Posts Tagged ‘religious liberty’
Health Care News
Legislation to repeal Obamacare under consideration in the House today makes clear in two significant findings the massive health care law’s threat to religious liberty, conscience rights, and the protection of human life:
(7) While President Obama promised that nothing in the law would fund elective abortion, the law expands the role of the Federal Government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The law appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides Federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Moreover, the law effectively forces millions of individuals to personally pay a separate abortion premium in violation of their sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
(8) Until enactment of the law, the Federal Government has not sought to impose specific coverage or care requirements that infringe on the rights of conscience of insurers, purchasers of insurance, plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, such as individual or institutional health care providers. The law creates a new nationwide requirement for health plans to cover “essential health benefits” and “preventive services”, but does not allow stakeholders to opt out of covering items or services to which they have a religious or moral objection, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103–141). By creating new barriers to health insurance and causing the loss of existing insurance arrangements, these inflexible mandates jeopardize the ability of institutions and individuals to exercise their rights of conscience and their ability to freely participate in the health insurance and health care marketplace.
As a result, Obamacare’s multiple threats to religious liberty, rights of conscience, and the protection of human life remain.
Health Care News
On several occasions during the health care reform debate, President Obama promised the American people, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Now, even the Administration admits that this isn’t the case, stating that “as a practical matter, a majority of group health plans will lose their grandfather status by 2013.”
Case in point: Under Obamacare, grandfathered plans are not subject to the preventative services mandate, a subset of which is the anti-conscience mandate that requires almost all non-exempted employers to provide and pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.
In one of the 23 lawsuits over the mandate’s trampling on religious liberty, Newland v. Sebelius, the plaintiffs argue that the mandated coverage of these products violates the religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment because it forces employers, including those who object to use of such products on moral or religious grounds (for example, religious hospitals, schools, and charities) to pay for coverage of the objectionable drugs and services. There is only a narrow religious exemption that effectively applies only to places of worship.
Health Care News
This morning, the Supreme Court didn’t just miss the opportunity to protect individual liberty. It also failed to defend religious freedom. The Court’s ruling to uphold Obamacare doesn’t mean the law has cleared its legal challenges, however. Twenty-three federal lawsuits against Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate—which goes into effect on August 1—now take on added urgency.
Implementation of the behemoth 2,700-page Obamacare law has only just begun, and the HHS mandate signals the damage to religious liberty and other freedoms Americans will experience as the teeth of the law sink deeply into our society in the coming months and years.
The HHS anti-conscience mandate is a completely separate rule from the individual mandate, and its constitutionality was not considered by the Supreme Court in the cases decided today. The HHS mandate, along with the individual mandate and the rest of Obamacare, still presents a clear threat to individual and religious liberty. Nothing short of full repeal of the statute will adequately protect our freedoms from this federal overreach.
As the nation awaits the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, much attention has been paid to the constitutional questions surrounding the individual mandate—and rightly so. Considerable attention has also focused on the ways Obamacare has already and will further harm our nation’s health care and how it has trampled religious liberty. But we shouldn’t forget something even more fundamental to justice: Obamacare is hostile to life, and it set a new precedent by federally subsidizing abortion.
An article by Bill Saunders and Anna Franzonello in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy explains the health law’s shift in federal abortion policy. Prior to the passage of Obamacare, long-standing policy was that federal tax dollars were not to be used to pay for abortion or to pay for plans that cover abortions. As they note: “At the time of the health care reform debate, no government health plans covered elective abortion, including Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other programs. The ‘status quo’ prior to the PPACA was that federal tax dollars are not used to pay for abortion nor for insurance plans that cover abortions.”
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.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration hosted a health care town hall that was intended to focus on Obamacare’s impact on women’s health. Top Obama Administration officials participated, including the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius.
The discussion was heavy on emotion and light on the details of Obamacare’s provisions—and surprisingly lacking in the gender specificity it was supposed to address. The Administration’s generic talking points may or may not resonate with American women, but surely the real impact of Obamacare will—and in ways that are not favorable to the Administration.
Here’s a summary of the adverse effects that some specific provisions will have on the women the Administration claims to be helping:
1. Decreased Choice. Obamacare mandates that insurers cover preventive services recommended by the United State Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) with no cost-sharing. This has quickly turned the task force’s recommendations for doctors and patients into requirements on insurers and employers that could lead them to cover only services that are required of them. This fear was proven valid in 2009 when the task force downgraded the strength of its recommendation for breast cancer screenings in women between ages 40 and 50. A controversy ensued that led Congress to overturn that recommendation through an amendment to Obamacare—before the legislation was even enacted. Before Obamacare was law, this type of change in recommendation would simply have been helpful advice for doctors and patients, but under Obamacare, it could mean the difference between coverage and no coverage.
Today the U.S. Senate failed to save religious liberty from Obamacare’s collision course with freedom.
The Senate blocked, by a vote of 51-48, a bipartisan amendment introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) that would have preserved the religious liberty American individuals and institutions have enjoyed until this latest Obamacare mandate was finalized in mid-February. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
Since 1791, when the Bill of Rights was formally adopted, America has enjoyed the legal protection of religious freedom, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Today, 221 years later, centuries of progress in the protection of religious and other liberties is at risk of being rolled back in one fell swoop. The culprit: Obamacare.
As we all know, President Obama’s health care law will mandate that religious hospitals, charities, and schools abandon the tenets of their faiths and provide their employees insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. This anti-conscience mandate is but the latest assault on liberty Obamacare has ushered in. Its shock waves are reverberating across the country, waking Americans to the fact that our first freedom — religious liberty — will be the first to fall now that the federal government has unfettered control over the country’s health care system. (Read the rest on The Foundry…)
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 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…)
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009