One of the things that should have become clear last week is that government-run health care isn’t about freedom. If Obamacare stands, we are all going to lose a big chunk of that liberty that has been the hallmark of being an American.
Forbes magazine contributor David Whelan has a good piece today on the battle between the government and Catholic hierarchy over religious freedom. It is a battle that hasn’t ended, though many progressive Catholics are touchingly eager to proclaim this the case.
First, the accommodation the president announced doesn’t really honor the right of freedom of religion as guaranteed under the Constitution. (See John Steele Gordon’s “Presidential Semantics” for an idea on why the president didn’t call the new plan a compromise.) Whelan writes:
The “accommodation” announced on Friday allows a Catholic soup kitchen to avoid paying for contraception by sticking its Blue Cross plan with the bill instead. That’s a distinction without a difference, but I’ll save that for others to decry.
But Whelan goes on to discuss individual Catholic employers who don’t want to foot the bill for health coverage of procedures they regard as morally objectionable. But what about private people such as Dennis Ganser, who owns a roofing company?
Ganser and Whelan met several years ago when Whelan was writing about a mutual fund that invested only in stocks that didn’t do anything the investors might find morally dubious. Companies that donated to Planned Parenthood or offered spousal benefits to gay couples were off the list. You may or may not find this morally objectionable, but the fund reflected Ganser’s religious beliefs, and he put his entire life savings in it.
But now under Obamacare somebody with Ganser’s beliefs would not be given the option of refusing to buy health insurance policies for his employers on the basis of what he believes is right or wrong. That kind of freedom will no longer exist in the United States.
The contraception requirement is just one tiny example of the ways in which ObamaCare takes away one’s ability to choose a health plan by politicizing health care, centralizing medical decision-making, and squashing religious diversity.
In this case, Ganser and others like him are stuck paying for practices that you and I might find mundane (birth control pills). But tomorrow it might be something that I object to. Or one that you object to. Freedom just isn’t part of the insurance plan.
And here’s the kicker—for all our loss of liberty, we aren’t going to even be given the sop of saving money. The chief architect of Obamacare recently told the Daily Caller that we must expect “a steep increase in health care premiums.”