Cheers for CVS!

Faculty member Brett Crawford

Faculty member Brett Crawford

Have you considered the idea that rationality is not exclusive to individuals?  Corporations, themselves, are equally rational, with the abilities and responsibilities to contribute to social change. I believe that corporations exist to create economic value and contribute to society in a manner that upholds their own tenets. The days of profits-first doctrines and revenue generation activities being a corporation’s sole purpose for existence have passed. The new model suggests that corporations and government should co-create social change.

Earlier this month, CVS Pharmacy announced that it will no longer sell cigarettes and tobacco products effective October 1, 2014. The company’s justification: because it “is the right thing to do.” The impact of such a decision spans far beyond generating press coverage and the economic realities of revenue declines. CVS is taking a proactive stance to prevent medical issues linked to the use of tobacco products. The irony is that pharmacies have traditionally leveraged a business model that embraces reactive medical care. Yet, the message runs much deeper. CVS is contributing to the broader healthcare discourse in this country. CVS is using their power to contribute to social change. In short, CVS is viewing their leadership as a responsibility. Continue reading

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