The chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee blasted the president’s self-styled “accommodation” of religious employers required under the Obamacare law to provide contraceptive services to employees in apparent violation of the Constititoin’s protection of religious liberty.
“Under the President’s proposal,” explained Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall, “employers and employees will still bear the cost of paying for coverage of contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization because insurance companies will simply pass on the cost of this ‘free’ service with higher premiums to the employer.”
“It’s very chilling and very dangerous,” Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) told the Heritage Foundation in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He insisted that the president’s supposed walk-back of the contraception mandate “is all rhetoric” and does not address either the constitutional problems with the mandate or its detriments to freedom of choice for America’s health care consumers.
On the constitutional question, Price said that members of the administration “so believe that they have to have the power to determine what kind health coverage that an individual may get that they’re willing to trample on the First Amendment to the Constitution in order to increase their power.”
“It’s important to appreciate that this isn’t about birth control. This isn’t about abortion,” he added. “In this particular instance, it’s about religious freedom.”
But “the bigger picture,” Price insisted, is the federal government’s ongoing attempts to exert unprecedented control over the American health care system – attempts integral to and advanced by Obamacare.
“If the federal government is going to decide what health care is and what health coverage is,” Price noted, “then it can decide what care you get, what care I get, and what every single American gets.”
As troubling as the trend is, Price said, “it will only get worse. That’s why the entire [Obamacare] bill has to be repealed and we have to move in a direction that puts in place patient-centered medicine.”