The HHS Mandates Begin Today
Since issuing the rule in January, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been steadfast in her support a regulation that forces business owners, regardless of their belief system, to offer health insurance which must include contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Since that time, religious business owners and faith-based universities have sought exemptions from the regulation, but were denied.
Today, HHS begins implementing the regulation. This is a serious threat to religious conscience and a distrubing errosion of liberty.
Interestingly, last week Federal district Judge John J. Kane of Colorado, a Carter-appointee, issured an injuction blocking the HHS regulation. Before touching on the significant constitutional challenges raised by the plantiff, Kane wrote the arguments in favor of the mandate appear “serious, substantial, difficult, and doubtful” based on purely statuory grounds.
Kane is not a right-of-center judge. He is a former public defender and Peace Corps deputy director sponsored by liberal former Senator Gary Hart.
The injuction doesn’t block the mandate nationwide, but it sends a useful message that hte HHS requirement is on shaky legal ground wherever challenged.
Here are two things things to consider:
1) The Obama administration wants to to define what a “religious institution” is for purpose of exemption. This means the President can enforce a secular ideology upon business owners. As Judge Kane wrote, the government’s stance amounts to an assertion that “a for-profit, seular employer… cannot engage in an exercise of religion.”
Apparently, employers now only enjoy the right to religious exercise when channeled through a church in a formal worship setting. very bizarre
2) The HHS mandate fores religious business owners to choose between fidelity to religious teachings and obedience to the federal government. Failure to comply results in harsh penalties, which escalate if a company grows, rendering a company uncompetitive. Regardless of your views on birth control and God, if this doesn’t offend you, you’re not a good person.
With a tough pro-mandate message campaign in the media being pushed by the ACLU, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan, and Sebelius herself, today should be the start of new efforts by every libertarian and conservative group to fight back and expose these outrageously un-American mandates.