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The High Price of ‘Free’ Health Care

Mar 12, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 25 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The poll then purports to show that the Obama administration’s method of imposing a mandate on religious institutions is popular. Voters were asked:

As you may know, President Obama recently announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule regarding religiously affiliated employers providing birth control coverage to female employees. Women will still be guaranteed coverage for birth control without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s decision?

Worded this way, 54 percent approved, 38 percent disapproved. But the question didn’t poll the policy, it polled Obama’s spin. There was no mention that the federal government would require anyone to do anything. At the very least, a fair question would also present the other side of the argument​—​that Obama’s “adjustment” is an accounting gimmick to which religious institutions still object.

Rasmussen polls show that support for Obama’s policy depends on how you ask the question. Although voters are divided 43 percent to 39 percent on the general policy of requiring contraception coverage, voters oppose mandatory free coverage of the “morning-after pill” 50 percent to 38 percent. No polls have yet been taken on Obama-care’s mandatory free coverage of the “five-day-after pill” called “ella” that can induce abortions during early pregnancy, according to animal testing. And how would voters respond when asked if the federal government should fine religious institutions that refuse to comply with the mandate?

The debate may still be won or lost. The pro-mandate Democrats and their allies in the press have framed it as a fight about “denying access” to birth control. But recall that the “health care reform” bill itself was popular in polls in the spring and summer of 2009. Democrats and the press misled the public about how much it would cost, how many would lose their current insurance, how it would use tax dollars to help pay for abortion-on-demand. Yet opponents of Obama-care managed to get the word out and turn public opinion against the law​—​because it is a bad law and the facts are on their side.

The opponents of Obamacare’s newest mandate requiring free coverage of abortion pills and contraception again have the facts on their side. The mandate provides opponents with the opportunity to again make the case against Obamacare. As one popular sign from the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party rallies warned, paraphrasing P.J. O'Rourke, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.” The price of “free” health care will be steep in terms of dollars, but even steeper in terms of freedom.

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