I think is the week begin again became real to a lot of people.
I think the conversation I had with Tom Messner from Heritage is one worth reading, if you haven’t. Because this is quite a mess we have on our hands, but there is a way out, and to move forward, too, not simply turn back clocks (the sleep implications alone make that undesirable). If you are one who sends items around to share with family and friends to begin conversations or help inform, this might be one you include:
LOPEZ: Is there any fix for the HHS mandate short of rescinding it?
MESSNER: The Obama administration could have included robust protections for religious freedom in the mandate. Instead, it finalized the mandate with what the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty calls “the stingiest definition” of a religious organization ever to appear in federal law.
There has been a lot of talk about the so-called “accommodation” proposed by the administration in February and now subject to public commenting in an advanced notice of proposed rule-making. But as James Capretta has explained in a recent analysis for NRO, this approach is no solution at all.
The truth is that freedom of conscience goes hand in hand with greater freedom in general. This particular mandate is just the first in what could become a long list of problems for religious and moral conscience under the Obamacare regulatory regime.
People and groups with sufficient energy and financial resources can try to find ways to exempt their way through the mess on a regulation by regulation basis. But for those who support a robust vision of religious freedom in America, it is time to start thinking more strategically.
The best way to fix the HHS mandate is to rescind it along with the rest of Obamacare. That way the country can start with a clean state and implement authentic health-care reforms that respect freedom and fulfill the moral responsibility many Americans feel for the poor, sick, and needy.
LOPEZ: How is the HHS mandate related to the individual mandate and this week’s Supreme Court case?
MESSNER: The common theme is freedom. As most people probably know, this week the Supreme Court considers arguments about whether the federal government is constitutionally permitted to force American citizens to enter the market for health insurance. The HHS Mandate is about what drugs and services health-care plans must include. These various mandates are really just different sides of the big box that Obamacare builds around freedom. When freedom in general gets trapped inside the Obamacare box, freedom of religious and moral conscience is likely to get trapped too.