The Spokesman-Review

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Commerce clause on steroids

Abram Conrad’s March 22 letter asserts that the Constitution requires Congress to explain why contraception must not be covered by insurance without reference to religion, or be in violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from establishing or restricting the free exercise of religion. I have two questions.

First, isn’t it restricting the free exercise of religion to pass legislation requiring a religious organization to pay for services it is opposed to?

Second, what part of the Constitution gives Congress the right to legislate what services are covered by insurance? Is it the “commerce clause”? Then will they also require car dealerships to include insurance with every car sold, cigarette companies to cover smoking-related medical care and fast-food restaurants to install gym equipment for adults next to the play structures for kids?

If birth control isn’t covered, grocery stores still sell personal protective devices for cheap. We can survive without an act of Congress on this one.

I believe we have more pressing issues anyway (skyrocketing debt, illegal immigration, unemployment, terrorism, etc). This is just a diversion. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Gail Oehl


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