- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2012

We’ve taken our eye off the ball in the uproar over federally mandated contraception coverage ( “Contraception battle: not a war on religion, but a war on women,” Web, Friday).

The administration knew this would happen. The issue that has been lost in the scuffle is the fact that the federal government has no constitutional basis for telling any private insurer what to cover or what not to cover. If it did, would we not have a corporate mandate?

After the outcry from religious organizations’ reached a crescendo, President Obama conceded that the Department of Health and Human Services erred, announcing that the mandate will be administered by insurance companies rather than religious employers. The religious community in the United States mostly breathed a collective sigh of relief and declared victory. But now the administration will simply continue imposing new regulations on private businesses and organizations across America.

Members of the religious community in America will bask in the glory of a hard-won victory for the First Amendment. Nevertheless, they will have failed to observe what the other hand was doing while they fought for freedom of conscience.


As the administration implements the new Health and Human Services regulations, it will be setting a precedent for the individual mandate. When it comes time for the Supreme Court to render its decision on Obamacare, the liberal wing of the court will have been given the perfect excuse for upholding it.

We must keep our eye on the ball and never stop watching the other hand.

THE REV. WILLIAM COOK

Round Hill, Va.