Government by regulation

The League of Women Voters has worked for more than 80 years to encourage people to vote. Only by voting do average citizens get the chance to decide on ballot measures that express the will of the people and choose individuals to run the government. Increasingly, however, leaders in Washington are formulating regulations that affect the way citizens in California can live their lives. One of the most dramatic examples of this is the recent ruling on the provision of contraception and abortion in all states. Californians have expressed their preference for making coverage of contraception mandatory for health insurance plans and ensuring that all hospitals and health care providers must offer a full range of services. Now a new federal regulation has decreed that no state can enforce such a law. If they try to do so, they will lose federal health care funds–an amount of almost $37 billion a year for California. Whatever your position on contraception and abortion, it is important to voice your concern about the highhanded way the federal government has gone about this. Ruling by regulation instead of by following the wishes of voters makes a mockery of our democratic principles. It’s important to let our legislators know how we feel about this.

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