Religion in Britain and health care in America: parallels should have Dems worried, too

Two pieces in today's New York Times, when taken together, should make Democrats leery about passing a universal health care bill.

The first article concerns religion in Britain, where the government, having control over many aspects of religion that should rightly belong to the individual conscience, is now deciding who is a Jew
On the surface, the court was considering a straightforward challenge to the admissions policy of a Jewish high school in London. But the case, in which arguments concluded Oct. 30, has potential repercussions for thousands of other parochial schools across Britain. And in addressing issues at the heart of Jewish identity, it has exposed bitter divisions in Britain’s community of 300,000 or so Jews, pitting members of various Jewish denominations against one another.
And then there's religion in America. The greatest sticking point in the Pelosi bill was abortion:
The results of that fight, waged heavily over two days, were evident as one liberal Democrat after another denounced the health care plan because of abortion restrictions, even though they were likely to hold their noses in the end and vote for the bill itself.

"If enacted, this amendment will be the greatest restriction of a woman’s right to choose to pass in our careers," said Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, one of the lawmakers who left Ms. Pelosi’s office mad.
Now, the free market has handled religion fairly well: if you want religious schooling, you can pay extra for the privilege; if you want an abortion, you can pay for a health plan that covers them. This has the charming side effect of not forcing the government to decide if Ahmadinejad qualifies for Jewish schooling in London; it also puts me in the odd position of wanting to spare Nancy Pelosi some grief.

But once the government starts deciding what are rightly problems of the free market and individual conscience, things get absurd right quick. And when health care, already a 2000-page boondoggle, starts touching on religion, the Democrats too are going to find they have a very nasty mess on their hands.