Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Michael Greve at the American Enterprise recently posted in a Liberty Fund blog a trenchant analysis of the recently announced HHS regulations that will compel all insurance policies to cover contraception, sterilization, and morning after pills

He provides a very lucid analysis of the way in which vague statutory language about preventive care for women turned into preventing pregnancy and then got written into regulations.

Follow the progression: first comes a statutory text of sufficient ambiguity to keep the Catholic Health Association, representing Catholic hospitals, on board in support of the ACA. (Now that it’s been had, one hopes the association has learned its lesson.) Then comes an administrative creep forward and a de facto delegation to a private organization of known disposition, whose perceived authority and expertise provide cover for the bureaucracy. Then comes the wholesale, underhanded adoption of the interim rule.

By Greve’s reckoning, this travesty is of a piece with the entire agenda of Obamacare. It can’t be implemented, because its a Rube Goldberg contraption, and because dysfunctional as written, what does get done will get done by regulatory fiat.

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles