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Senator Rubio’s statement seems to suggest that this particular battle is over even if the war over Obamacare continues: “It’s good that the President reaffirmed that the Federal government cannot force faith-based institutions to provide services that they teach are wrong. Unfortunately, as more of these rules are written, our Constitutional rights will continue to be threatened by the Administration’s policy goals. This issue exemplifies the problem with putting the Federal government in charge of health care, and shows why we must fully repeal ObamaCare.”

Senator Blunt issued a longer statement that strikes a different tone. Key quote: “Just because you can come up with an accounting gimmick and pretend like religious institutions do not have to pay for the mandate, does not mean that you’ve satisfied the fundamental constitutional freedoms that all Americans are guaranteed” (bolding in original).

Update: Just spoke to Rubio spokesman Alex Conant, who says, “It’s good that the White House acknowledged the problems with the original HHS rule mandating contraceptives. But their new rule still violates constitutional liberties.” Asked whether Rubio still intends to promote legislation to undo the administration’s action, he says yes.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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