Posts Tagged ‘contraceptives’
Health Care News
The part of Obamacare that has been getting the most attention is the individual mandate that was recently ruled a tax by the Supreme Court. That isn’t the only onerous provision resulting from Obamacare, though. The HHS Mandate that requires nearly all insurance to cover abortion drugs, contraception and sterilization–regardless of moral or religious objections–is a direct challenge to the religious freedom that is guaranteed to us by our Constitution. Click HERE to read our “Lunch with Heritage” online chat. We were joined by the Director of Domestic Policy Studies Jennifer Marshall. She talked about what Obamacare means for religious freedom, what can be done now, and recent “Fortnight for Freedom” events.
Health Care News
Thousands of Americans are gathering today at 160 locations across the United States to peacefully protest the federal government’s coercive trampling on religious liberty through the Health and Human Services (HHS) anti-conscience mandate.
Today’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies are a continuance of the events held on March 23 in front of capitols, historic sites, and even the HHS, where the offensive anti-conscience mandate originated.
The demand for protection of religious freedom evidenced in today’s rallies could not be more pressing. In less than eight weeks, the mandate will take effect, forcing all non-exempted employers to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization—regardless of their religious or moral objections to such services.
Health Care News
Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has found a new ally in its fight against the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate’s coercive requirement that almost all employers, regardless of religious belief, provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.
Earlier this month, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange moved to join the case to defend the rights of the Alabama-based network. Among other things, the State claims that “the mandate requires Alabama to regulate its health insurance market in a way that violates” various state and federal protections for religious freedom.
Attorney General Strange took to National Review Online last week to further explain his position on the mandate and denounce the rule’s coercive trampling on religious liberty.
The commotion surrounding President Obama’s press conference Friday on the latest Obamacare mandate caused plenty of confusion over the weekend.
But let there be no doubt: Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate did not change.
While everyone was busy trying to figure out what the convoluted midday proposal actually meant, the Obama Administration went ahead and posted the actual final rule late Friday. It is exactly the same as the August 3 version that created the controversy in the first place.
It states that all insurance plans must cover, at no charge, contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization. Religious employers like Catholic hospitals, Christian schools, and faith-based pregnancy care centers will still have to provide such coverage regardless of their beliefs. In what some have called the narrowest religious exemption in federal law to date, only churches are exempted. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
That’s the near-unanimous response to President Obama’s supposed “accommodation” offered to those who objected to Obamacare’s mandate that religious institutions pay for contraceptive products and services—including abortion-inducing drugs.
That mandate — which tramples heavily on religious liberties — drew tremendous fire across the board, from Christians and Jews alike, drowning the President in a political maelstrom of his own design. And though today the President sought to calm that storm with a “compromise,” the voices of opposition are as strong as ever because, quite simply, it doesn’t remedy the moral and religious liberty objections to this mandate, and as a practical matter, it simply doesn’t work.
On Friday, President Obama announced an “accommodation” to the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate: Rather than requiring religious organizations that provide group health insurance to cover sterilization, contraception, and some abortion-inducing drugs, those religious organizations will now likely pay higher premiums to insurance companies who will provide these “free services” to employees. This accommodation doesn’t remedy the religious liberty problem.
But no partial change to the HHS regulations alters the fact that, within Obamacare, health insurance decisions are dictated by the federal government rather than by individuals and businesses. Tweaking the relationships within this system will not change the underlying problem: the federal government’s authority to control who must pay for insurance and what that insurance must cover. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
Today, President Obama unsuccessfully attempted to extricate himself from a political crisis of his own making.
The issue is Obamacare’s requirement that health insurers and employer-sponsored health plans cover federally mandated “preventive services” in their benefit packages—with no co-pays for enrollees—and the Administration’s subsequent regulatory requirement that those mandated preventive services include contraceptive products and services—including abortion-inducing drugs.
The “compromise” the President announced today is that contraception coverage “will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance companies directly, with no role for religious employers who oppose contraception. Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.” (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
It has not even been two years since Obamacare was enacted, and already the President’s health care law has taken another victim — the religious freedoms Americans hold dear, as reflected by the First Amendment.
The Obama Administration recently reaffirmed a rule under Obamacare that requires many religious employers to provide health care coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and related education and counseling. On the grounds that certain FDA-approved contraceptive methods can sometimes “cause the demise of embryos both after and before uterine implantation,” many groups also believe that the rule forces them to cover abortion.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling the contraception mandate an “unprecedented” attack on religious freedom. And in statement after statement issued in diocese after diocese, many bishops are publicly declaring that they “cannot” and “will not” comply with “this unjust law.” As Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon explained, “Unless this rule is overturned, Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health care coverage for our employees.” (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
The enormous storm brewing over health care in the last several years has included debate on everything from costs of care to covering the uninsured. One of the most charged issues involves moral controversies that intersect with health care.
In 2006, Heritage published a paper explaining how reducing personal control over health care decisions would burden freedom of conscience.
The paper argued that the main problem for freedom of conscience in health care “is that most Americans, as a practical matter, do not have [adequate] control over their own health care.”
Americans lack adequate control over their own health care, the paper explained, because “[t]hird-party payers—administrators of government and private health insurance plans—generally set the rules for coverage: which plans are offered, what benefits are included, and how they are funded.” (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
The Obama Administration’s mandate under the Obamacare statute that many religious employers provide health care coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization tramples upon their free exercise of religion. The Obama Administration should immediately exempt such religious employers from the contraception mandate. The Administration’s trampling upon religious liberty with the contraception mandate illustrates yet again the need to repeal the Obamacare statute.
What the Obamacare Statute Says
Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act, enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) (the “Obamacare” statute), provides that “A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall, at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for— . . . (4) with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings . . . as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration . . . .” (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
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