John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The New Power of Government

Posted on March 2, 2012
The Senate debate on the “conscience clause” missed the bigger point.

Roy Blunt, the Missouri Senator, offered the “religious liberty” amendment that basically said that the federal government couldn’t make religious organizations offer insurance that violated their strongly held beliefs.

Because the particular issue at hand, contraception, is so widely accepted, the playing field was titled against the conservative position.

The Blunt amendment failed by a narrow vote, and 13 Catholic Senators ignored the wishes of the Church, which when it comes to contraception is not that surprising.   Catholics have been ignoring the Church on contraception for millions of years.

The bigger point is that the federal government now has unlimited power to tell insurance companies what is must offer their customers.  This is the real impact of the Obama health care law, and it is actually quite stunning in its scope and its power.

Should there be a national movement now that broccoli must be freely available to all Americans because regularly eating broccoli lowers health care costs, there is really no way from stopping the Federal government from imposing that mandate on the big insurance companies.

The only thing stopping the broccoli mandate is the relatively small budget of the broccoli public relations machine, which probably doesn’t have the money to create the broccoli mandate.

But the special interests that dominate Washington won’t focus on broccoli.

It will focus on drugs and other treatments.   There will be mandates for statins, weight loss programs, cancer screenings, sex change operations, plastic surgery, orthodontics, you name it.

These will be the new mandates that come from the Obama health care law.  And they will come fast and furious, because now that we have dispensed with the pesky “conscience clause”, there is nothing stopping the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats from telling the health insurance industry what is can and can’t cover.

And of course, these decisions will be made by politicians, not by doctors.  They will also be made by bureaucrats, not by scientists.  And the result will be the collapse of the private health care market place.

Unless, of course, the Supreme Court steps in and stops the madness.

Let’s hope they do.