To the Readers' Forum:
A previous contributor to the Readers' Forum has supplied an account of the New York's Women's Health and Wellness Act that he evidently feels is relevant regarding the current assault on religious freedom by the Obama administration.
I blushed at his claim of authorship, as I have read the identical wording in my trusty digital copy of NYCLU (the publication of the New York Civil Liberties Union) and the reader can do the same.
That we reside in a benighted state is not in dispute, but the reasoning that the NY state law and Obamacare have the same impact on religious liberty is in error. There is no mandate in the NY law that every person and organization purchase insurance, and that insurance cover contraception, abortion inducing drugs, and sterilizations, as in Obamacare. The NY law allowed for self-insurance, which many Catholic organizations chose as a way out of the dilemma of having to purchase coverage for drugs and procedures that prevented or terminated life.
Obamacare permits no such avoidance (except for those, such as priests, whom the administration finds religious enough to merit an exemption.) and explains that religious freedom is protected by a shell game - you don't have to pay, but your insurer does.
About that mandate - on March 27 Justice Alito in oral argument regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare mentioned that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that for those without group insurance, the average premium at the Obama "insurance exchanges" in 2016 will be $5,800, and that economists estimate that "a young, healthy individual targeted by the mandate on average consumes about $854 in health services each year."
I do not think this is the change young people were looking for.