Then in February of 2012 President Obama issued a ‘so-called’ accommodation, which stated that insurance companies, not the religious employers themselves, would be forced to pay for the abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. While this accommodation took the religious organization out of the business of directly providing their employees with immoral products, it made them complicit in financing their employees insurance for immoral products and services through the premiums that they would pay the insurance company to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. In addition, this accommodation failed to provide any protection for self-insured religious organizations, such as the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
Now, a year later (February 2013), here comes Barack Obama’s with his third effort to redecorate his full-court press for a culture of death. According to information the White House emailed LifeNews:
- The proposed rules lay out how non-profit religious organizations, such as non-profit religious hospitals or institutions of higher education, that object to contraception on religious grounds can receive an accommodation that provides their enrollees separate contraceptive coverage, and with no co-pays, but at no cost to the religious organization.
With respect to insured plans, including student health plans, these religious organizations would provide notice to their insurer. The insurer would then notify enrollees that it is providing them with no-cost contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies.
With respect to self-insured plans, as well as student health plans, these religious organizations would provide notice to their third-party administrator. In turn, the third-party administrator would work with an insurer to arrange no-cost contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies.
Insurers and third-party administrators would work to ensure a seamless enrollment process.
The proposed rules lay out how the costs of both the insurer and the third-party administrator would be covered, without any charge to either the religious organization or the enrollees.
Additionally, the proposed rules simplify and clarify the definition of “religious employer” for purposes of the exemption from the contraceptive coverage requirement. These employers, primarily houses of worship, can exclude contraception coverage from their health plans for their employees.
This latest version of the HHS Mandate is still very problematic for at least three big reasons:
- Not only does it not provide protection of conscience for those who may not qualify as being a ‘religious employer’, such as Hobby Lobby, but it now compels religious employers to push their employees into a near occasion of sin, by placing them in an involuntary position to be contacted by the insurer or a third-party administration who will tempt them into purchasing insurance for immoral products and services. Essentially, what we have here is just another redressing of Obama’s February 2012 shell-game.
- Further, even if financial complicity were the only issue, this new mandate also doesn’t seem to provide any guarantee that insurers won’t pass the cost of providing prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, surgical sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs on to the employer.
- The big red flag of this mandate is that it positions the government as the authority to determine who is a religious employer and who is not. This seems to be gross violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution , which prohibits the government from making laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Not only does this HHS Mandate position the government to authoritatively promote, legitimize, and delegitimize one religion over the other, it also simultaneously positions it to be able to prohibit religious organizations from the free exercise of their beliefs and values when it doesn’t legitimize them as a ‘religious employer’. Effectively, this mandate is a double-edged sword.
The fight continues. The HHS Mandate must be completely repealed. It must not be complied with. It remains to be as demonic, unjust, and unconstitutional as it ever has been.