(If you are not up on this issue… follow the thread here from the bottom up)
Update: Religious organizations are already saying that the Obama’s announced compromise is hollow. Catholic Bishops and other religious organizations are moving forward with their protests. The political fallout from this issue could be huge in the 2012 Election among religious groups and Independents. Remember Obama carried the Catholic vote in 2008.
But in reality: Obama Didn’t Cave on the HHS Mandate; He’s Making an Unprecedented Power Grab and this is why, if people realize, this could be Obama’s Waterloo! And if not, we are in big trouble!!
Attention, Catholics, Protestants, and everyone who cares about the causes of life, religious freedom, and freedom of conscience!
Do not be suckered by the “accommodation” announced today by President Obama and spokeswoman Kathleen Sebelius!
*Here is Ultra Left Wing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Spin (Remember, Sebilius was an ardent supporter of murdered partial birth abortionist, Tiller and her extreme record on abortion has sadly been ignored (or hidden) by the media.)
Under the guise of making room for religious conscience, the President has actually made the policy worse—far worse.
Here’s how . . .
RUSH: Everybody’s reporting that Obama’s caving on this mandate that the Catholic services provide abortion and all. There’s not a cave here! There may be an accommodation, but there’s no big cave-in here. It’s still the government mandating this stuff happen. They’re just changing the provider. It’s not done by the church. He says he gave them a way out of it by mandating the insurance companies do it, but that’s not the point here.
So everywhere I’m reading that Obama is caving on the mandate in Obamacare that Catholic churches — well, not churches, but the schools and hospitals are mandated to provide contraceptives and abortion-related services that they religiously disagree with. “What’s happened here is that Obama’s caved! He has seen, he has heard, and now he’s gonna shift that burden to the insurance companies!”
Obama is not doing what he’s doing to make Barbara Boxer happy or the pro-abortion crowd happy or the Democrat Senate Caucus happy. He knows that’s gonna happen. What he’s doing is violating the Constitution. He is coalescing extra-constitutional power. He is making a power grab here that is unprecedented in the history of the presidency. (interruption)
Thomas Edsall, that’s right. Thomas Edsall wrote that piece in the Nuev Orc Times, former Washington Post columnist. So I don’t think… This has been my if you then argument with the Republican establishment from the get-go with Obama. I don’t think this is traditional politics at all. I don’t think traditional politics has anything to do with why Obama’s doing this. This is about fundamentally transforming this country from a representative republic to a pure, straight democracy with the president assuming he’s the majority and therefore can do whatever he wants to do. We’re not dealing with the average, “Okay, the Democrats won the White House. They’re gonna have it for four or eight years. We gotta try to stop ’em however we can and we’ll get power back.”
There’s something unprecedented going on here.
Woodrow Wilson dreamed of this.
FDR dreamed of this.
Obama is doing this.
The White House will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women!!!
by order and proclamation of…
BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: Everybody’s reporting that Obama’s caving on this mandate that the Catholic services provide abortion and all. There’s not a cave here! There may be an accommodation, but there’s no big cave-in here. It’s still the government mandating this stuff happen. They’re just changing the provider. It’s not done by the church. He says he gave them a way out of it by mandating the insurance companies do it, but that’s not the point here. Great to have you. It’s Friday. Let’s go to! JOHNNY DONOVAN: Live from the Left Coast at our satellite studios in Los Angeles,…
· BREAKING: Pro-life leaders slam White House ‘compromise’ on birth control mandate – Friday, February 10, 2012 1:28:01 PM · by unique1 · 50 replies
Lifesitenews.com ^ | Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:32 EST | Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The White House announced today that, instead of forcing religious employers to pay for birth control, it will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women, no matter where they work. The plan, touted as a concession to freedom of religion and conscience, was immediately denounced by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith. “The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,. said Smith. .It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naï or gullible would accept this as a change…
UPDATE, 12:14p: More evidence the “compromise” stinks: Planned Parenthood likes it. UPDATE, 12:02p: From a House source: This “new policy” is a distinction without a difference. The services the religious organization opposes won’t be listed in the contract, but the insurance companies will give it the employees anyway. Insurance companies will justify providing the coverage that the religious charity opposes by swearing that birth control coverage doesn’t actually cost anything because it’s cheaper than pregnancy services, so it’s just a free perk. The administration will argue that people of faith should be fine with this arrangement, because they can tell…
(Reuters) – U.S. health insurers said on Friday they feared President Barack Obama had set a new precedent by making them responsible for providing free birth control to employees of religious groups as he sought to defuse an election-year landmine. “We are concerned about the precedent this proposed rule would set,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group. “As we learn more about how this rule would be operationalized, we will provide comments through the regulatory process.” Zirkelbach said insurers “have long offered contraceptive coverage to employers as part of comprehensive, preventive benefits that…
With regards to government intervention into religion, the First Amendment to the US Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” First, Congress is the Constitutional body that has the authority to make laws for the United States of America. Second, it is to steer clear of anything pertaining to freedom of religion.
Obama’s Big Compromise With The Catholic Church Is An Accounting Trick Catholics can’t pay for it: morally it isn’t much different than paying a Quaker in hand-grenades. The Church can’t directly subsidize sin without being guilty… Read HERE
Let us all ask ourselves again… Was the Timing of War Over ObamaCare Mandatory Birth Control Payments… God’s Answer to Prayers for Intervention? and let us not forget that a compromise now does not mean there is a change of ideology in the White House that will continue without compromise if Obama is re-elected.
AP Source Now Says Obama to Compromise
WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) — The Blaze has covered the religious freedom issues surrounding the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate extensively. President Barack Obama will announce a plan to accommodate religious employers outraged by a rule that would require them to cover birth control for women free of charge, according to a person familiar with the decision.
(Related: 5 Reasons the Obama Admin May Be Losing the Contraceptive Mandate Battle – See Posted Below)
Obama was expected to make the announcement at the White House Friday. ABC has more regarding what sources are saying the president is poised to present:
The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not satisfy bishops and other religious leaders since it will preserve the goal of women employees having their birth control fully covered by health insurance. […]
One source familiar with the decision described the accommodation as “Hawaii-plus,” insisting that it’s better than the Hawaii plan — for both sides.
In Hawaii the employer is responsible for referring employees to places where they can obtain the contraception; Catholic leaders call that material cooperation with evil. But what the White House will likely announce later today is that the relationship between the religious employer and the insurance company will not need to have any component involving contraception.
CBS News corroborates:
The exact nature of the clarification remains unclear, but any accommodation could largely follow what exists in a majority of states, like in Illinois where DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the country, offers an employee health plan that does cover contraception. Georgetown University offers a similar plan.
The shift is aimed at containing the political firestorm that erupted after Obama announced in January that religious-affiliated employers had to cover birth control as preventative care for women. Churches and houses of worship were exempt, but all other affiliated organizations were ordered to comply by Aug. 2013.
Republican leaders and religious groups, especially Roman Catholics, responded with intense outrage, saying the requirement would force them to violate church teachings and long-held beliefs against contraception.
The issue also pushed social issues to the forefront in an election year that had been dominated by the economy. Abortion, contraception and any of the requirements of Obama‘s health care overhaul law have the potential to galvanize the Republicans’ conservative base, critical to voter turnout in the presidential and congressional races.
Republicans vowed to reverse the president’s policy, with House Speaker John Boehner accusing the administration of violating First Amendment rights and undermining some of the country’s most vital institutions, such as Catholic charities, schools and hospitals.
The measure also sparked an internal debate at the White House. Vice President Joe Biden, then-chief of staff Bill Daley and deputy national security adviser Denis McDonough, all Catholics, raised concerns about how the administration proceeded on the policy. On the other side, senior White House advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle, Pete Rouse and David Plouffe argued for the need to ensure coverage for all without exception, as a matter of women’s health and fairness.
The person with knowledge of Obama’s decision requested anonymity in order to speak in advance of the official announcement.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.
The Obama administration clearly underestimated the response it would receive from Catholics and non-Catholics, alike, after implementing a universal mandate on health plans that requires coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.
As the Blaze has extensively documented, the response has been swift and hard-hitting. Many liberals who traditionally support these options for women have been jumping ship to side with Catholic leadership in agreement that the administration has overstepped its bounds — an event that so rarely happens in theological and political circles.
But it’s important to note that, despite very boisterous outcries, Obama does have support from some liberals on this issue; many of them are pointing to the fact that nearly all Catholic women use contraceptives as a defense. Using this argument, those who favor the mandate claim that the Church is out of touch and not accurately speaking for its followers on this important women’s health issue.
But is this the proper lens through which to view the issue? Free and religious speech advocates would argue that usage has little to do with views on government intervention in church affairs. In the end, it’s a complicated scenario with political capital for whichever side wins the public over. At the moment, the situation may not be as favorable for Obama as he would like. In an article published on Wednesday, Religion News Service’s David Gibson provides five reasons that the president may be losing the battle.
First, the debate, despite what the mandate’s supporters say, is about religious freedom — not contraception. Regardless of where one stands, the main issue at hand is whether the government has the right to interfere in church affairs and dictate what will be covered in health care plans. Gibson writes:
The bishops don’t have as much credibility with the laity as they used to, thanks to the clergy sex abuse scandal, among other things. But Catholics are still a potent tribe, and if outsiders are seen as attacking the church, Catholics can get defensive – and they can get even.
Then there’s the fact, as mentioned, that some liberal Catholics have abandoned the president on the issue. Regardless of where these individuals stand on use of these health care options, forcing Catholic institutions (among other faith-based groups) to violate their conscience just isn’t sitting right.
Now, let’s talk about those other faith groups. Many times, people of different religious traditions have a tough time coalescing, but on this issue, individuals with varying theological ideals are coming together. After all, it’s one thing to sit back and watch an attack on a rival faith group unfold, but when considering what could happen, should this mandate go unchecked, many religious people are fearful: “What’s next?,” they’re wondering. Gibson continues:
Even though evangelicals and other conservative Protestants generally don’t have religious objections to contraception, they do have a big problem with “big government” and with perceived infringements on religious freedom. Evangelicals – both their leaders and their troops – have never been big Barack Obama supporters anyway, so they were happy to provide any electoral and rhetorical muscle the Catholic hierarchy could not muster.
The fourth reason Gibson highlights is the fact that the “attack on religion” frame the issue is being explored through is an appealing one for Republicans. While many conservatives are wondering why Obama would approach this subject in an election year to begin with, others are noticing just how effective religious freedom rhetoric will be for the GOP nominee.
The rhetoric is already ratcheting up. “This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country cannot stand, and will not stand,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said earlier this week.
And, of course, there’s the overwhelming fact that the president will need to secure the Catholic vote to ensure re-election. “While Obama won the overall Catholic vote 54 percent to 46 percent in 2008, he lost the white Catholic vote, 47 percent to 53 percent,” Gibson writes. It‘s hard to imagine the president won’t lose a portion of this important cohort as a result of his refusal, thus far, to compromise.
As GOP Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have both said, “Obama has shown his hand and if he is re-elected, even if they walk this back now, this is the road that his administration will go down!”
Sure, he’s shown “openness” to the ideal of coming up with a viable solution that appeases both sides, but to those so staunchly opposed, such a notion isn’t good enough. The president will need to admit wrongdoing and back away from the mandate, should he wish to appease many of those individuals who feel wronged by the government’s newfound regulations. So far, there’s no evidence that he will take such a course.
Click here to read Gibson’s RNS article.
Senator Rand Paul stood-up and blasted the HHS mandate as ‘authoritarian’ and ‘totalitarian; “Gloves are off”, he said!
Rubio Crushes Obama and His Contraceptive Mandate At CPAC; says it is a Constitutional issue!