Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has an opinion piece in USA Today.
In her apologia for an Obamacare regulation that requires health insurance programs provided by a vast range of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and so on institutions to provide contraception, sterilization and abortifacients in direct, open contravention of the teachings and beliefs of those institutions (and that requires those institutions to offer those insurance plans exclusively), she writes
One of the key benefits of the 2010 health care law is that many preventive services are now free for most Americans with insurance. … So is the full range of preventive health services recommended for women by the highly respected Institute of Medicine, including contraception.
So, no one is paying any taxes, or being forced to change their existing health insurance policies, to pay for this.
Nor is there any cancellation of religious teachings or thought or fundamental tenets by this Federal government, which used to be on the other side of a “wall of separation between Church & State.” There’s an interesting view of “free.”
That’s why in the rule we put forward, we specifically carved out from the policy religious organizations that primarily employ people of their own faith. This exemption includes churches and other houses of worship, and could also include other church-affiliated organizations.
Umm, no. Not hospitals, not doctors’ offices, not clinics. These employ (quite properly) far too broad a range of employees to be able to fit within the carefully and deliberately narrowly drawn limits of this rule.
In choosing this [extremely narrow religious] exemption, we looked first at state laws already in place across the country. Of the 28 states that currently require contraception to be covered by insurance, eight have no religious exemption at all.
The religious exemption in the administration’s rule is the same as the exemption in Oregon, New York and California.
Of course, far be it from the Federal government to set an example. Oh, wait….