The fight over the contraceptive angle in Obamacare, which Ed has written about extensively, is apparently far from over. It’s also going to expand past the application of the law to churches and other religious institutions. Just yesterday I related the story of how one provider explained rising costs to employees at a local small business and listed a number of women’s health services which are now mandated to be provided at no cost. Another employer – in a significantly larger enterprise – has been up in arms over one aspect of this debate all year. Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, is going to court over the mandate.
Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a “gravely immoral” practice. He’s a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, along with his Domino’s Farms, which runs an office park near Ann Arbor.
Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new law requires employers to offer insurance that includes contraception coverage or risk fines. Monaghan says the law violates his constitutional rights, and he’s asking a judge to strike down the mandate.
Unlike Ed – and many others here, I’m sure – I’ve never seen this as an issue of religious freedom, particularly when it branches out to strictly secular businesses such as Monaghan’s. But it does remind us once again of the question of mandating anything in terms of the negotiations between employers and employees over their coverage, to say nothing of the specifics for one type of treatment over another. The number of mandates flying around these days are dizzying, and rather than reducing costs – ostensibly one of the chief goals of health care reform – they seem to drive them up.
Still, you can’t keep the first amendment out of this conversation entirely, as shown by Wesley Smith over at The Corner.
This isn’t about birth control, but the power of the government to bulldoze freedom of religion down to a mere freedom of worship. Regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, all who believe in American liberty should wish Monaghan well.
This is a rather curious situation where you might find people from opposite sides of the religious spectrum finding common cause, though for very different reasons. But even for the many Americans who may not spend their time obsessing over politics and government and, perhaps, may not be particularly devout, there is a third front. That one is comprised of the folks waking up to find their insurance costs are going through the roof and asking their providers why.