A very important point about the HHS contraceptives mandate is made by James Capretta (roughly transcribed from this discussion, starting at about 12 minutes in):
Lost so far in this debate . . is how did we get to the point where the government was allowed to do this for the average citizen anyway? For the average Catholic out there working for a private employer who doesn't have any religious affiliation whatsoever, they're being told by the government through this requirement that they too have to pay premiums into a plan that covers all of these things and there's no right whatsoever to get out from under it. There's no talk of an exemption, there's no even contemplation in the administration for the religious liberty rights of the average citizen.In other words, you don't have to run a Catholic hospital or school, or even a non-denominational donut shop, to be affected by the mandate. You merely have to collect a paycheck. Individuals, as Mr. Capretta points out, have no recourse, no way to exempt themselves from paying for whatever the HHS commands them to pay for.
And this is a very big deal. There will be tens of millions of people who forever more in the United States, if this is allowed to stand, will to be forced every two weeks in their paychecks to pay for a number of things that they find objectionable. [. . .]
. . . in the context of the gigantic health care bill that passed in 2010 there's a whole slew of things now that the government can do. This is one of them, but it's not the only one. The delegation of massive, massive amounts of power to the federal government is really remarkable. And this is . . . one of those watershed moments where the public is getting a glimpse into what is coming. Just the spectre of religious people having to go to the government sort of hat in hand begging to get exempt from this should be a clear indication that something is amiss here, something has gone terribly wrong. Why did the federal government get this power to make this decision affecting 310 million people and there's really no recourse whatsoever? So there's something fundamentally gone wrong here.
As it amasses more and more power, the last thing the Obama administration is going to worry about is some peon clinging bitterly to his puny little conscience.
Hat tip to husband, who raised this point several times lately. I was pleased to find Mr. Capretta's discussion of it linked at the Corner. (I haven't listened to the whole thing yet.)
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