Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marco Rubio Introduces Bill to Overturn HHS Mandate

This bill responds to the Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires most religious groups to pay for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs in their health insurance plans. The Becket Fund represents two religious schools—Belmont Abbey College and Colorado Christian University—in separate federal lawsuits challenging the abortion-drug mandate as a violation of a federal civil rights statute and the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Senator Rubio’s bill answers the call from religious individuals and groups across the country who are tired of an imperious government imposing ‘mandates’ on the American people,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund. “Rubio’s bill is a balanced approach that will prevent the government from penalizing those who are simply being true to their religious faith.”

White House is slinging it good.

MR. CARNEY: Well, let me — let me — let me answer. The decision was made, as we have said in the past and Secretary Sebelius has said, after very careful consideration, and the administration believes that this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious beliefs and increasing access to important preventive services. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.

It’s important — to go to your point — that this approach does not signal any change at all in the administration’s policy on conscience protections. The President and this administration have previously expressed strong support for existing conscience protections, including those relating to health care providers. That support continues.

I also would just note that our robust partnerships with the Catholic Church and other communities of faith will continue. The administration has provided over $2 billion to Catholic organizations over the past three years in addition to numerous nonfinancial partnerships that promote healthy communities and serve the common good.

Q The bishops are saying just the opposite. They’re saying that basically if somebody is working in a Catholic hospital and they don’t cover contraception for their employees, that they’re in violation of federal law. So I don’t understand how you’re saying that there are still conscience protections. They would violate the law, wouldn’t they?

And so on. Read the rest yourself. It's going to happen because there are no ramifications. Bishops will still rub elbows with them at swanky events. Be thankful they were notified by phone.

Thankfully, there are Bishops who are saying they will refuse to comply. Our job is to get that number up.

BTW - this was my favorite part:

And I would just note that we will work with religious groups during a transitional period to discuss their concerns. But this decision was made after careful consideration by Secretary Sebelius, and we believe that the proposal strikes the appropriate balance between religious beliefs on the one hand and the need to increase access to important preventive services for women.

They're going to play rope a dope with the Bishops. Let them come in and express their concerns through the transition period. Then, they will be handed a broken bottle to scratch themselves with and a fond farewell.

There is nothing like using a Bishop's own game right back at them.

Do check out Carol Keehan's malarkey at the end of the Commonheal article. There is nothing more captivating than a bold faced liar.

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