Unintended consequences. The U.S. Census Bureau this week released the 2011 findings on health insurance coverage in the United States. Despite a small reduction in the uninsured by 1.4 million from 2010 to 2011, 48.6 million, or 15.7 percent of Americans, remain without health insurance. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the number was this: 27.7 percent of the uninsured are young adults. This age group saw a decrease of 2 percent because of Obamacare's extension of coverage to dependents to age 26. But the decrease was much less than promised by the Obama administration. In August, the president claimed, "Nearly 7 million young people have health insurance because they're able to stay on their parents' plans." But The Heritage Foundation's Drew Gonshorowski warns of unintended consequences from these "gains" in coverage. "In the case of insuring more young people, recent analysis shows that Obamacare encourages young adults to enroll in dependent coverage and drop their own coverage," he writes, and that "causes employers to stop offering coverage, and will likely increase premiums." One other finding of the new report: more people are on government insurance than ever before: 99.5 million, or 32.2 percent of the American population now use Medicare or Medicaid.
Wrongdoing hatched. Earlier this year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at a fundraiser for the pro-homosexual group Human Rights Campaign (HRC). This week, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) ruled that Secretary Sebelius violated the Hatch Act, the law that prohibits government employees from using their official authority or influence to affect an election. The OSC said Sebelius, in her official capacity, used her status as a government employee to push for liberal Democratic candidates. She also spoke out against Amendment One, then being considered by the voters of North Carolina. Amendment One affirmed traditional marriage. This is the first time that the OSC has ruled against a high-ranking Obama administration official over the Hatch Act.
Hobby Lobby sues. On Wednesday, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. That makes the Oklahoma-based company the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a suit over the mandate. Hobby Lobby has more than 500 stores in 41 states, with more than 22,000 employees. The stores close on Sundays, and the company often places ads in local newspapers on Christmas and Easter communicating a Gospel message to the cities in which they operate. Founder and CEO David Green released this statement: "We know that we have been blessed by God's grace, and we believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His Word, and we are very grateful for that. But now our faith is being challenged by the federal government. The Health and Human Services 'preventative services' mandate forces businesses to provide the 'morning-after' and the 'week-after' pills in our health insurance plans. These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate."
On this date. I couldn't let the day pass without noting that on this date in 1879, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was born. Sanger notoriously advocated the mass abortion of minorities and the mentally disabled as part of her eugenics program. While her philosophy is officially discredited, it is in fact implemented every day in Planned Parenthood facilities across the country, where minority abortions count for such a disproportionate number of abortions that some pro-life advocates call it "The Black Holocaust." It is ironic that by remembering Margaret Sanger's birthday, we are also acknowledging that her parents - this one time, at least - were pro-life.