Second, the DOJ brief presupposes that social utility is a compelling state interest which should govern the provision of health care, and that what counts as social utility should be determined by unaccountable panels of experts. The relevant panel of experts for the mandate was the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which advised the HHS that contraception "is highly cost-effective because the costs associated with pregnancy greatly exceed the costs of contraceptive services. ... it has been estimated to cost employers 15 to 17 percent more to not provide contraceptive coverage in their health plans than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and the reduced productivity associated with such absence." The IOM reached this conclusion after hearing testimony only from carefully selected pro-abortion groups, such as Planned Parenthood. Obviously, such a principle is incompatible with democracy and could justify many unjust policies, such as that health insurance will cover only one childbirth.
A third principle endorsed in the brief is that the equality of women requires that women should become like men, rather than the workplace should change to make it easier for women to have children: ""Contraceptive coverage ... furthers the goal of eliminating this disparity by allowing women to achieve equal status as healthy and productive members of the job force."
A fourth principle is the totalitarian idea that the government should be able to control all aspects of the "secular" realm. To allow exemptions to the mandate for religious reasons, the Administration asserts, would mean that "secular companies and their owners [have] become laws unto themselves, claiming countless exemptions from an untold number of general commercial laws designed to improve the health and well-being of individual employees based on an infinite variety of alleged religious beliefs." Conscience gets in the way of the Federal governments "solutions": religious freedom would "cripple the government's ability to solve national problems through laws of general application."
The Catholic Church and sincere Christians reject all of these principles; hence, the Obama administration shows them no goodwill. But how many Americans are aware that in agreeing through their representatives to Obamacare, they have agreed also to this profoundly destructive philosophy?
Michael Pakaluk is Professor and Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Ave Maria University.
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