Meet the new form, it’s functionally equivalent to the old form.
The new arrangement as a more complicated accounting gimmick, no different in effect than its predecessors.
Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, said the amendment “is simply another clerical layer because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees. It’s very disappointing that the Obama administration is doubling down on its plans to punish charities and non-profits that assist the poor and homeless, who in some cases have nowhere else to turn for assistance.”
Although the Obama administration is still seeking comments for its final implementation of the new rule, the nation’s religious leaders concur that the latest change still fails to observe all Americans’ First Amendment freedom of religion.
“On initial review of the government’s summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the ‘religious employer’ exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate,” Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said on Friday. “Instead, the regulations would only modify the ‘accommodation,’ under which the mandate still applies and still requires provision of the objectionable coverage.”
“Also, by proposing to extend the ‘accommodation’ to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom,” he added.
Who gets the “opt-out” form is irrelevant. Forcing a religious organization to ask for the objectionable coverage is the real problem. Morally, Catholics cannot participate in any aspect of provisioning life-destroying drugs and procedures.
Instead of working with the USCCB, the Obama administration went back to the Kermit Gosnell Fan Club at Planned Parenthood for input on their “revised” mandate rules. And of course they baked in onerous penalties for anyone who follows his faith.
“Effective immediately, this latest rule still orders charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, non-profit Christian colleges like Wheaton College, and religious broadcasters like EWTN to violate their consciences simply because they legally contract for health coverage,” Grossu continued. “The government uses their contract as the basis to force their insurers to provide their employees with free contraception and drugs that can kill human embryos, against their sincere conscientious beliefs.”
“If these charities and non-profits follow their conscience and decline to participate in the meaningless accounting gimmick, the administration will make them pay huge penalties accruable on a daily basis — one hundred dollars per employee per day,” she said.
“Additionally, the government is also soliciting comment on new ways to force family businesses to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions due to the HHS mandate in an attempt to address and skirt the recent Supreme Court ruling. However, the government’s actions here still force family businesses to be complicit in what they view as morally wrong,” Grossu added.
Obama and his henchmen are being purposefully obtuse, thumbing their noses at the Supreme Court, and at religious Americans too. They are beholden to a cabal of radical feminists hell-bent on overthrowing all vestiges of traditional morality. They only respect the Progressive hegemony of the State, and all other forms of authority must be eradicated lest they instill doubt in the minds of the citizenry.
So everyone has to conform, or the invalidity of the State’s coercion will become all too apparent.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court has already told HHS they can’t do this. Alas, the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.