Obama Administration Makes a Mockery of Religious Freedom Yet Again
Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final rule outlining a so-called accommodation for its coercive Obamacare mandate. Heritage’s Sarah Torre explains in an article on National Review Online that this is typical of the administration.
Like the administration’s multiple previous attempts to “fix” the mandate, this final rule doesn’t provide any workable or adequate solutions to the mandate’s trampling on Americans’ fundamental freedoms.
At the renewal of health-plan years, employers still will be forced to facilitate coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization — regardless of religious or moral objection to one or more of these practices.
Since it introduced the HHS mandate in 2011, the Obama administration repeatedly has brought out the best in bureaucratic theatrics. Through press conference promises, campaign absurdities, and hundreds of pages of complicated regulatory jargon, the administration has relied on a campaign of smoke and mirrors to hide the mandate’s assault on religious liberty.
Today, over 200 plaintiffs are involved in over 60 lawsuits over the HHS mandate. Fortunately, one of these plaintiffs, Hobby Lobby, has been granted a major victory over the mandate. The company was issued a temporary restraining order to the coercive Obamacare mandate that requires employers to provide coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.
But HHS’s final rule does nothing to restore religious liberty afforded by the Constitution. Torre explains:
The mandate’s offensively narrow religious exemption doesn’t apply to a large number of religious organizations, let alone family businesses such as Hobby Lobby. In fact, the Administration’s most recent rewrite of their “accommodation” explicitly excludes families who go into business to provide for themselves and their employees.
Torre also explains:
Such picking and choosing of who gets to live out their faith in how they act and work isn’t consistent with the protection of religious freedom enshrined in our founding and defended in laws such as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Obamacare needs to be repealed in full to restore our religious freedom. In the meantime, the first important step to restoring this fundamental freedom is rescinding the HHS anti-conscience mandate.