The Social Consequences of Obamacare

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In Heritage Impact

Obamacare is about much more than the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. It fundamentally alters Americans’ relationship with government and society.

Heritage Foundation scholar Thomas Messner, a visiting fellow in our Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, has taken a close look at many of these consequences.

He elaborates in an interview with National Review’s Kathryn Lopez. Here’s an excerpt:

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Marriage Positively Affects Married Individuals’ Health

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Flickr/ Jo Christian Oterhals

The benefits of marriage extend beyond the institution’s well documented economic and social advantages. In fact, marriage can help cure social ills far more effectively than any form of government intervention, as a new summary of research by The Heritage Foundation’s shows.

Sarah Torre, who works in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, explains:

From decreasing depression to lowering mortality risk and reducing smoking habits—areas where policy remedies are sought but ill-suited to the need—marriage provides a civil-society inoculation far more effective than government intervention.

Tying the knot can also guard against heavy alcohol use, with decreased rates of binge drinking among married individuals. Marriage’s effect on drinking habits may be especially important in light of a recent government report showing increased binge drinking among U.S. adults.

“As policymakers and national leaders seek to promote healthy choices and react to social problems like binge drinking,” Torre concludes, “they should consider the many ways marriage can encourage a healthier lifestyle.”

Tim Tebow and Religious Freedom


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Tim Tebow. By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tim Tebow. Photo: Wikimedia/Jeffrey Beall

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow led his team to another victory last weekend, a come-from behind overtime thriller over the Chicago Bears.

But it’s as much his unapologetic Christianity off the field as his performance on the field that’s making news.

“Born in the Philippines to missionary parents,” The Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall reports in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “he not only is outspoken about his faith, referencing it frequently in word and symbol – such as biblical citations in his eye black. He’s also as intense about living out his faith as he is about playing football — and winning.”

Marshall, who directs Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, explains that Tebow’s public expressions of belief are consistent with America’s first principles: Continue Reading »

Giving Marriage ‘the Vigorous Defense It Deserves’

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In Heritage Work

Wedding rings

Photo:Flickr/Rose Robinson

“Advocates of redefining the institution of marriage have long sought to create an impression of irresistible momentum in their direction,” writes Heritage fellow Chuck Donovan. And they received quite a boost this past February when Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he and President Obama would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Since then, the 1996 law has been held in abeyance, but that changed on Monday when Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that former Solicitor General Paul Clement will lead the defense of DOMA in federal court.

Monday’s announcement is “a victory for the rule of law—and for an irreplaceable institution of civil society,” writes Donovan, who works in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.

“The naming of Clement ends all doubt as to whether marriage as the union of a man and woman will get the vigorous defense it deserves in federal appeals court and, if necessary, the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Visit for the latest Heritage research on the definition of marriage.

How the 2010 Elections Benefited the Social Conservative Agenda

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In Heritage Impact

The tea party-fueled election didn’t advance only the important principles of limited government. As Heritage’s Chuck Donovan argues in the Daily Caller, it also helped elevate lawmakers who have publicly committed to socially conservative positions:

Indeed, the 112th Congress could prove to be the most socially conservative set of newcomers since the one that rode into Washington on Ronald Reagan’s coattails in 1980. That’s clear from a close analysis of the public positions taken by the wave of conservative candidates who prevailed in hundreds of national and statewide contests.

Donovan, a senior fellow in Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, has penned several commentaries on the election results. Most recently, he wrote on the Foundry that Iowa’s judicial elections were a victory for traditional marriage.

Heritage’s Marshall, Talent Named ‘New Power Players’

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In Heritage Impact

Jennifer Marshall

Jennifer Marshall

National Journal, a magazine that covers Capitol Hill, has named Heritage Foundation scholars Jennifer Marshall and James Talent as “new power players” whose work could make a real difference for the incoming Congress.

As two of the “20 Washington hands whose stock went up as a result of the midterm elections,” the periodical reports, Marshall and Talent “are stars.”

Marshall, the magazine reports, has worked tirelessly on education issues, in particular the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was defunded by the liberal Congress. National Journal also cites her work “to help GOP lawmakers coalesce around a conservative vision that goes beyond the school doors to embrace marriage, abstinence, and home schooling.”

Marshall directs Heritage’s domestic policy studies in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.

The magazine also reports on Talent’s work as a Heritage distinguished fellow to advocate sufficient funding for national defense:

James Talent

James Talent

Since he was voted out of office in 2006, former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., has used his perch at the Heritage Foundation to warn against the perils of reducing defense spending. His concerns were largely ignored by the Democratic-controlled Congress, but they did help rally Republican members of the Armed Services committees to push for bolstering the defense budget.

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