Politics & Policy

Bye-Bye Contraception Obamacare Mandate

The Obama Administration used the Affordable Care Act to engage in cultural imperialism. 

The way-too-rigid contraception mandate is a case in point. Rather than respecting a broad societal comity by permitting easy religious exemptions–such as, say, allowing an order of Catholic nuns to opt-out–Obamacare technocrats tried to force non-profits and business owners to violate their own faith as a cost of doing business or acting in the pubic square. 

DOJ legal briefs also argued that the expansive mandate was necessary to promote the equality of women in the business arena–which is not the purpose of health insurance.

(The contraception issue was a stalking horse for abortion, about which, I have no doubt, Obamacarians would have mandated coverage had they remained in power.)

This led to what could be called “resistance” and court rulings, including at SCOTUS, that did not go well for the Obamacare attempted hegemony. 

Perhaps more importantly from a political perspective, the hard mandate helped fuel the public’s rage against the law, helping propel the Republican party into power by promising lying that once in office, elected officials would ”repeal and replace,” the law. 

In any event, pieces of Obamacare are being dismantled despite Republican dysfunction. The Obamacare contraception mandate is now significantly weakened. From the Washington Times story:

The Trump administration said Friday it will let a vast universe of employers duck Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate by claiming a religious or moral objection, a long-awaited move that will enthuse pro-life conservatives and enrage advocates who say women’s rights to birth control are being threatened.

Under the new regulation, employers who assert a good-faith objection to having their insurance plans pay for contraception will be exempt so long as they notify their employees of the change, the Health and Human Services Department said.

Until now, religiously affiliated charities and family-owned companies had to sign a form saying they didn’t want to provide coverage, triggering a process where someone else would step in and offer coverage for free contraception.

The Trump administration said colleges, faith-based nonprofits and for-profit companies can now avoid the mandate by claiming a religious or moral objection instead of submitting the paperwork, while publicly traded companies must pinpoint a religious objection to claim an exemption.

There is a valuable lesson to be learned here for DC politicos and their bureaucrat minions. But I doubt they will.

Wesley J. Smith — Lawyer and award winning author, Wesley J. Smith, is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council. ...

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