Former Vice President Joe Biden promised Wednesday to reverse the religious protections guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent decisions allowing private companies and religious groups exemption from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
When Obamacare was passed, President Barack Obama promised religious groups that he would not use it to subsidize abortions, and signed an executive order to that effect.
But in practice, the Obama administration created rules and regulations that forced religious employers, and religious non-profit organizations, to subsidize practices that violated their religious faith.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case that privately held companies could not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage through Obamacare against the religious beliefs of their owners. The contraceptives in question included some drugs that could also be used to cause abortions. And this past week, in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, involving a Catholic charity providing services to the indigent elderly, the Supreme Court ruled that a new Trump administration rule exempting religious groups from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate could stand.
In response to that 7-2 decision — in which even liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer concurred — Biden said he would reverse the religious protections and restore the previous status quo under the Obama administration.
“As disappointing as the Supreme Court’s ruling is, there is a clear path to fixing it: electing a new President who will end Donald Trump’s ceaseless attempts to gut every aspect of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said, as quoted by Fox News. “If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.”
Fox News points out that the Obama administration’s “accommodation” did not include the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.