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No Backing Down on the HHS Mandate

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By Tony Perkins

The Obama administration is not backing down when it comes to their HHS mandate, which requires all private healthcare plans to include coverage of drugs which can destroy a human embryo, contraception and sterilization services, without copay, under threat of fines of up to $100 per day per employee. Even after a crushing blow in the Hobby Lobby case, where the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not force family businesses to violate their religious beliefs, the administration is adamant about finding a way to force family businesses to violate their deeply held moral beliefs in order to earn a living. In August, they launched a new regulatory proposal to apply an accounting gimmick already required of non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to businesses like Hobby Lobby.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) led 51 Members of Congress to send a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell expressing concern over the administration’s latest attempt to force individuals to comply with the HHS mandate. Instead of offering a true exemption from the mandate to people with moral or religious objections, the administration is instead trying to find ways to skirt the Hobby Lobby decision with more accounting gimmicks. The Members are asking HHS to provide detailed responses to specific questions regarding the new regulatory rules within 30 days.

The HHS mandate is just one of ObamaCare’s many problems. But even as 51 Members of Congress outlined their concerns with the HHS mandate, Secretary Burwell was touting how great ObamaCare is working at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. Yet last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan government watchdog, issued a report which found that over 1,000 healthcare plans sold on the ObamaCare exchanges include elective abortion coverage, and taxpayer funds are being used to subsidize elective abortion in these plans. Following the release of this report, pro-life Members of Congress and pro-life groups gathered outside the Capitol to urge the Senate to pass and the President to sign H.R. 7, the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014” sponsored by U.S. Rep Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). You can watch the full press conference here. Whether it’s the HHS mandate or abortion funding, ObamaCare is hostile to life and religious liberty. It needs to be repealed.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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