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February 11. 2012 11:50PM

Obama's way: The contraception 'compromise'

The entire foundation underlying President Obama's recent order on contraception coverage, like the entire foundation for Obamacare (under which that order was made), is a cleverly crafted false premise.

Obamacare requires most private insurers to cover — free of charge — “preventive services” for women, including contraception and abortifacients. The law lets federal bureaucrats exempt specific providers from this requirement. The Obama administration has determined that churches are exempt, but religious institutions that have service, rather than proselytizing, as their primary mission are not.

So Catholic hospitals and charities are required by the state to purchase services directly contrary to their religious beliefs. The same goes for Catholics who run their own private businesses. The First Amendment be damned.

On Friday, Obama announced a compromise that is not one. It requires “non-exempt” religious institutions (such as Catholic hospitals) to buy insurance policies that cover contraception and abortifacients, but it simply decrees that those services are provided by the insurer, not the employer. That is nonsense. The employer is paying for the policy. Thus, the employer is buying the service that conflicts with the employer's faith.

The Obama administration attempts to justify this shredding of the First Amendment by declaring it a fundamental principle that all women should have access to free “preventive services.” First, that is not a principle, it is a cynical vote-buying scheme. Second, as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has pointed out, women already have access to free preventive services at their local public health clinic.

Obama's intent is not to ensure that these services are available, but to federalize their provision for two purposes: to take credit for providing them, and to establish the state's authority to do so.

As with so many of the supposed goals of Obamacare, this one could be achieved at significantly less cost and controversy. But the ultimate goals are not those the President so often states: to increase access to health care and reduce its costs. The true goal is to expand the power of the state to the point that it may be used to impose the preferences of the governing class upon everyone else.

From Obama's decision on embryonic stem-cell research to this latest affront, his one guiding principle has always been the same: The machinery of government exists to help him impose his personal views on every American.


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