*subhead*Mandates, mandates.*subhead*

Since the Obama administration is so fond of fictional narratives, I thought I would write one too about Bill and Jill.

Bill and Jill Green are entrepreneurs. The Greens met in college studying environmental engineering. Bill and Jill immediately knew they were destined to not only marry, but change the world together. After graduating, the Greens went to work on improving solar power. They invented a more efficient solar panel all with parts available in the United States and set out to build a business.  Their solar panels changed the industry and their business grew to have a couple hundred employees.

But Bill and Jill are not driven by a profit motive. They instead want to make the world a better place, one solar panel at a time. And they don’t just talk, the talk; they also walk the walk. The Greens recycle everything. They bought a small house near their factory so that they could bike to work because they don’t even own a car. Bill and Jill grow most of their own food in their backyard garden in their spare time.

And since the greatest threat to the health of the planet is mankind, the Greens decided never to have children. Bill and Jill both underwent surgical sterilization early on in their marriage and they belong to the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. The health insurance plan the Greens provided their employees covered, with no copay, contraception, sterilization and abortion. Bill and Jill also made sure that their plan did not cover any kind of treatment for infertility. If their employees got pregnant naturally, that was one thing. But the Greens were not going to pay for infertile couples’ desperate attempts to bring more people into the world.

Bill and Jill’s love of the planet Earth goes beyond just simple environmentalism. They believe that Nature is a spiritual being and that all life on Earth is a part of this spirituality. They embrace World Pantheism as their religion. The Greens also recognize that there are too many humans on Earth for Nature to be healthy. They are sure that Gaia is suffocating under the trampling of 7 billion pairs of human feet and for Nature to return to balance the human race has to be dramatically reduced, if not eliminated all together through voluntary extinction. So the Green’s health insurance plan is an extension of their religious beliefs.

Which is why, when Bill and Jill heard about Health and Human Services mandate that all health insurance cover contraception and sterilizations with no copay, they were ecstatic. What better way to achieve voluntary extinction and bring Nature back to health?  Actually, they had hoped the mandate would include mandatory coverage of all abortions as well, but they were confident that this was definitely a step in the right direction.

Bill and Jill heard some people were upset based on religious grounds; that some, like Catholics, thought their religious liberty was being denied. “How ridiculous!” thought Bill and Jill, “Can’t Catholics still go worship their Pope, or whatever they do, on Sundays? How could making their health insurance plans cover contraception and sterilization infringe on religious liberty? If anything, the Catholics are imposing their views on employees by not paying for these things. Don’t most Catholics use contraception anyway?”

So in 2012, happy with Obamacare’s insurance mandate and HHS’s contraception mandate, Bill and Jill  vote for Obama for a second term looking forward to more such mandates.

Not long after Obama wins a second term, Bill bursts into their shared office with papers in hand. He looks like disaster has just struck. Jill is concerned. Bill explains to Jill that HHS has added new mandates to all health insurance plans. Bill revealed that they will now have to cover fertility services like IVF. If they do not provide health insurance that covers these services, the Greens will be heavily fined. Fines big enough to put them out of business.

“But how can this be?” asked Jill. “Paying for infertile couples to get pregnant goes against everything we believe in. I mean if our employees want to have IVF, they are free to do so. I would never attempt to stop them. But to ask us to PAY for it. That is ridiculous!” Bill replied, “Some people are saying if we don’t pay for it, we are limiting their access to fertility treatment.” “What?” cried Jill, “We aren’t limiting their access. Our employees can still undergo any kind of fertility treatment they want. I am not telling them they can’t. I just shouldn’t have to pay for it.” “Well,” said Bill, “We will have to pay for it or we face fines that will surely destroy us.”

So instead of being complicit in what they believed to be a great evil, human overpopulation, Bill and Jill sold everything and closed their business. It didn’t matter how small their participation in overpopulating the planet would have been, the Greens believed it was a matter of principle. As they got on their bikes and left their factory for the last time they wonder to themselves, “How did this happen? Where did all this go wrong? And what about OUR freedoms?”

Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly