I apologize for the length of this post, but I think the information here is important.
I watched Chris Wallace interview Jack Lew this morning on Fox News Sunday. I am posting a few quotes from the transcript. Questions were never answered directly, there was nothing but talking points, but please note where Mr. Lew says the government gets the authority to tell a company what they must sell and a consumer what he must buy. There is no way that can be constitutional. Here are some quotes:
WALLACE: Before we get to the president’s new budget and I promise we will, I want to clear up some lingering question about the president’s revised policy about providing health insurance coverage for birth control to the employees of religious institutions. The president now says that Catholic institutions don’t have to provide the coverage but the insurance companies do.
The question — where does the president get the power to tell a private company they have to offer a product and offer it for free?
LEW: Well, Chris, just to be clear — the president has the authority under the Affordable Care Act to have these kinds of rules take affect. And the issue with this being for free is quite an interesting one. If you look at the cost of providing health insurance, it actually doesn’t cost more to provide a plan with contraceptive coverage than it does without.
The discussion then continued as Mr. Wallace asked how the insurance companies could offer the coverage for free. What is not said directly is that it is cheaper to prevent a child from being born than to provide healthcare for that child. Have we reached the point as a society where that is a consideration?
The discussion continued:
WALLACE: But here’s my point and here’s the concern that some religious institutions have. The reason that you’re going to get these, quote, “savings” is because of avoided pregnancies from artificial birth control, which is the practice that these religious institutions find objectionable and, in fact, sinful in the first place.
LEW: But let’s just be clear: every woman has a right to access all forms of preventive health, including contraception. Religious institutions, churches, are not covered by this. So, they don’t have to provide.
Note that he is saying that every woman has a right to contraception. He is requiring church charities to allow their employees to take part in something that is against their doctrine and saying it is okay since they are not paying for it.
The discussion continued:
WALLACE: You say it’s consistent. The Catholic bishops are clearly not satisfied with it — if I may, sir. They have issued a statement that says that they view the decision by the president, the revision, with grave moral concern.
Let’s put up their statement on the screen.
“Today’s proposal involves needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion — government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions.”
And, sir, they call on Congress to block the president’s policy.
LEW: No, I think the president’s policy does not do that. It does not force an institution that has religious principle to offer or may for benefits they find objectionable. But it guarantees a woman’s right to access. We think that’s the right solution.
There are others who opposed women’s access to contraception. They have different views than we do. I’m not going to speak to the motives of any of the parties. But it’s quite significant that a range of Catholic organizations has embraced this.
We didn’t expect to get universal support of the bishops or all Catholics. I think that what we have here is a policy that reflects bringing together two very important principles in a way that’s true to the American tradition. And that’s what the president is trying to do.
There are others who want to have a clash over it. We want to bring these two principles together
He is admitting that the Obama Administration did not expect the Bishops to go along with the supposed compromise. The birth control controversy is a small taste of surprises to come from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Based on Mr. Lew’s statement, the act pretty much allows the government to do anything it wants to in regard to providing healthcare to Americans–whether it is constitutional or not!