Posts Tagged ‘contraceptive coverage’
Health Care News
In this week’s Heritage in Focus, Heritage expert Jen Marshall discusses the controversy over Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate. Click here to listen.
Is this issue about more than just religious liberty? How is Heritage continuing to fight Obamacare? Is opposition to this mandate anti-women? Click above to hear Jen answer these questions and more.
Health Care News
Today, the House Judiciary Committee held a full committee hearing to investigate the Obama administration’s unprecedented overreach through the latest Obamacare mandate’s assault on religious liberty.
Asma Uddin, an attorney with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, testified at the hearing on the administration’s insulting disregard for the right to religious freedom.
“As a Muslim-American woman and an academic, I have spent my career fighting for women’s and minority’s rights, and the fact that I must be here today to explain why our constitutional rights exist is extremely offensive to me personally,” Uddin stated.
Today is Ash Wednesday — the first day of Lent — the beginning of 40 days of prayer and fasting observed by Christians across the country, culminating in the Easter feast. Likewise in April, Jews will gather to celebrate Passover, one of many traditions observed under the religious freedom that the U.S. Constitution was designed to preserve. Now, though, that freedom is under direct attack by the very government that purports to represent the people, and that is but the first step in Obamacare’s re-writing of America’s blueprint.
This week, two more Christian colleges joined other religious institutions in fighting back against that attack when they filed lawsuits against the Obama Administration for imposing an anti-conscience mandate under Obamacare. The controversial regulation forces almost all employers to provide health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization, without a co-pay. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
In Obamacare’s collision course with Americans’ freedom, one of the first casualties is religious liberty. Despite the Administration’s obfuscating press comments, the finalized preventive services mandate changed nothing from the interim rule. It put into law the requirement that many religious employers violate their deeply held beliefs by paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization. Many recognize the religious liberty violations in the mandate—and Obamacare’s broader threats to individual liberty—will not be rectified unless the health care law is repealed.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that the President’s February 10 announcement of a supposed “accommodation” amounted to nothing more than a smoke screen for the submission of the final mandate without any greater protection of religious liberty.
The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, [Department of Health and Human Services] HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated to serving people of other faiths are still not exempt as “religious employers.” Indeed, the rule describes them as “non-exempt.”…The new “accommodation” is not a current rule, but a promise that comes due beyond the point of public accountability. Also on Friday evening, HHS issued regulations describing the intention to develop more regulations that would apply the same mandate differently to “non-exempt, non-profit religious organizations”—the charities, schools, and hospitals that are still left out of the “religious employer” exemption. These policies will be developed over a one-year delay in enforcement, so if they turn out badly, their impact will not be felt until August 2013, well after the election. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
The Spanish program begins with an interview with Father Avelino González. He discusses Obamacare’s mandate for contraceptives. Is the “fix” the administration offered a real solution to Obamacare’s constitutional violations? What are parishioners saying about it? We offer our thoughts as well.
The English program also kicks off with an interview with Father Avelino González. Afterward we’re joined by Heritage expert Lindsey Burke to discuss the president’s newly released budget and its implications for education and the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.
Be sure to click above and listen!
Since the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate was proposed in August, the Obama Administration has come under intense scrutiny for the rule’s violation of religious liberty. In the wake of the final rule’s publication in the Federal Register yesterday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a full committee hearing yesterday to further investigate those claims, highlighting the law’s serious threat to freedom.
Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, began the panel testimony by telling a story, “The Parable of the Kosher Deli.” Bishop Lori’s parable drew a parallel between the mandate coercing many religious employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives against their beliefs and a hypothetical situation of a government forcing all Jewish delis to serve pork sandwiches. The latter situation is clearly an absurd violation of religious freedom, and Bishop Lori’s story ended with the government rescinding the requirement to serve certain meat products and restoring Jewish deli owners’ liberty. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
President Obama talked the talk but then blatantly refused to walk the walk on the freedom of religious institutions from the Obamacare statute’s mandate for group health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization. The Obama Administration continues to trample on religious liberty by issuing rules that require many religious hospitals, charities, and schools to abandon the tenets of their faiths and comply with that mandate.
Many voices came together in objection to the interim final regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury and Labor Departments, implementing the Obamacare mandate, so expectations ran high that President Obama would order Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius to correct the regulations and protect religious liberty before making the rules final.
On Friday, February 10, 2012, President Obama spoke to the White House Press Corps on the issue of the mandate. President Obama said:
Now, as we move to implement this rule, however, we’ve been mindful that there’s another principle at stake here — and that’s the principle of religious liberty, an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution. As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right.
Having recognized the inalienable constitutional right of religious liberty, the President went on to indicate that the Obama Administration needed to address the adverse impact of the mandate on that right, not taking the year that Secretary Sebelius had previously announced she would take, but rather addressing that impact within one or two weeks:
Now, after the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as, frankly, the more cynical desire on the part of some to make this into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not going to be an option, that we needed to move this faster. So last week, I directed the Department of Health and Human Services to speed up the process that had already been envisioned. We weren’t going to spend a year doing this; we’re going to spend a week or two doing this.
If it weren’t for Obamacare, we wouldn’t have this problem. By “this problem,” we mean of course the Obamacare regulation that forces health insurance plans to provide coverage, without co-pay, for contraception, sterilization, and what many people believe are abortion-inducing drugs.
When it was announced last August, the forced coverage mandate contained only a very narrow religious exemption. That meant it would apply to many religious employers who object on religious or moral grounds to providing, paying for, or otherwise participating in abortion, sterilization, and contraception. This result, as Heritage has explained on several occasions, was a blatant violation of religious freedom.
Under pressure for trampling religious freedom, last Friday the Obama Administration announced certain potential modifications to the rule. Sort of. What the Administration actually did was post the final rule without any changes. That’s right—they posted the final rule without any modifications from the August 2011 version that caused the furor in the first place. And then they promised that sometime during the next year, they would pursue a new rule to address concerns about religious freedom. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
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