Yet Another HHS Mandate Fraud

The Administration has once again announced yet another attempt to square a circle, and they have once again failed.  And so, we now have new regulations on the HHS mandate — the requirement that employer health insurance policies cover abortifacient drugs, sterilization, and contraception.

The objections of the Church to this violation of our rights are well known, and were asserted yet again by Cardinal Dolan on behalf of the U.S. Bishops.

The Administration and its allies, on the other hand, continue to assert that they have already satisfied all objections, and, in effect that religious people and organizations should just sit down, be quiet, and obey.

Not so fast.  The new regulations — just like the old ones — are a fraud and a violation of fundamental rights.

Consider the alleged “exemption” and “accommodation” for some religious employers.

The “exemption” would certainly grant protection to many religious organizations, but nobody knows how many, or how few.  The key provision in the regulation refers to an obscure part of the Internal Revenue Code that is not exactly written in clear and self-evident prose.  Nobody knows how, in the end, the IRS will interpret and apply that provision.  Does anyone trust them to do so in an even-handed way?

The “accommodation” is even more problematic.  Every religious non-profit that objects to the mandate knows that when they offer their staff health insurance, they will also be providing them the objectionable products and services.  It is true that they won’t have to list the offensive things in their plan booklet, but they know that they’re covered in any event — and that the employer will be paying for them.  As a moral matter, that’s really no different from directly and explicitly providing for the coverage in the insurance plan.

The “accommodation” is basically asking religious non-profits to accept a lie and pretend that it is the truth.

The new regulations offer no help whatsoever to for-profit businesses.  They will be coerced into providing, promoting, and paying for morally offensive things.  Nothing is changed for them in the fundamental injustice of the HHS mandate, and their many lawsuits against the mandate will go forward.

The heart of the matter ultimately doesn’t depend on specifics of these very complex regulations.  We have a situation where the government is forcing people to cooperate in immoral activities, either directly or under a transparent fig leaf of lies.

There is a core of liberty that is inherent in the nature of the human person, into which the government may not intrude without becoming a tyranny.  One such area is the natural right of individuals and institutions to be free from government coercion of their consciences.  One would have thought that this was made clear on July 4, 1776, and that the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials would serve as ample reminders of those principles.

Apparently the lesson has been forgotten in our nation’s capital.

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8 Responses to “Yet Another HHS Mandate Fraud”

  1. florence maloney says:

    Well said–the battle continues. Fasten your seatbelts–it will be a “rough ride.” Unconditional victory is the answer Florence Maloney

  2. Dottie Day says:

    Is this what the Catholic Health Association under Sister what’s her name has found acceptable?

  3. Ed Mechmann says:

    Yes — The CHA is a trade association that is primarily looking out for the interests of their members. Solidarity with the bishops, and with the businesses and individuals who are oppressed by this mandate, is apparently a lower priority.

  4. DottyDay says:

    A trade association? Wow, that takes the sting out of it. So let me get this right: CHA members are hospitals, nursing homes, etc. and not really people and so cooperating with the HHS mandate is strictly an institutional/organizational decision — and those who work for CHA member organizations don’t have to worry about their individual eternal destinies because they are only following what their leaders tell them is best.

  5. Ed Mechmann says:

    They definitely have to worry, just as much as anyone else does (myself most definitely included). Those “institutional decisions” are being made by real individuals who are agreeing to willingly cooperate with this evil (and not even protest any more), and who will be accountable some day not only for that cooperation, but for the scandal that they have caused.

  6. DottyDay says:

    What’s the CHA’s game? What’s going on behind the curtain? We know what they stand to lose, but what do they win?

  7. Ed Mechmann says:

    They stay in business by keeping their government funding streams (Medicaid and Medicare) intact. That, to them, is more important than defending the religious liberty of people and institutions who don’t want to pay for abortions, sterilization, and contraception.

  8. DottyDay says:

    Given their demonstrated advocacy for the culture of death, I think they should at least have the decency to remove the word “Catholic” from their name.

    As for the rest of us, in 1919, G.K. Chesterton nailed it: “Sir Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, but he is not quite so important as he will be in a hundred years time.”