Pres Obama and the Contraception Mandate
It was a week ago today that President Obama and the White house were taking a victory lap and basking in the glow of the recent jobs report (243,000 jobs created).
How quickly things change….
Now the White House is trying to get their arms around the controversy of mandating employers including most religious affiliated organizations to provide free contraception in health insurance to their employees. This contraception mandate has become the mantra for the Republicans candidates where they are accusing the president on leading an “assault on religion”. However you slice it this is not good for the president… Instead of talking about extending payroll tax or building on the positive jobs report; this week has been focused on a cultural war which is being presented as an example of how President Obama is trying to fundamentally change this country.
I understand both sides of this argument; you have the President and Health and Human Services trying to mandate to provide women with care that is common sense to many, it’s not just about birth-control and preventing unwanted babies. It’s also about the use of birth-control for other health benefits. At the same time to the Catholic Church this is an intrusion on the church’s rights (1st Amendment) and that there is a separation between church and state.
There is no good way for the Fed to tell the Catholic Church or religious affiliated orgs how they should handle contraception, in my opinion it doesn’t matter if the majority of Catholics (like myself) use contraception. That’s something between me and the church….
The President needs to address this and get some kind of resolution in place SOON!!
Up until now Republican candidates have been struggling building enthusiasm for the 2012 election; this “assault on religion” is the type of issue/talking point that can excite the GOP base.
There is word that a compromise has been reached; initial reports are saying the compromise will require insurers not religious employers to offer contraception services. Not sure if this will satisfy the church, but I can’t see the White House making an announcement about compromise without having some kind of support from the Catholic Church.
The most important thing for the White House right now is to put this to bed and get the focus back on moving forward with the economy. Even if the compromise is sufficient for both sides I will not be surprised if the president takes a bit of hit in his approval rating in the next couple of weeks because of this.
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!