Opinion: 'Separation of Church and State' Flows One Way? Obamacare Preached in Churches
We heard nary a peep from the strict separationists
Well, what do you know, there's a door in that "wall" of separation of church and state. Last Tuesday, it seems it was politically expedient to open it and enlist some new foot soldiers in the President's battle to sell Obamacare to the public.We heard nary a peep from the "Separation of Church and State" police.
They want to require that we keep religion out of politics, but when they deem it necessary, politics must be waged in church. Don't bother listening for the outcry from the 'Separation' congregation. There won't be any.
We heard nary a peep from the "Separation of Church and State" police.
Politico reported: "Obama instructed faith leaders to treat the new law as settled fact and use their perches of power to convey that message to congregants and friends.
"The debate in Washington is over, the Affordable Care Act is now law ... I think all of you can be really important validators and trusted resources for friends and neighbors, to help explain what's now available to them," he said.
Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships, gave activists a rallying cry: "Get the word out there, get information out there. Make use of the resources we've described on this call: the website, door hangers, one pagers and so forth. We've got work to do."
The Obama administration feels quite free to use church leaders and religious communities to "get the word out" about an extremely controversial health care law that most Americans don't like and don't want; a law that is already having the effect of raising insurance premiums and prescription costs.
Citizen Link explains, "One day after health care's six-month anniversary, Obama's promise of, "If you like your policy, you can keep your policy," sounded hollow to Minnesotans when they learned that two state-based health insurers, HealthPartners and Blue Cross and Blue Shield, temporarily suspended individual health insurance policies.
The reason: the uncertainty surrounding new federal regulations and compliance provisions that went into effect Wednesday. The suspension does not affect existing customers.
Unfortunately, millions of seniors on Medicare are also finding out the hard way that they can't keep their policy.
The American Association of Retired People (AARP) announced that next week it will shut down its prescription drug plan, MedicareRX Preferred. AARP, an active promoter of Obamacare, attracted 1.5 million seniors into its plan with its lower costs. Now, these seniors will see prescription prices jump 15 percent or more, as they are forced into a higher plan."
Several insurers around the country had mailed letters to their enrollees explaining that new increases in premiums were a result of Obamacare - at least until Kathleen Sebelius, head of Health and Human Resources wrote to the American's Health Insurance Plans association demanding that insurers stop saying that.
Regarding the cost of Obamacare, Sebelius wrote: "According to our analysis and those of some industry and academic experts, any potential premium impact from the new consumer protections and increased quality provisions under the Affordable Care Act will be minimal. We estimate that that the effect will be no more than one to two percent."
We all know how accurate those government analyses are, and how on-target all those industry experts are. I'm glad she "estimates" the cost will only rise one to two percent. Potentially. (Really? They really think the premium impact is only "potential?")
Sebelius goes on in her letter to enumerate all the new requirements that insurers must meet (without much cost increase at all, mind you):
"All plans must comply with provisions such as no lifetime limits, no rescissions except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact, and coverage of most adult children up to age 26. New plans must comply with additional provisions, such as coverage of preventive services with no cost sharing, access to OB / GYNs without referrals, restrictions on annual limits on coverage, a prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions of children (which applies to all group health plans), access to out-of-network emergency room services."
To many Americans, it just doesn't seem realistic, even possible, to accomplish all this with such a "minimal" cost increase, and the assurances of all the Obamacare experts simply don't persuade.
Sebelius sums up her scolding of AHIP by insisting that those who disagree with her experts are giving "misinformation" and such misinformation will not be tolerated.
On September 21st, The LA Times reported that as of Thursday the 23rd, Aetna and Anthem Blue Cross, two major insurance carriers, would no longer offer policies for children, citing potentially huge and unexpected costs due to Obamacare, a provision of which requires that all children be covered to age 19 regardless of health history. UnitedHealthGroup Inc. is also expected to stop selling policies exclusively for children.
Clearly, the Obama administration is having difficulty generating enthusiasm about their healthcare law. The upcoming election promises to be critically important and probably game-changing. That means it's now okay to violate the otherwise inviolate law of separation of church and state and urge church leaders to preach the virtues of Obamacare from the pulpit. If the President can't convince the American people of the greatness of his plan, then pastors must do it for him.
They want to require that we keep religion out of politics, but when they deem it necessary, politics must be waged in church. Don't bother listening for the outcry from the "Separation" congregation. There won't be any.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven). She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: sepatation of church and state, obamacare, abortion, healthcare
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