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The Obama-Onan ticket and the seminal issue of the presidential race

Obama-Biden 2012? How about an Obama-Onan ticket?

No, Onan isn’t some hot new pol. He was slain by God about 3,700 years ago after committing an act of contraception.

Now that Obama has mandated insurance companies pay for contraception, Onan is essentially part of the president’s reelection campaign as Republicans — particularly those in Florida — have made the requirement a strategic political issue.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is sponsoring legislation to repeal the Obama-ception rule. Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry said it was anti-free market. And Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi penned a letter with 11 colleagues from other states to “vigorously oppose it in court.”

“Not only is the proposed contraceptive coverage mandate for religious employers bad policy, it is unconstitutional,” Bondi and others wrote, warning that “sterilization and related services” would also be covered. “It conflicts with the most basic elements of the freedoms of religion, speech, and association, as provided under the First Amendment..”

But, liberals say, Republicans are picking the wrong fight and are overreaching.

“I can hardly believe our luck that Republicans want to litigate birth control at the polls,” Markos Moulitsas, one of the most-progressive voices of the blogosphere, tweeted last week. “The best part about this birth control debate is that Republicans think they’re actually winning it.”

Polling indicates both sides might be right because survey responses partly depend on how an issue is framed or asked.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/19/2650564/contraception-becomes-campaign.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

Column here


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Three things I’ve learned from the GOP primaries so far: 1.) Santorum will stand awkwardly close to get my vote. 2.) That gay sheriff from Pinal County had a certain inevitability to it. 3.) Conservatives weighing this GOP field are trembling nearly as much as the 99% eyeing the roof carrier on Romney’s limousine. Speaking of people around politics trying to make a tough sell, enjoy this funny YouTube video about “Obama’s Secret Service” -- http://tinyurl.com/6sevqsj

Brad King

An offshoot of this issue is that the President has now "ordered" private insurance companies to provide the enumerated services. As a healthcare professional myself, I'm unaware of where he gets the authority to do that. Under the Affordable Care Act, cited by his advisors as the authority, the Secretary of HHS can define which minimum benefits must be included by those insurers that want to be listed on the soon to ne implemented Health Insurance Exchanges. But it does not give the President authority to impose a universal mandate, even on those not choosing to be listed. The other baffling piece of this is how it may impact those employers self-insuring their employees, as many of the Catholic hospitals currently do. Overall, the President's "accommodation" appears to leave several unanswered questions.

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