Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, is a leading advocate in the Obama administration for employees to receive free methods of birth control as part of their employers’ health insurance policies, including contraceptives, sterilization and morning after pills. Since nothing is really free, it will be employers or their insurers who get stuck with the bill, no matter what the moral beliefs of the insurers themselves or the employers who pay the insurance premiums may be. One rationale offered by the Obama administration is that preventing pregnancies is much cheaper than providing pre-natal and post-natal care. The value of life is reduced to dollars and cents by the stroke of a government pen.
Based on the same kind of top down cost-benefit analysis, Sebelius admitted in congressional testimony that, if Congress approved the IPAB bureaucracy’s recommendation for Medicare to reduce its reimbursement payments to seniors for dialysis procedures, seniors may well be left unable to receive this life-saving treatment:
Mr. Chairman, as you know, any cut in services, certainly cost shifting to beneficiaries, could mean huge reductions in care that seniors would have the opportunity to receive.
Is it any wonder that some individuals question why free birth control should be an absolute right while a life-saving procedure for seniors such as dialysis may be on the chopping block?
Saving the best for last, this brings us directly to the third area about which the Obama spin machine is misleading the American people. It has to do with Obama’s war on the First Amendment, evidenced most recently by his insistence that insurance companies, if not employers themselves, communicate with the insured employees about the availability of mandated benefits as to which the insurance companies and/or the employers may have moral objections to providing. This is a double assault on First Amendment rights of the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech, forcing individuals to violate a core religious belief or face a penalty for disobeying the government mandate and forcing such individuals to communicate publicly and affirmatively about the availability of the government-mandated benefit in their insurance plans irrespective of their religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court has stated that the “right of freedom of thought protected by the First Amendment against state action includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all…The right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of the broader concept of ‘individual freedom of mind.’”
The issue is not whether women have the right to obtain and use contraceptives and other methods of birth control. Of course, they do. The issue is also not whether women have the ability to obtain contraceptives and other methods of birth control for free. They do – from organizations such as Planned Parenthood, free clinics or other charities that are advocates of birth control. Moreover, the government can decide to directly subsidize those who cannot afford birth control as a matter of public policy. But the Obama administration has declared war on the First Amendment by coercing individuals to become the instruments for communicating and implementing the Obama administration’s ideological point of view that such individuals find morally repugnant.
We will continue to track the Obama spin machine during the course of the presidential campaign and expose its mendacity.
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