We need to recognize that when government takes over providing health care to its citizens, it gets to decide what constitutes health care. I cannot think of a better example of why Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with free market reform than the announcement this week that nearly all employers, including church-affiliated organizations such as Catholic hospitals, must cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion inducing drugs in their employees' insurance plans free of charge. The mandate provides no expemption, even if compliance violates the employer's religious beliefs. The first plank in our Bill of Rights guarantees religious liberty; the President's new mandate is a direct assault on that right. This is not about contraceptives, abortion, or women's health. It is about whether or not the federal government can force people to violate their faith.
It is important to point out that this mandate did not come out of thin air; it came straight out of Obamacare. Many left leaning religious organizations and pro-life Democrats justified their support for Obamacare on the grounds that they had been assured conscience rights would be protected. Many of those same people are now speaking out against this decision. I have signed a letter to Secretary Sebelius urging her and President Obama to reconsider the rule and am a cosponsor of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Actof 2011 (H.R. 1179) which would repeal the mandate. House leadership has committed to the fight as well; Speaker Boehner said it best on the floor of the House this week: "If the president does not reverse the Department's attack on religious freedom, then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must."
Stay in Touch and God Bless,