For at least the last five years, the U.S. Bishops, and those of us who have stood with them in defense of life and of religious freedom, have been constantly accused – including by some Catholics – of a “single issue” obsession with abortion that has undermined the Obama administration’s health care reform program.

Our response all along has been that it is the Obama administration that is obsessed with using health care reform to impose its abortion and contraception agenda on all Americans — so much so that it was willing to risk the bill’s passage in the first place rather than insert a clear, definitive prohibition of abortion funding; and that among the first actions the Administration took in implementing the new law was to try to impose abortion and contraceptive insurance mandates even on religious institutions whose moral teachings forbid them.

A recent newsletter from Thomas Aquinas College in California, a plaintiff in one of the more than 90 lawsuits across the nation seeking to prevent this violation of religious freedom, bears out our contention that mandating abortion and contraceptive coverage is more important to the Obama administration than providing access to basic, affordable health care for all who need it.

Having decided that it will not violate its Church’s teachings, Aquinas College explains its two remaining options. The college can continue providing health insurance for its employees without including abortion, contraception and sterilization coverage, in defiance of the Obama mandate; or it can simply stop providing health insurance to its employees altogether – which would also violate the mandate of Obamacare itself, which requires employers to provide health insurance to their employees (or will apparently next year, after the Administration arbitrarily delayed the law’s employer mandate for a year).

If it does the latter, Aquinas College will face a fine of $96,000-a-year for not providing health insurance to its employees. If, on the other hand, Aquinas continues to provide health insurance for its employees, but without the mandated abortion/contraception/ sterilization, it will be fined $2.8 million-a-year – a fine more than 28 times higher than what they would be fined for leaving their employees without any health care coverage at all!

There is only one conclusion to be drawn from this: President Obama would rather Americans have no health insurance, than that they have health insurance that does not include mandated payments for abortions, contraceptives and sterilization procedures.

Besides the President’s own pro-abortion ideology, commentator Tucker Carlson gave a hint at the reason for this recently on FOX News. Examining the broader question of people losing their healthcare and then finding that the Obamacare substitutes force on them – at higher costs – items of coverage they don’t want or need – Carlson suggested that this is in service to various interest groups who provide such services, and thereby benefit by having them included in government-mandated health insurance plans.

Who might be among such favored interest groups? Well, at the very top of the list would be the abortion lobby – Planned Parenthood, et al – who derive significant income by selling abortions and contraceptives, and to whom Obama has been in thrall throughout his political career. And so, if Catholic and other religious institutions refuse to provide “services” that would help fill the coffers of his friends in the abortion lobby, Obama will fine them almost 30 times as much as he will fine them if they provide absolutely no health insurance to their employees.

So who, exactly, is obsessed with abortion and contraception?

Perhaps Obamacare supporters among our readers would like to offer an answer to that question; or maybe even proffer an alternative explanation for why the President has made penalties so much less severe for employers who deny health insurance to their employees altogether, than for those who provide a full range of health insurance for their employees, excepting only abortion and contraception. I’d love to read that explanation.