By James D. Agresti
March 26, 2014
In a blatant inversion of reality, the New York Times editorial board is claiming that corporations want to “impose their religious views on their employees — by refusing to permit them contraceptive coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act.” In truth, the so-called contraception mandate imposes the views of President Obama (and the Times editors) on all Americans.
The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) gives the Executive Branch at least 40 regulatory powers that have the force of law. The Obama administration has exercised this authority to mandate that “most new and renewed health plans” cover “all FDA-approved forms of contraception” without any copayments.
This means that nearly all Americans who pay for health insurance—whether they are private citizens, business owners, or taxpayers—are required to pay for the products that Obama demands. This is not about the legality of these products but forcing everyone to pay for them, whether they want to or not. In short, the mandate denies everyone the freedom to purchase a healthcare policy that covers what they want, instead of what the President wants.
Proponents of the mandate often focus on employees who want these items paid for by health insurance provided by their employers, but they completely ignore the business owners and other employees who don’t want to pay for these items. This is a critical omission, because when government forces all health plans to pay for certain items, all of the insured are forced to pay for them through their insurance premiums.
Thus, regardless of whether the mandate is upheld by the Supreme Court or struck down in part or in whole, the only people who are in danger of having someone else’s views forced down their throats are those who don’t want to pay for these products. Everyone else would still be free to buy them as they wish.
Similarly, CNN recently stated that Rush Limbaugh “called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a ‘slut’ and ‘prostitute’ for her support of women’s access to birth control.” This is a gross mischaracterization of the facts. Everyone in the U.S. already had “access to birth control.” What Fluke demanded is that others be forced to pay for it.
Moreover, Fluke argued that others must buy her the precise type of birth control she prefers. She didn’t want to pay for it, and she didn’t want whoever she was having sex with to pay for it. Instead, she wanted others with no role in her sex life to pay for it. That is not about “access” but coercion.
Proponents of the mandate have also been actively spreading falsehoods about the devices and drugs that the mandate covers. The scientific facts are clear that some of these products destroy viable human embryos, which is abortion or tantamount to it.
Yet, NPR, the New York Times, and others are obscuring these facts by misrepresenting scientific studies and uncritically quoting scientists who are donors to Obama—without even identifying them as such. These realities are scrupulously documented in Just Facts’ article, “Does the Obama mandate force you to pay for abortions?”
While people can argue endlessly about the pros and cons of this mandate, let’s make no mistake about who is seeking to impose their views on others: It is the people who support the mandate, not those who don’t want to be forced to pay for products that others demand.