The Best of the Forge


Should Americans be fined for running their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs and for exercising their religious freedom?  If employers do not comply with Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate, which requires them to pay for coverage of contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, they must pay steep fines or drop insurance coverage altogether.

The Heritage Foundation’s Sarah Torre, a marriage and religious liberty policy analyst, and Elizabeth Slattery, a senior legal analyst, explain where our freedoms currently stand under Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate:

In an effort to block the anti-conscience mandate, religious organizations and other private employers have filed over 90 lawsuits with more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review two of the for-profit cases later in the 2013–2014 term. 

Jim Jordan: Want to Cure Poverty? You Need Work, Strong Families, Free Markets

“If you’re going to cure poverty,” Rep. Jordan said, “if you’re going to prevent most of poverty, three things you need: work, strong families, and free markets.  It’s really that simple… And that’s really what our bill is all about.”  Jordan’s bill is the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act.  It was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100%.

The main focus of Rep. Jordan’s discussion was the value of hard work.  He opines that the the Democrat party has stepped over the line by suggesting that “somehow it’s good when people work less.”

“We come from an entirely different focus,” Jordan said, “and this bill that we have is an entirely opposite direction.  We think work’s a good thing.”

Matt Salmon on ECPA: “When You Give the Government an Inch, They Take a Mile”

“The fact is, as usual, when you give the government an inch, they take a mile,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) 85% at the Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit earlier this month. “We simply can’t afford to play around with our most basic, fundamental human rights.”

These remarks served as a backdrop for legislation he’s sponsoring in the House, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (H.R. 1847).

What Does Patient-Centered Health Care Look Like?

Accessibility, affordability, quality, responsiveness, innovation, and choice are the principles Rep. Price says are truly necessary for patient-centered care to be possible.

No one should be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and such denials could be remedied with “robust pooling mechanisms” such as individual membership associations that sell health care plans across state lines.

Defensive medicine hinders the principles of patient-centered health care, Rep. Price explained. Every year, defensive medicine wastes $800 billion, or 1 out of every 3 health care dollars.  That needs to change.

Tom Graves: TEA Act Means Better Roads without Raising Taxes

Want better roads for all states without raising taxes?

That’s what Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) 79% promised us at the Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit if his bill, the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA) (H.R. 3486) becomes law.  He said his bill will “make life better for every day Americans,” and he made a compelling case.

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