The Great Birth Control Rule debacle is coming to an end with the unconstitutionalists in the Obama Administration taking a step back in their drive to “transform” America from a constitutional republic of limited government into an entitlement state.  The brouhaha raised about forcing Catholic organizations to violate their religious beliefs by providing free birth control just could not be controlled—and this is an election year, and it could be close.  From the ABC story:

The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not satisfy bishops and other religious leaders since it will preserve the goal of women employees having their birth control fully covered by health insurance. Sources say it will be respectful of religious beliefs but will not back off from that goal, which many religious leaders oppose since birth control is in violation of their religious beliefs.

One source familiar with the decision described the accommodation as “Hawaii-plus,” insisting that it’s better than the Hawaii plan — for both sides. In Hawaii the employer is responsible for referring employees to places where they can obtain the contraception; Catholic leaders call that material cooperation with evil. But what the White House will likely announce later today is that the relationship between the religious employer and the insurance company will not need to have any component involving contraception. The insurance company will reach out on its own to the women employees.

But that doesn’t change the fact that they will be forcing religious organizations to tell employees how to violate the group’s religious beliefs, which is to make it complicit in that action.  That is wrong in my view, but it will hold and the controversy will fade.

But let us not forget the bigger picture here.  The Free Birth Control Rule mess shows (among other actions and advocacies) that:

1. The Obama Administration is antithetical to religion being exercised in the public square;

2. Obamacare has centralized tremendous powers into the hands of the executive, which is now a tool for forcing the private sector to pay for entitlements wanted by favored constituency groups;

3. This is just the beginning of the outrages.  Wait until the IPAB and cost/benefit boards kick into high gear and the utilitarian bean counters start picking winners and losers in the health care system.

On the positive side, I believe that the U.S. Supremes may have watched this.  There can no longer be any doubt that the administration intends to use the concentration of power it obtained in the Affordable Care Act in an arrogant and hubristic manner.  I have predicted that the Supreme Court will find Obamacare constitutional.  If it doesn’t, it might have been that this brief political explosion woke the justices up to the dangers to American liberty and they acted as a badly needed check and balance.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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