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The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism.
It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State. All the spiritual and material achievements of Western civilization were the result of the operation of this idea of liberty.
Ludwig von Mises
HHS Mandates: Liberty Endangered by Coercive Government
President Obama has fixed his “Catholic and woman debacle.” He has granted the Catholic Church a waiver and continues to provide free birth control to women. Explicated, this compromise exhibits the arbitrary and intrusive power of government.
Until the “fix,” the political elites in DC - politicians and media mavens – were greatly concerned and flummoxed about the decision by Health and Human Services (HHS) requiring religious charities to have insurance policies providing birth control. Catholic clergy and columnists were aghast that government would mandate policies violating moral principles.
To counteract these moral concerns, three United States Senators – Jeanne Shaheen, Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray – proclaimed the great benefits the Obama bureaucracy are bestowing on women when they released the following:
It was a historic victory for women's health when the Obama administration changed the law to require private health plans to provide preventive services including breast exams, HIV screening and contraception for free. This new policy will help millions of women get the affordable care they need.
The raw political fact is that these political elites – Catholic clergy and Senators - are battling over their influence and control of the coercive power of government. The Catholic hierarchy favors universal healthcare but wants a waiver in accordance to their religious doctrine. Senators have proudly granted free contraception for women and want to extended this program to every woman in the country. Politicians and Catholic hierarchy are not concerned about how these government mandates affect the freedom of every American and the future of America. No. Freedom was also not the concern of the journalists, who are focused on how this squabble will influence elections this year.
Contrary to our Senators’ claim of free mandates, the original dictates and the “fix” have enormous costs – monetarily and morally. Obviously, billions of dollars in taxes will be imposed on American workers, and equally dangerous will be the gigantic increase of government's control over our lives. ObamaCare is forcing every person to purchase insurance or be fined. Government determines what benefits employers must include in their employees’ insurance policies. HHS determines who receives care and who does not. Treacherously, ObamaCare greatly restricts the liberty for Americans to think, to choose, and to act on their own.
Fortunately, Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal understands this dangerous power struggle between government and the church. In his recent article, he asks if the Catholic Church is subject to the arbitrary edicts of government. Basically, can anyone remain free of government’s coercive power?
The question raised by the Catholic Church's battle with ObamaCare is whether anyone can remain free of a U.S. government determined to do what it wants to do, at whatever cost.
Henninger lists a few groups among thousands more groups where government edicts have trampled on Americans' freedoms:
Older Americans have sought for years to drop out of Medicare and contract for their own health insurance. They cannot without forfeiting their Social Security payments. They effectively are locked in. Nor can the poor escape Medicaid, even as the care it gives them degrades. Farmers, ranchers and loggers struggled for years to protect their livelihoods beneath uncompromising interpretations of federal environmental laws. They, too, had to comply. University athletic programs were ground up by the U.S. Education Department's rote, forced gender balancing of every sport offered.
Contrary to the power of the Catholic Church, the farmers, ranchers and others were too small and unorganized to protect themselves against government coercion.
Until We the People stop these coercive mandates, the political elites and powerful special-interest groups will use the power of government to trample our freedom. Perilously, Americans are losing their liberties - to think, to choose, and to act … (because of) the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State.
Thousands of ideologically-driven government rules and regulations, e.g., energy, environment, ethanol, and Obamacare, are destroying our individual liberty and the philosophy that has advanced Western civilization. As Ludwig von Mises, a great Austrian-American scholar, observed:
All the spiritual and material achievements of Western civilization were the result of the operation of this idea of liberty.
Note: Medical savings accounts and an open-market offering an array of insurance options would restore freedom and provide medical needs for all Americans. With a personal savings account, every American will have the opportunity to purchase the insurance policy of their choice.