On Mandate, Voters Don’t Poll Punches




The President’s health care law made it to the Supreme Court once before — but Americans are hoping for a different outcome this time around.

While Congress sorts out the legislative chaos, it looks like the high court will be taking its second crack at ObamaCare to find out “if you like your freedom, can you keep it?” This time around, the justices will hear two of the most important religious liberty cases in American history as they relate to the President’s abortion-contraception mandate. At issue is whether faith-loving Americans will have to pay for drugs or procedures they morally oppose as a price of doing business.

Of the more than 84 lawsuits filed against the mandate, the Supreme Court will hear the arguments of a pair of family-owned businesses: Hobby Lobby (with its 13,000 employees) and Conestoga Wood Specialties (with 950 employees). Together, they represent two of the hundreds of companies that have been ordered by the government to compromise their pro-life beliefs or face crippling (and potentially business-ending) fines.

Apparently, the Obama administration thinks it found some fine print in the U.S. Constitution that somehow disqualifies business owners from the First Amendment. As Alliance Defending Freedom’s Matt Bowman wrote in today’s Washington Times, “Imagine if we were to sit down with the Pilgrims at that first Thanksgiving table. It might surprise them to learn that their future government doesn’t think they’re entitled to religious freedom in their daily toil. Today, in the view of our government, anyway, freedom means keeping your faith — as long as you keep it to yourself.”

Just how panicked is the administration over the lawsuits’ chances? In a desperate move, the White House’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett tried to smear Hobby Lobby as an enemy of women’s health — when in fact, no employee would have to go without the care they want. All Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Woods, and countless other business owners are asking is that the government keep employers out of it — just as they had for dozens of years before ObamaCare. When Jarrett and other liberals rant about companies limiting access to contraception, they’re deliberately misleading the public. Hobby Lobby and other owners can’t take away women’s health care that they never provided!

Meanwhile, if the White House is looking for allies, they’ll have a tough time persuading the public. FRC, together with Alliance Defending Freedom, commissioned new polling on the abortion-contraception mandate and found that 59% of the country sides with Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and others. Of likely voters, WPA Opinion Research found that almost sixty percent opposed the mandate requiring coverage of these so-called “preventative care services.”

Obviously, this is a flawed mandate within a flawed law. And ironically, it may be doing more to kill health care coverage in the workplace than anything — especially as more employers drop their health care plans rather than submit to the President’s radical agenda. While the nation waits on the Supreme Court to decide these cases, Congress cannot afford to. It’s time for the House and Senate to listen to the American people and protect conscience rights for everyone — business owners included.