My wife, the syndicated San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, has a splendid column out today about the Anti Liberty Obama Free Birth Control Rule imposition. She makes a few points I have not made here, so let’s take a look.
First, she notes that the Obama imposition is different from state mandates because there is “no escape.” From “Obama Imposes Will in Contraception Compromise:”
In 1996, San Francisco effectively forced Catholic Charities to offer domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples (without calling them domestic-partner benefits) in order to receive city funds to care for the sick. A 1999 law made California one of 28 states that now require employers to include contraception in health-care plans that cover prescriptions. Yet the Obama administration boldly went where no state (not even California) had gone before when it announced that, under the Affordable Care Act, all employers must provide birth control as part of their health-care insurance packages. Churches would be exempt, but Catholic hospitals, universities and religious-based charities would not.
States have legal loopholes. In California, for example, a religious-affiliated institution can get around the mandate by self-insuring or not offering prescription-drug coverage. The only way out of the Obamacare mandate is to move to another country. Otherwise, there’s no exit.
Exactly right. So much for diversity, tolerance for differences, and forging middle grounds—in other words, and not for the first time—the entire premise of the president’s mendacious 2008 campaign.
This compromise is just word engineering. The religious organization still has to pay for the policy, the price for which will have already built in the cost of contraception, surgical sterilization, and abortifacient coverage. Moreover, Obamacarians are lying that the issue is about heterodox thinking organizations trying to “deny acess” to women who want contraceptives. That is Newspeak right out of the Ministry of Love from 1984 (my assertion) As Debra notes:
For its part, the administration keeps stretching the English language to the brink. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services frames the issue as one of “access” to “preventive health-care services.” “Access” no longer means being able to obtain something. “Access” now means being able to get something for free and making someone else - even someone who objects on moral grounds - pay for it, Supporters claim the mandate is no big deal because 90 percent of Catholics practice birth control in violation of church doctrine. That tells me that there never was an access problem.
Right on, Debra. The morning after pill is even available over the counter to adults, not to mention condoms can be purchased in any grocery store. Not only that, prescribed BC is readily available through community clinics, Planned Parenthood—and high schools.
But see, Obamacare isn’t really about health care, health insurance, or contraception. Beneath those pretexts the president is pushing an anti Liberty campaign. As I noted in The Corner:
This episode has confirmed my suspicion that seizing power for the bureaucracy was the primary point of Obamacare even beyond expanding access to health insurance. Such centralized control gives the government the weapons and the pretexts increasing efficiency in the provision of health care and promoting “wellness” to smash the principles of limited government and transform us into a bureaucratic state. In other words, the U.S. is on a course that will turn Washington, D.C., into Brussels. Just wait until the cost-benefit boards and the Independent Payment Advisory Board come on line. Then we will see what bureaucratic power really looks like!
That’s what is going on. The question is whether Americans still believe in limited government or want to exchange freedom and its attendant risks for an entitlement state. It seems to me that the jury is still out on that one.
By the way, the wording of the actual rule was not changed. The “compromise” is merely a promise contained in a non binding preface that the administration plans to amend the actual rule later through the usual rule making bureaucratic process. If Obama wins reelection with a Democratic Congress, that is a change that will never come.