Ever since the Obama administration in January reiterated that religious employers — against their religious convictions — will have to provide employee insurance that covers contraception, the so-called contraception mandate has been at the forefront of a debate about religious liberty. That was as it should be.
Now, though, it’s time to remember that the mandate is not just a violation of religious liberty; it’s also the first concrete evidence that Obamacare violates our liberties in general. As Ed wrote yesterday, the majority of Americans still favor a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act. That repeal would necessarily entail a repeal of the contraception mandate. Given that, opponents of Obamacare must be careful not to substitute a part for the whole. An administrative cave on contraception — victory though that would be — would not be a victory of the same magnitude as the complete repeal of PPACA. That doesn’t mean religious employers shouldn’t continue to argue vociferously against the contraception mandate — just that opponents of Obamacare need to remind the undecided that religious freedom is just the first casualty of Obamacare, but far from the last.
A new Heritage Foundation video does just that, drawing the conversation out from the contraception mandate and toward a comprehensive characterization of Obamacare as the enormous government overreach that it is.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems with Obamacare,” Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall says in the video. “One of the reasons is it’s the first concrete detail, practically, that we’ve seen about the essential benefits package — that is, what insurance will have to cover as a part of Obamacare. All kinds of opportunity for moral conflict for Americans! We have handed the moral compass for some of our most personal healthcare decisions to bureaucrats.”