I don’t know that I’ll have time to say as much about this issue as I’d like. Am traveling now for a family celebration.
A lot of conservative and libertarian pundits and bloggers have offered a lot of thoughtful commentary on the topic, starting (well, from my vantage point) with Peggy Noonan last week. Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, the Anchoress, Cato @ Liberty and the Corner have been good sources. (This, for example, is a particularly good post. As is this*.)
I don’t know that I can add much to what they’ve been saying, but am troubled that our friends in the legacy media are calling this a social issue. It’s not. It’s a freedom issue.
The basic question is should a private organization be able to determine the type of benefits it offers its employees. A liberal administration is now trying to force religious organizations to pay for benefits supported by advocacy groups aligned with the Democrats. By the same logic, a conservative administration could try to force private groups (say, universities) to offer (or not offer) benefits supported by advocacy groups aligned with Democrats.
It’s one more example of the government limiting our choices — which gets at the real problem of Obamacare, the federal government determining what a health insurance plan should include. The more it mandates, the fewer options individuals have to choose from.
The fewer different kind of plans there are, the more uniform the price.
*ADDENDUM: In said link over at Cato @ Liberty, Roger Pilon gets it:
As I wrote over the past two days, no one on the other side [those opposing the mandate] is asking employees to do anything contrary to their religious beliefs—or not do “what their own beliefs permit.” Employers are not “imposing their religious beliefs” on their employees, as some have argued. Those employees are still perfectly free to use contraceptives and abortifacients. They just shouldn’t expect their employers, through the group health insurance plans the employers offer, to provide and pay for such measures if doing so violates their religious beliefs. But that would be to discriminate against women, the courts have held, since only women get pregnant. Thus does our antidiscrimination law, as found in statutes, trump religious liberty, as once protected by the Constitution. “To each his own” falls by the wayside when “we’re all in this together,” as ObamaCare requires us to be.