DALLAS, December 3rd, 2013 – Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean said the federal government should make healthcare decisions, not individuals or their employers. During his Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley, Dean explained his stance on the employers have no right to determine what healthcare they subsidize for employees.
“So, you know, this is one country,” Dean explained. “We all have to live by a set of things that are passed in Washington and agreed to by the court. We’ll see what the court does, but I don’t think a particular employer has a right to decide what kind of health care their employees are going to get. That’s now in the hands of the federal government, and that’s where it should be.”
“My view of that is we’re a single country, and I don’t think employers get to impose their religious beliefs on their employees or any other beliefs, for that matter. I mean, this idea that we can pick and choose what we’re going to do is a tough idea. I was deeply opposed to the Vietnam War and I thought it was immoral because we were being lied to by our own government. I still paid my taxes and the people who didn’t pay their taxes went to jail.”
Dean’s remarks were in reference to Catholic-owned Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which requires birth control to be subsidized by employers, even if this violates their religious views. The store’s owners argue the government cannot force them to violate their deeply held religious beliefs.
Crowley asked the liberal democrat and former presidential candidate how he thought the court would rule. “I have no idea. They haven’t been entirely favorable to women’s ability to control their own reproductive lives. So I — I don’t have any idea,” Dean said.
To counter Dean’s extreme view, former Senator Rick Santorum, a devout Christian and moral authoritarian, was also interviewed. Curiously, he argued the government cannot enforce morality on business owners or citizens.
“I mean, the idea that the First Amendment stops after you walk out of a church, that it doesn’t have anything to do with how you live the rest of your life, I don’t know very many people of faith who believes that their religion ends with just worship. It ends in how you practice and live that faith,” Santorum said.
“And now…what President Obama’s saying, no, once you step outside that church door, then I get to impose my values on you. Your religious values don’t matter anymore, it’s my values that I can impose on you. I don’t think that’s what the First Amendment stands for and I don’t think that’s what the court will say.”
Santorum’s position is quite the reversal from his campaign days. The former presidential candidate is no friend of the First Amendment or individual liberty. He once argued for banning pornography, stated that prenatal care encourages abortion and that contraception is a “license” to do things that “shouldn’t be done”. His presence to defend the case for individual choice was inappropriate and bizarre.
The debate over whether birth control should be provided without cost to employees is an important discussion, one that should not be controlled by two ideological dinosaurs, each of which support government control when it’s convenient to their purpose. As Dean would use Big Brother to enforce his “moral” views, so would Santorum. Why were either men center stage in this debate?
If you agree, contact Candy Crowley, ask her why she courts the opinions of extremists and encourage her to reach out to any number of libertarian organizations for a truly balanced perspective more likely to represent the views of most Americans.