Ask just about anybody in the business community what’s holding back economic recovery and they will tell you two things: new regulatory burdens and new regulatory uncertainty.
Two pieces of legislation top the list: Dodd-Frank regulation of the financial system and ObamaCare regulation of health care. The first is discouraging banks from making loans. The second is discouraging employers from hiring workers.
Job Creators Alliance has assembled some of the top CEOs in the country to try to explain these things and a trip to their Web site is well worth the visit.
This administration is not content with economic regulation, however. It’s now ventured into everyone’s sex life — proving that there is no aspect of your personal life that the president regards as none of his business.The latest intervention takes the form of requiring health insurance to cover something almost everyone can easily pay for out of pocket: contraceptives.
Why, you might ask, does this decision have to be made in Washington? Why can’t decisions like this be left to individuals and the marketplace? In deciding to meddle, the administration paid a heavy political price. The initial edict would have forced Catholic universities, hospitals and charities to include free contraceptives in their health insurance plans. That produced a reaction that was poignant and hyperbolic:
• "An edict delivered with a sneer," wrote Michael Gerson in The Washington Post.
• "An attack on Christianity so severe that every single church in Florida had a letter read from the bishops," said Newt Gingrich.
• "We can’t just lie down and die and let religious freedom go," said a spokeswoman for the Conference of Catholic Bishops.
• "We do not happen to think pregnancy is a disease," said the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Then on Friday, the Administration made a small concession. Religious institutions do not have to provide free contraception coverage after all — but the only insurance they will be able to buy must do so.
John C. Goodman is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.