The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
“The Obama administration’s controversial birth-control mandate saw its first legal challenge Thursday from an employer not affiliated with any religious institution. The latest challenge comes from the owner of a Missouri-based holding company, who says it violates his religious freedom. Although several other suits have been filed, they have all come from religious-affiliated employers such as Catholic universities.”
“Top U.S. Catholic bishops on Wednesday formally made their fight against a White House mandate for reproductive services the church’s top priority, saying ‘this struggle for religious freedom’ demands their immediate attention… The statement represents an expanded public relations effort to oppose the mandate that most religious employers provide health-care coverage for employees, including contraception and sterilization, services forbidden by Catholic teaching.”
“If you were surprised that PhRMA, the pharmaceutical trade group, backed Obamacare, now you can see why: the HHS contraception mandate alone will be a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle for the pharma industry. If your health insurance plan allowed you to buy a television, of any price, without any cost-sharing on your part, would you buy a 13-inch CRT or a 60-inch flat screen?”
“Bill Galston, a former Clinton administration official, and Melissa Rogers, the director of Wake Forest University Divinity School’s Center for Religion and Public Affairs, attempted to inject some balance into a debate that has exploded over the past month in their report examining conscience issues in health care.
But they also said the White House’s initial position on the birth-control rule – which exempted religious groups only when they primarily serve people of their own faith, among other requirements – was not a fair position. It violated the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Rogers said, because it was not the ‘least restrictive’ way for the federal government to impose on religious practice.”
“The anti-conscience mandate’s violation of employers’ religious freedom is only the beginning of the law’s profound threat to limited government and personal liberty. Obamacare represents an unprecedented federal overreach into the health care decisions of employers, employees, and individuals—religiously affiliated or not—and further implementation of the law will only increase conflicts between government regulations and individual liberty. The lawsuits filed this week reinforce the need to protect religious liberty specifically and personal liberty more generally by repealing Obamacare.”
“The controversy over this particular consequence of Washington’s health care takeover will soon be followed by another, and another, and another– the next mandate, the next rationing, the next restriction, the next loss of liberty.
There will be no rest – ever – from these battles so long as ObamaCare remains on the books. Regardless of their outcomes, these battles by definition cannot be won.”
“Sebelius basically just copped to a double-subversion of the Constitution: Congress appropriates money for X, but not Y. Sebelius says, ‘I know better than Congress. I’m going to take money away from X to fund Y.’ Sebelius has already shown contempt for the First Amendment, first by threatening insurance carriers with bankruptcy for engaging in non-fraudulent speech, and again by crafting a contraceptives mandate that violates religious freedom. Now, she has decided the whole separation of powers thing is for little people. What will Sebelius do the next time something gets in the way of her implementing ObamaCare?”
“The White House’s reaction is yet further proof that the debate surrounding the HHS rule is about much more than religious liberty—and indeed is about much more than the HHS rule. It is about liberty as such, and the threats posed to it by Obamacare as a whole. It powerfully reinforces the case for replacing this detestable law, and for replacing its authors, with alternatives far more friendly to freedom and a properly limited government—not to mention far better able to actually address the problems with our health-care system.”
“The birth-control coverage mandate violates the First Amendment’s bar against the ‘free exercise’ of religion. But it also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That statute, passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and by a 97-3 vote in the Senate, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. It was enacted in response to a 1990 Supreme Court opinion, Employment Division v. Smith.”
“Finally, it’s not just people who consider contraception sinful that oppose this mandate. That’s because the mandate also violates the freedom of those who have non-religious reasons for not wanting to purchase contraceptives, who would rather pay for contraceptives out of pocket, or who want such coverage now but might change their minds in the future.”