Think that this applies only to religious entities and only to today’s administratively determined “preventive services”? Think again. The mandate applies to the Christian employer who owns a bookstore and offers her staff health care benefits. It applies to the Susan B. Anthony List, to the National Right to Life Committee and to the Heritage Foundation. It establishes in principle that the executive branch, acting on its own, may decide in the future that elective abortion and assisted suicide are preventive services that must be covered by every insurance policy in the United States.
This is the primary effect of Obamacare. Its tendency, from first to last, is to impose controls on insurance that will reduce the options available to the American people. Want a high-deductible health savings account with excellent catastrophic coverage? No chance. Want to avoid having to visit your doctor to have him “prescribe” an over-the-counter medication so that you can pay for it with your HSA? Tough luck. Want to buy a health care plan that will not cover your minor daughter’s “free” IUD without your knowledge? Forget about it.
Among the few options Obama’s new rule leaves Catholic institutions is to drop their health care coverage altogether and dump their employees on the state exchanges. The University of Notre Dame, to cite just one example, will pay the federal government an estimated $10 million annual fine for this exercise of its religious liberty. And every one of Notre Dame’s employees who go onto the taxpayer-subsidized exchanges will be added to the rolls of Americans who depend on Uncle Sam for the minutely defined plans they will be permitted to buy.
Come to think of it, this is a win-win for advocates of a national health care system. More revenue, fewer insurance options. The problem is, it is profoundly unfree. And anti-life. The Obama prevention rules must go, and so must Obamacare.
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the Susan B. Anthony List. Charles A. Donovan is president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.