Religious Politics & the ACA

Lisa Miller at the Washington Post has a fine look at how the Obama administration has so far failed to reach out to the religious community regarding the Affordable Care Act. Money quote: "Obama may have listened to his principled foes in the religious sphere - certainly he knew they were out there - but he did not hear them." The article goes on to point to how out-of-tune most of the President's religious advisors are with the views and values of believers. I have long complained that Melody Barnes, who served as domestic policy advisor for much of the first term, thought she understood the religious community but did not. And the faith-based office, which does understand the religious community, lacks the juice necessary to affect policy decisions at their most critical points. The President should listen to his faith-based advisors more, and/or place someone around him who genuinely understands religious sensibilities. Until then, he will continue to stumble into avoidable problems, like the HHS contraception mandate.

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