The Conversation

HHS Accommodation Is No Accommodation At All

In response to Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby:

Yesterday, HHS released the final text of its adjustments to the ObamaCare regulation that requires health-care plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, which many businesses object to on religious grounds. I mistakenly viewed their release as a capitulation in the wake of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling that favored Hobby Lobby on Thursday.

But the final rule only includes an accommodation for non-profit  institutions that oppose the use of contraception. “Under the accommodation these organizations will not have to contract, arrange, pay for or refer contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds, but such coverage is separately provided to women enrolled in their health plans at no cost,” HHS said.

A more careful reading on my part would have seen that the final regulation issued yesterday provides no accommodations at all for individual Christians or private for-profit employers who morally object to the mandate. 

CNS reported:

Catholic and other Christian individuals in the United States will now be forced by the Obama administration to buy insurance coverage that pays for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs--whether they want that coverage or not and even though it forces them to act against their faith.

What these final adjustments to the regulation do is provide what the administration calls "accommodations" to religious non-profit organizations only--or what the regulation calls "eligible organizations."

To be an "eligible organization" a group must be "a nonprofit entity" that "holds itself out as a religious organization." Organizations that certify that this is the case, however, will not be wholly liberated from providing health-insurance plans that provide access to free sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. What they will have is a convoluted relationship with their insurance company or, if they self insure, with their third-party administrator.

So the Regime's War on Religion continues, but as the court's decision on Thursday indicated, this is a battle they are almost certain to lose.


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