Repeal Obamacare Reg in CR
The Catholic bishops of the United States are asking the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to do something concrete and effective -- rather than merely symbolic -- to repeal a regulation the administration has issued under Obamacare that will force Catholics and other Christians to act against their faith in purchasing or providing health-care plans that cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Last June, the bishops unanimously declared this regulation an "unjust and illegal mandate." Since then, dozens of Catholic and Protestant private business owners, schools and non-profit organizations have sued the administration seeking to fully or partially overturn the regulation, arguing it violates their First-Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
The regulation, however, is beginning to take effect now, and pending lawsuits could take years to reach the Supreme Court -- where it is uncertain how they would be decided.
Given the gravity and immediacy of the issue, the bishops are asking Congress to act now by incorporating language repealing the regulation into "must-pass" legislation.
"Providers of healthcare, as well as those who offer or purchase insurance, should not face an unacceptable choice between preserving their religious and moral integrity or participating in our healthcare system," Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, said in a March 8 letter sent to every member of the House.
"Therefore," said Cardinal O'Malley, who chairs the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, "I urge you to support HR940, and to help incorporate its policy into upcoming 'must-pass' legislation."
HR940 would permanently negate Obamacare's sterilization-contraception-abortifacient regulation. It would do this by ensuring that no individual worker, private for-profit business, hospital, school, charity or other form of non-profit enterprise could be forced to buy or provide a health-care plan that included coverage for abortion or any other item or service to which the individual or organization had a moral or religious objection.
It would also protect healthcare workers from being discriminated against if they decline to participate in abortions or abortion-related services.
Cardinal O'Malley's March 8 letter followed a letter Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore had sent to members of Congress on Feb. 15 asking them to add language to "the upcoming legislative proposals to fund the federal government" that (like HR940) would nullify the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate and protect the conscience rights of health-care workers. Archbishop Lori chairs the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.
On March 6, the House Republican leadership called an initial floor vote on their version of the continuing resolution (CR) needed to fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year after the current CR expires on March 27. This House leadership CR did not include the language that Archbishop Lori requested. Instead, it permitted full funding of the sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate.
By contrast, the Republican leaders' CR did prohibit the Obama administration from spending money on foreign-made ball bearings.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 03/19/2013
Editor's Note: Where the repeal of Obamacare is concerned, House leadership is, disappointingly, nowhere in sight...Note to Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor, stop playing vanity politics and get to frickin' work doing what you know your constituencies want you to do...
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