From the CNS comes this:
New proposal would remove mandate’s penalties for religious employers
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Saying that the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 28 decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “leaves intact a grave assault to religious freedoms,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., announced July 10 that he would introduce the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act. The bill, which has 57 co-sponsors, would allow employers who have religious or moral objections to covering certain preventive services mandated by the health reform law to decline to provide them through their health insurance plans without facing taxes, penalties or enforcement actions for their noncompliance. The Supreme Court ruled June 28 that it was constitutional for Congress to require individuals to purchase health insurance under its authority to tax. Sensenbrenner said the health reform law “gives the federal government the tools to tax religiously affiliated schools, hospitals, universities and soup kitchens right out of existence” by imposing penalties of up to $100 per employee per day on employers who fail to provide services mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services, [taxes!] which include sterilizations and contraceptives, including some abortion-causing drugs. A religious institution with 50 employees, for example, could face penalties of up to $36,500 per employee per year, or more than $1.8 million per year, he said. “Obviously, if these taxes are levied and they are enforced, there will be no religious-affiliated institutions left in this country,” said Sensenbrenner, former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
I don’t think that the USCCB has yet commented on the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act.
I am concerned that if this is the way that Pres. Obama’s attack on the Church is fended off, this bill could be repealed, leaving Catholic and other employers exposed once again.
A better solution is to do a legislation-ectomy, excise the cause of the problem, instead of just putting a band-aid over the suppurating wound.
Don’t get me wrong. I think this should pass and the fight should go on. But I would want to see the fight go on, and not lose steam thereby.