On the TV series The West Wing you learn about “taking out the trash”. That is, the White House releases what might be potentially problematic news on a Friday, so that things can calm down over the weekend and other stories can drive the bad item out of the news cycle. So, today the Obama Administration released “tweaks” to the anti-Catholic, anti-1st Amendment HHS Mandate. It’s Friday and Hilary Clinton is stepping down as Secretary of State, there was a terrorist attack in Turkey, etc. Get it?
So, what do the new HHS Mandate tweaks do, if anything? First, it seems they do nothing, for this could be just a proposal of new rules.
Moreover, there are 80 pages… 80 pages… of regulations. The Obama Administration still claims the right to determine which institutions are to be granted religious freedom.
It still does not exempt Catholic charities and Catholic universities. It does not exempt Catholics who own businesses.
At EWTN we find this statement (in part):
We have analyzed today’s notice with our legal team from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the initial conclusions are not promising. First, this is simply a notice of a proposed rule; it is not an actual rule that changes anything. Second, while the proposed rules might expand the mandate’s religious exemption for some organizations affiliated directly with the Church, it does not appear that EWTN will qualify for this exemption. Third, the proposed rules have not dealt with the concerns of self-insured health plans like EWTN’s. Today’s notice from the government simply kicks this can further down the road.
Sadly, throughout this proposed rule, the government continues to make the erroneous assertion that contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs are health care. They are not.
Apart from our interest in things Catholic, companies such as Hobby Lobby, Christian-owned, are still going to be fined into bankruptcy. HERE.
Reminder: a pro-abortion catholic runs the HHS Department: Kathleen Sebelius.