• The Rounds: Obamacare back in the Spotlight

    As the GOP race for the nomination continues to slog along with no clear front-runner, people are now seriously looking at ways the decision might be rendered in Tampa. Conn Carroll of the Washington Examiner states that:

    Is it too late for a new candidate to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination? Absolutely not. Is it probable? No. But it is much more likely than many Washington insiders let on.

    Obamacare and its progenitor, Romneycare, continue to play a huge role in the race. Mitt Romney’s health reform law in Massachusetts remains a drag on his campaign. Dr. Milton R. Wolf, writing in The Washington Times, feels it’s time for Romney to stop defending it and issue a mea culpa:

    “Despite Mr. Romney’s current lead in the primaries, he just cannot seem to close the sale… If the former governor would like to reach out to the conservative Republican base, I suggest he start by finally acknowledging the obvious: Government has no business interposing itself between you and your doctor. He should begin his Romneycare mea culpa with these three words: I was wrong.”

    Speaking of Obamacare, Americans in increasing numbers simply don’t like it and more than 50% want it repealed. As the question of its constitutionality moves to the Supreme Court, the op-ed wars are heating up again.

    While President Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, may have undercut the legal defense of Obamacare by stating that the fine for violating the insurance mandate would not be considered a “tax”, it was the fight over contraception coverage mandates that dominated the news.

    Obama’s decision to force the Catholic Church to provide contraception coverage, including the morning-after pill, sparked widespread outrage.

    From Charles Kadlec in Forbes:

    “Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.”

    In The Wall Street Journal, Rivkin and Whelan state that:

    “In an effort to rally its base in the upcoming November election, the Obama administration seems more interested in punishing religiously based opposition to contraception and abortion than in marginally increasing access to contraception services. It is the combination of the political motive, together with the exclusion of so many employers from the mandate, that has profound constitutional implications. It transforms the mandate into a non-neutral and not generally applicable law that violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.”

    Also in The Wall Street Journal is a nice snapshot of various left-wing defenses of Obama’s mandate on the Catholic Church and other religious entities.

    Charles Krauthammer, writing in The Washington Post, chides the GOP for not mounting a strong opposition to Obamacare beyond pledging to repeal it.

    “In 2010, when all this lay hazily in the future, the sheer arrogance of Obamacare energized a popular resistance powerful enough to deliver an electoral shellacking to Obama. Yet two years later, as the consequences of that overreach materialize before our eyes, the issue is fading. This constitutes a huge failing of the opposition party whose responsibility it is to make the opposition argument. Every presidential challenger says that he will repeal Obamacare on Day One. Well, yes. But is any of them making the case for why?”

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