Proclaiming in a New York Times headline that "Obama Adjusts a Rule Covering Contraceptives," the pro-Obama media tried to dig the president out of the political hole he had jumped into. But calling Obama's revised rule an "adjustment" or an "accommodation" or another soft-sell word can't cover the fact that the revision is essentially the same as the original rule.
Barack Obama and his administration are the lackeys of the feminists. And furthermore, they must think the American people are too stupid to see through the deception he is trying to put over on us.
A big New York Times editorial cried out that Obama's action means "The Freedom to Choose Birth Control." Poppycock. Every American already has the right to choose birth control, but that shouldn't give them the right to have somebody else pay for it, and that's what ObamaCare demands.
The bottom line is that the ObamaCare insurance, which employers are mandated to provide and individuals are mandated to buy, will include birth control, the morning-after pill (an abortion drug) and sterilization. All this at zero cost to the individual and without any additional premium, co-pay, or out-of-pocket expense. And yes, this mandate does apply to religious hospitals, schools, colleges and charities, even though their religion teaches them that these acts are immoral and wrong.
Obama's original rule called for religiously affiliated institutions to pay for these controversial services, which even liberal commentators denounced as a gross interference with religious liberty. It was even denounced by Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne and Democratic senators. The ever loquacious Joe Biden hid out in uncharacteristic silence.
The debate about this rule went on within the administration for several months. Obama eventually sided with the feminists (no surprise) against the warning of then Chief of Staff William Daley.
After the firestorm erupted, Obama may have thought he could get the Catholic bishops to go along with his accommodation (as a couple of liberal nuns did), but the bishops saw through his duplicity. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out that the "adjustment" still includes a "nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients" and also that the many "self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate."
The accommodation orders insurance companies to pay the costs of these birth control/abortion services, but you can be sure insurance companies will price their products to make a profit. It's obvious that insurance companies will distribute and conceal the costs so nobody appears to be paying for the controversial procedures.
Since the insurance companies will not be permitted to charge different fees for different employees, all their customers will be paying something for the controversial services. In plain words, all religiously affiliated institutions and their employees will be paying for birth control/abortion drugs, but not "explicitly," as the Wall Street Journal delicately explained.
Congressman Chris Smith, R-N.J., summed up this issue: "The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. It states, for example, that religious employers 'will not' have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their 'insurance companies' will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer."
The political donnybrook continues as many people are speaking out against Obama's rule, both the original and the revised version, because it is an outrageous interference with religious liberty. How dare Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tell religiously affiliated institutions that they must do something that violates their moral code?
This issue has aroused people of all religious denominations to speak out. They now realize we have a president who made himself part of the organized attack on religion anywhere in the public square, an attack we see so frequently in the courts and in the schools.
One of the shocking parts of this charade is the fact that the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains sent an email to senior chaplains telling them that Archbishop Timothy Broglio's letter criticizing the Obama rule was not to be read from the pulpit. Has anti-religious bigotry become so extreme, even in the military, that a chaplain's sermon is expected to be banned or censored to conform to Obama's prejudices?
Lesson No. 1: This issue demonstrates that the Obama administration is participating full-strength in the ongoing campaign against religious liberty.
Lesson No. 2: This issue demonstrates that national health care involves so much more than health, and that all decisions, major and minor, will be controlled by federal bureaucrats, not by patients, not by doctors, not by taxpayers and not by any elected representatives, state or federal.
As Walter Cronkite used to say, "That's the way it is."
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. Her latest, written with co-author Suzanne Venker, is "The Flipside of Feminism" published by WorldNetDaily. She can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com.