religious exemption


Bunting on Contraception

I have a new post up at The Corner on the Obama administration’s latest announcement, release late Friday afternoon, about the HHS mandate, which they’re now proposing not to issue final regulations on until far after this year’s elections:

In the ANPRM, the administration said it is seeking input and comments on the so-called “accommodation” that the president announced on February 10. But the ANPRM also makes it clear that this process of getting input and issuing new rules will be very long and drawn out — so much so that the administration doesn’t expect to issue final regulations until August 1, 2013....

Still, despite the transparent stalling tactics, it is abundantly clear from the text of the ANPRM that this process is essentially a waste of time. The administration is seeking comment only on its dead-end “accommodation” proposal that doesn’t come close to satisfying legitimate religious-liberty interests, including those expressed yet again by the nation’s Catholic bishops this week in their latest statement on the matter.

You can read the whole post here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 6:38 pm
Tags: religious exemption, Obamacare, contraception
File As: Health Care

The ĎAccommodationí That Isnít

I have a new column up at National Review Online on the latest negotiations between Catholic leaders and the White House about the contraception mandate, and on why last month’s “accommodation” is anything but:

Unfortunately, until it is widely understood that the president’s accommodation is actually no such thing, confusion will continue to reign. Therefore, it is critical for those trying to defend religious liberty against the administration’s aggressive moves to expose the accommodation as the deception that it is, as quickly as possible.

Here, it’s worth repeating some of the basic facts. On February 10, on the same day that the administration announced it wanted to craft the so-called accommodation, it finalized the rule that had been previously issued with no change. That rule includes the infamous four-part test by which HHS bureaucrats will determine which houses of worship are pure enough to warrant a full exemption from the mandatory coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization procedures, and contraception. It is also the same rule that provides no exemption from the mandate for religious employers that provide services to the general public. So, as matters stand today, the Obama administration has implemented rules that even it concedes infringe on the traditional rights of religious employers.

You can read the whole column here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 4:16 pm
Tags: religious exemption, Obamacare, contraception
File As: Health Care

On the Contraceptives Controversy

I spoke on a panel yesterday at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., about the controversy brewing over the Obama administration’s requirement that church employers cover contraception (among other services deemed preventive) in the health care plans they provide to their employees. The video of that event is available from C-SPAN here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 5:11 pm
Tags: religious exemption, Obamacare, contraception
File As: Health Care

A Clash of Conscience

I have a new column up at National Review Online on the Obama administration’s recent refusal to grant a religious exemption for institutions that wish not to be required to pay for contraception and abortifacients:

The central purpose of Obamacare — and the reason it was and is so strenuously opposed by so many Americans — is to transfer all of the critical decisions about how American health care operates to the federal government. Despite what the president contends, it is a federal takeover. The federal bureaucracy is now in the driver’s seat.

And, with the federal government now calling all of the shots, it is a foregone conclusion that a decidedly secularist and utilitarian point of view will be pervasive in everything that is done. It is simply beyond the capacity of the modern federal government to even consider arguments questioning the wisdom of governmental policies promoting free and abundant contraception. Indeed, it is an article of faith in the modern bureaucratic context that pushing such “prevention” measures onto the American public is one more step on the long march to a more just and humane society.

This is the environment in which we live. The hard truth is that the federal government cannot be trusted today with these kinds of decisions, and there’s no prospect of that changing anytime soon. That’s a big reason why Obamacare should never have been allowed to pass in the first place. Just the sight of Catholic leaders’ being forced to go begging before federal officials ought to be enough to convince most Americans that handing over so much power over such sensitive matters to the federal government was a terrible, terrible mistake.

Read more here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 11:24 am
Tags: religious exemption, Obamacare
File As: Health Care