NIKOLAS T. NIKAS & DORINDA C. BORDLEE
The Obama administration itself is making it easier with each new ream of regulations to undo Obamacare. The HHS employer mandate and the administration’s latest sham proposals for “religious accommodation” show that they are doubling down on government entanglement in church business. So won’t Americans be surprised when it’s not “just” the Catholic Church’s rights of conscience but their own consciences being violated as the 2014 individual mandate pulls them unwillingly into the abortion-premium mandate — without a right to decline paying directly into a designated abortion fund. Our amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court brings attention to that little-known land mine. The bottom line is that even if Obamacare survives a Commerce Clause challenge, the administration will soon be introduced in court to a less obscure provision known as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
— Nikolas T. Nikas and Dorinda C. Bordlee are president and vice president of the Bioethics Defense Fund.
Two years later, Obamacare is as unpopular as ever. A recent Rasmussen poll shows 56 percent of likely voters favor repeal, with 46 percent strongly in favor of jettisoning the law. Opposition to the law is nothing new. Even at the point of enactment, Rasmussen found 55 percent of voters favored repeal.
The vast majority of the health-care law does not take effect until 2014. Still, the meager assortment of provisions currently in effect suggests a bleak future, offering more reasons for full repeal. The record thus far shows that Obamacare policies have fallen short of expectation and are counterproductive and unworkable. The CBO’s recently updated score of the law reminds everyone that its true cost is far greater than originally claimed, and that the law fails to uphold the president’s own promises.
The upcoming Supreme Court case is yet another indication that Obamacare is far from settled law. Therefore, unless the Supreme Court strikes the whole law down, it is Congress’s duty to finish the job. Only after Congress fully repeals Obamacare can it begin to set course on an alternative path for health-care reform. What’s needed is a patient-centered, market-based approach that is fiscally responsible, improves access, and allows Americans to choose the health-care coverage that fits their individual needs. Such a plan is outlined in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream. But the first step is repeal of Obamacare.
— Nina Owcharenko is director of health-policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.