Skip to comments.Can Obama Order Grocers to Give Away Bread
Posted on 02/15/2012 9:21:20 AM PST by Kaslin
In October 2009, I published a column titled, "Can Obama and Congress Order You to Buy Broccoli?"
Now I need to ask a follow-up: Can Obama order grocers to give away bread?
I wrote the broccoli column after Sen. Orrin Hatch raised serious questions in the Senate Finance Committee about the constitutionality of President Obama's proposal to force people to buy health insurance.
"If we have the power simply to order Americans to buy certain products, why did we need a cash-for-clunkers program or the upcoming program providing rebates for purchasing energy appliances?" Hatch said. "We could simply require Americans to buy certain cars, dishwashers or refrigerators."
Inspired by Hatch's argument, I wrote in my column: "This is not a question about nutrition. It is not a question about whether broccoli is good for you or about the relative merits of broccoli versus other foods. It is a question about the constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. It is a question about freedom.
"Can President Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy health insurance?" I asked. "They might as well order Americans to buy broccoli. They have no legitimate authority to do either."
I later interviewed Hatch about the issue. "If that is held constitutional -- for them to be able to tell us we have to purchase health insurance -- then there is literally nothing that the federal government can't force us to do" Hatch said. "Nothing."
Orrin Hatch spoke prophetically. Yet Obama's escalating attacks on American liberty in the post-Obamacare era are nonetheless shocking -- for they reveal a president full of zeal in trampling God-given rights.
Last August, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a proposed regulation that would force virtually all health care plans to cover sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortion.
Because Obamacare mandates that all Americans must purchase health insurance, this regulation would require Catholics -- whose church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are wrong -- to act against the teachings of their faith.
Obama was unambiguously attacking the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
America's Catholic bishops quickly denounced Obama's regulation as "an unprecedented attack on religious liberty." They called on Catholics to speak out against it and urged the administration to rescind it in its entirety.
On Jan. 20, Sebelius announced that the final regulation would take effect for individuals and business owners this Aug. 1, and for Catholic hospitals, universities and charities next Aug. 1. Thus, the government was giving Catholic individuals and business owners seven months, and Catholic institutions 19, to submit to a federal edict that they act against their faith.
The bishops responded by asking their priests to read letters from the pulpit at Sunday masses. Most of these letters boldly stated: "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."
On Friday, Obama announced what he called a "solution:" The federal government will still order all health insurance plans to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients without any fees or co-pay. But insurance plans covering workers at religious institutions that object to these services will be required to provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients to those workers "free of charge."
Thus, Obama is still ordering Catholic institutions to provide insurance plans that cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients. And he is still ordering Catholic employees, private business owners, and private insurers to buy and/or provide these things, even if means they must act against their faith.
Obama's "solution" escalates his attack on freedom: He is now ordering private companies (in this case insurers) to provide a product for free -- even if they find it morally objectionable.
If Obama had the constitutional authority to tell insurance companies they must provide contraceptives and abortifacients for free, he could also tell grocers they must provide meat and bread for free.
He could tell doctors they must provide abortions for free and drug companies they must manufacture and distribute contraceptives for free.
Of course, Obama won't order these last two things because he wants to retain a national supply of doctors who will do abortions and drug companies that will manufacture contraceptives. His acts of tyranny are strategically targeted.
In a powerful column published last month, Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles pointed out that the Catholic Church is unique among American religious groups in its teaching against artificial contraception.
"So it is hard to escape the conclusion that the government is singling out the church with this new mandate," he wrote.
"But the issues here go far beyond contraception and far beyond the liberties of the Catholic Church," the archbishop concluded. "They go to the heart of our national identity and our historic understanding of our democratic form of government."
Today, Obama is especially attacking the liberty of Catholics. But, in doing so, he has attacked liberty itself.
OK, the Twilight series of books has now gone too far.
Is it bloody?
I think the “compromise” is even worse than the original mandate (if such a thing is possible).
First, as the article points out, it forces insurers to give coverage for “free”, and this sets a horrible precedent.
But, in the real world, the insurers will simply raise the rates they charge religious institutions that object to covering contraceptives on moral grounds, anyway. Of course, the contraceptive coverage will be officially “free”, but the premiums to cover everything else will go up by whatever the contraceptive coverage would cost.
Roman Catholic and other religious organizations, and their employees who contribute to health insurance costs, will STILL be paying for contraceptive coverage.
The idea that insurance companies are simply going to absorb millions of dollars of costs, rather than passing them on by sneaking them into the premiums, is absurd.
The title at Townhall correctly says BREAD also:
This really is it, isn’t it? The question is who owns your body and the fruits of it’s labors? How very strange that the prochoice people started out with “My body is nobody’s body but mine”.
Mundi wrote: “This really is it, isnt it? The question is who owns your body and the fruits of its labors? How very strange that the prochoice people started out with ‘My body is nobodys body but mine.’
Sadly, I agree with your observation. Additionally, and setting aside the moral debate, one of the biggest legal problem with same sex marriage; where is the legal hurdle that prevents poly marriages and incestual marriages?
They know not what they ask for themselves — emotional, spiritual and economic bondage.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this. But...the truth is that any Catholic of moral conscience that accepts health insurance coverage that requires birth control is committing a grave sin.
I know this won’t happen, but every Catholic that is of faith needs to demand a change in coverage or drop the insurance.
Such a decision is a matter of faith, but if people of faith want to whine about this mandate...then they need to walk the walk and trust God to do the rest.
If Obama can force us to pay money for health insurance, ordering the able bodied to donate blood, which literally saves lives, is not out of scope.
By Terrence Jeffrey
An no, no one can force anyone to give blood
So I'll be able to walk into the local Walgreen's and pick up a pack of Trojans for free? Or will it only cover contraceptives for women? Isn't sterilization an elective surgery? Why is there such a focus only on women's health issues? What's next? Free sex change operations?
Once they set up a system wherein other people pay for part of your upkeep, you are no longer a free man. You are obligated to secure their investment. You are basically livestock and your neighbor has a share in you that the government can safeguard in the interests of your neighbor.
Government health care thus diminishes your freedom, in the name of concern for your neighbor’s stake in you.
Here's the situation in terms that any liberal should be able to understand.
Suppose you only have two restaurants in town, a Pizza Hut and a Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Now suppose that some people want hamburgers, perhaps even employees of the Pizza Hut, so they tell Pizza Hut that they must sell them hamburgers.
Pizza Hut says no, their purpose is to sell pizzas, and that the person must go elsewhere to find hamburgers.
The person says that there isn't another choice for them to conveniently get hamburgers, so Pizza Hut must be forced to sell them hamburgers against its wishes.
The grand compromise is for Pizza Hut to give the people coupons to take to Kentucky Fried Chicken, and then force Kentucky Fried Chicken to sell hamburgers.
That might work if Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken were not both owned by the same company..PepsiCo.
Pepsi sold them to Yum! a few years ago....
(But of course that still leaves your point valid...LOL)
I forgot Yum! bought them thanks.
Yeah and I was being tounge in cheeck a little bit there too but Pizza Hut wouldn’t try to hurt KFC since they both have the same owner.
apparently they can according to Dems. The states can according to some “conservatives”.
I say NO WAY
I think New York City already has a team that shows up when 911 is called, just in case, to harvest organs.