Amid growing rancor between the Catholic hierarchy and the White House, Republican rising star Sen. Marco Rubio is pushing a bill that takes a swipe at the Obama administration’s stance on expanding access to birth control.
Nice lead, Politico. “Expanding access to birth control” sounds quite a bit better than the reality, which is forcing religious organizations to provide services that go against their beliefs. But writing that would highlight what Obama is trying to do. Can’t have that.
The Florida senator, widely considered on the short list for the GOP vice presidential pick, introduced legislationTuesday that would vastly expand the ability of religious or faith-based employers to opt out of a health reform law requirement that health plans cover all FDA-approved contraceptives without any co-pay.
Note Rubio’s possible political motive despite the fact that he is a Christian social conservative, but omit the administration’s obvious political motive to mollify the NOW and NARAL gang. Politico is outdoing itself here.
The administration had offered a narrow exemption to religious organizations, which the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops said was unacceptable. They were not mollified when the administration gave other religious group, such as a religiously affiliated hospitals or charities, an extra year — until August 2013 — to comply with the requirement.
Giving them an extra year doesn’t fundamentally change what the administration is forcing them to do. It’s just political procrastination.
Rubio’s bill would allow individuals to take a conscience exemption and not offer the benefit to workers. The administration has defined access to birth control as a basic preventive health service that should be available.
At taxpayer expense, too, with no co-pays. Since declaring that he would bypass Congress, President Obama has gone out of his way to pick fights over fundamental things — the advise and consent role of Congress in appointments, religious freedom, the rule of law regarding immigration. He needs to be called out by those who can force him to defend his actions. We need to hear more from the Republican presidential candidates on this.