New Obamacare Contraceptives Rule Tries to Have it Both Ways

President Obama rolled out a new rule tweaking Obamacare regulations (what does he think he is anyway—an emperor?). In order to bridge the gap between his desire to force companies to fund universal contraceptives access and the Supreme Court’s insistence that religious companies shouldn’t have to violate their beliefs, Obama proposed that religious companies should register their religious objections with the government, and then the government would coordinate contraceptives access with insurance companies.

This apparently fixes the problem, since companies wouldn’t be paying directly for the contraceptives they object to on religious grounds:

On Friday, the administration proposed a rule, which would go into effect immediately, to address the concerns of nonprofit groups. Under the proposal, a religious college or other nonprofit group could inform the Department of Health and Human Services of its religious objections and the department would then contact insurance companies and arrange the birth control coverage at no cost to the employer or its employees.

Previously, the organizations were required to notify the insurance companies directly, a step that some organizations said still made them complicit in providing drugs they objected to.

. . .

Under the proposed rule for the private companies, owners with religious objections to providing birth control would also be able to contact the government to express their religious objections.

There’s just one problem with this rule. Actually, there are a few. For one, doesn’t it seem a little weird for a religious company to have to register its religious objections with the civil government? What, are these companies going to be labeled as religious objectors by the civil government? Maybe the civil government could issue them yellow ichthuses that owners could wear on their clothes and include in their corporate logos. I don’t like the sound of that.

A company shouldn’t have to register a religious objection. They should be allowed to operate as they see fit. The potential for tyrannical abuse is already apparent in the Obamacare regulations, and all the tweaks Obama has been making pretty much at his whim and discretion (without any legislative process, mind you) make it all the more obvious that the Executive Branch is becoming a fiat monarchy.

Beyond that, it’s not like this new rule actually means companies and taxpayers are freed from paying for contraceptives. Obama acts like “the government” actually has money of its own: “That’s okay, religious companies. Just let us know you object, and the government will pay for it. You don’t have to.” Yeah. Where does the civil government get its money? Oh, yeah. From us.

This rule solves nothing. It’s just yet another attempt to rewrite the law to wrest more control and money from the hands of private citizens and companies. And it will probably work. Again.