Consider the cascade of arbitrary bureaucratic decisions that resulted in this edict:
(1) Contraception, sterilization and abortion pills are classified as medical prevention.
On whose authority? The secretary of health and human services, invoking the Institute of Medicine.
But surely categorizing pregnancy as a disease equivalent is a value decision, disguised as scientific. If contraception is prevention, what are fertility clinics? Disease inducers?
And if contraception is prevention because it lessens morbidity and saves money, by that logic, mass sterilization would be the greatest boon to public health since the pasteurization of milk.
(2) This type of prevention is "free"— no co-pay.
Why? Is contraception morally superior to or more socially vital than — and thus more of a "right" than — penicillin for a child with pneumonia?
(3) "Religious" exemptions to this edict extend only to churches, places where the faithful worship God, and not to church-run hospitals and charities, places where the faithful do God's work.
Who promulgated this definition, so subversive of the whole notion of godliness, so stunningly ignorant of the very idea of religious vocation?
The almighty HHS secretary.
Today, it's the Catholic Church whose free-exercise powers are under assault from this cascade of diktats sanctioned by — indeed required by — Obamacare.
Tomorrow it will be the turn of other institutions of civil society that dare stand between unfettered state and atomized citizen.
Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state — grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness.
Little wonder the president barely mentioned it in his latest State of the Union address.
He wants to be re-elected. He'd rather talk about other things.
But there's no escaping it now. Oral arguments begin Monday at 10 a.m.
Krauthammer's email address is lett...@charleskrauthammer.com.