Mandates and Freedom

Recall that HHS’ original rule regarding contraceptive coverage by “insurance” companies

exempted churches and other houses of worship, but required faith-affiliated charities, universities and other nonprofits to provide the coverage for their employees.

HHS’ finalized rule, which they claim is an outstanding compromise,

simplified the definition of religious organizations that are fully exempt from the requirement.  The change means a church that also ran a soup kitchen would not have to comply.

But “faith-affiliated charities, universities and other nonprofits” still are required to provide the contraceptive coverage.  Moreover,

religious nonprofits must notify their insurance company that they object to birth control coverage.  The insurer or administrator of the plan will then notify affected employees separately that coverage will be provided at no cost.  The insurers would be reimbursed by a credit against fees owed the government.

Of course, HHS omits to say to whom there is no cost.  It’s also unclear what happens in the event there are more credits than fees.  Who pays the difference?  In either event, it seems clear to me, it’s the taxpayers—and the “insurers’ ” customers—who pay.

Eric Rassbach, of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, has pointed out

As we said when the proposed rule was issued, this doesn’t solve the religious conscience problem because it still makes our non-profit clients the gatekeepers to abortion and provides no protection to religious businesses[.]

Michael Hash, Director of the HHS Office of Health Reform, demurs from that description.  Faith-based groups, says he, were given another reprieve, until 1 Jan, to comply.

But they still have to comply—screw ’em.

Here is an impact of capricious Federal regulation (apologies for the redundancy) on individual liberty.

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