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Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

Does the punishment fit the crime?

This question addresses an issue of proportionality.  Greater offenses should have greater punishments. It wouldn’t be just to punish jaywalking in the same way we punish murder.

In most cases, you can tell how serious an offense is based on the severity of the penalty.

That’s why the penalties built into Obamacare are so curious.

As you know, Obamacare has a number of mandates.  Individuals are required to purchase health insurance and businesses with more than 50 employees are mandated to buy insurance for them.

In addition, the policies that the businesses purchase for their employees must include contraceptive coverage. This has been a point of serious contention for the Catholic Church and businesses like Hobby Lobby that are morally opposed to contraceptives.

Still, businesses are required to buy insurance for their employees and it must cover contraceptives.

Of these two requirements,which is most important?

Another way of asking this question is, will you be punished more severely for providing no insurance at all or for providing insurance without contraceptive coverage?

The answer might surprise you.

If a company does not pay for health insurance for its employees, it is fined $2,000 per employee, per year.  So a company that provided no insurance for 50 employees would be fined $100,000 a year.

However, the fine for purchasing health insurance that does not include contraceptive coverage is $100 per employee, per day, which works out to be $36,500 per employee, per year.  So, if that same company with 50 employees purchased great health insurance for its employees but choose not to purchase contraceptive coverage, they would be fined $1,825,000 a year.

According to the penalties built into Obamacare, providing insurance without covering contraceptives is an offense 18 times more serious than providing no health insurance at all.

That makes sense, right?

Ok, not really.

In isolation, you might chalk this kind of thing up to rushed legislation; a detail missed in the spirit of “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

But it would be irresponsible to view this in isolation.

When you view the bizarre punitive system built into Obamacare with the stories of floristsphotographers,bakers, and nurses, who have all faced legal or professional penalties because of their views about controversial social issues, a theme begins to develop.

The goal is not simply to create the policy they prefer, but to embed within the policy ways to punish those who disagree.

They don’t simply want to allow same-sex couples to get “married”.  They want to close businesses owned by people who disagree with their view on marriage.

They don’t simply want women to have access to abortion and contraception.  They want to make sure every medical professional and business person supports the agenda.

This is why the top priority of the abortion industry in Washington State is a bill to mandate that every insurance policy bought and sold in Washington will cover abortion.  Even though every insurance company in Washington already covers abortion for those who want it, the prospect that someone might choose not to purchase abortion coverage is problematic.

They are frustrated that moral disapproval of abortion lingers despite decades of insistence that it’s just another health care service and, frankly, they don’t want to deal with it anymore.

The goal of creating a world in which everyone thinks like them will never be accomplished if people are allowed to express ideas that are different from theirs.

Because of this, providing excellent health insurance without abortion or contraceptive coverage is actually worse than providing no insurance at all.

That’s why they have to make sure the punishment fits the crime.

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