Free is never free

Published 10:06 am Thursday, February 16, 2012

To the Editor:

Once upon a time President Obama assured everyone that if they liked their insurance plan they would be able to keep it.  Once upon a time Nancy Pelosi assured everyone that if the Congress passed healthcare reform you would be able to see what was in it.

Well, the President and Nancy Pelosi were wrong.  I have not been able to keep the insurance that I liked and I know of many others you are in the same boat.  Also bits and pieces of the healthcare reform legislation are being determined on a as you go basis by the President and his czars.

Recently it was determined that in this “reform” Catholic schools on all levels, Catholic charities, and Catholic hospitals must include birth control in the employees’ insurance package.  Two major points come in to play with this.  First, the Catholic Church did not just yesterday teach against birth control.  Second, employees of these Catholic institutions, whether Catholic or not, know the doctrine and make the free will choice to seek employment and accept the insurance package.

The issue here is not whether a woman can have access to birth control.  What the issue amounts to is whether the government can dictate to a religious institution that it must go against its conscience and pay for insurance coverage for something that it teaches against.

Under big pressure and fear of losing Catholic votes, the President now decides that he has changed his mind, an accommodation as he says, and dictates that the insurance companies must offer birth control for free at religious institutions instead of the Catholic Church paying for it.  Interestingly enough, Obama did not consult with the insurance industry on this so what a surprise they had.

What this all boils down to is that the President and the administration must stop dictating what religious organizations must do even when it against their long time teaching.  America was founded on the principle of religious freedom.  Perhaps even football enthusiasts will soon have to stop calling a last second pass a “Hail Mary”.

Free is never free.  Someone must pay for it either monetarily or in principle.  Taxpayers, when something is offered for free, please think long and hard about who will actually have to pay for it.

Dianne M. Layden