Obama administration announces new HHS mandate rules

The Department of Health and Human Services issued on Friday new rules regarding its contraception mandate, which address both non-profits and closely held for-profit entities.

The new rules create a new way for non-profit groups to voice their objections to the required coverage, prompting their insurance company to offer the coverage free-of-charge. For closely held for-profit companies such as Hobby Lobby, the federal department said it is asking for ideas on how to extend the same accommodation offered to non-profits.

Sylvia Burwell, HHS secretary, said Aug. 22 that the new rules will ensure access to free contraception, “while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies.”


The new rules create a new way for non-profit groups to voice their objections to the required coverage, prompting their insurance company to offer the coverage free-of-charge.

And if the insurance company offers this coverage free of charge, but the premiums for other coverage ever go up, now or sometime in the future, is this coverage really “free of charge”?

I think not.

The government has no authority to compel individual American citizens to buy a product or service; it’s not in the Constitution (it’s not even in the “penumbra” of the Constitution). The power to compel citizens to buy a product or service they may or may not want can’t even be justified under the Constitution’s commerce clause, which gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce. If we can be compelled to buy (or if companies can be compelled to provide “free of charge”) insurance today, then we can be compelled to buy (say) books, newspapers and magazines to promote literacy.

“The terrible Supreme Court decision denies women contraception!”

This is definitively 100% not true. Has there ever been such a clear cut falsehood? It’s not a matter of perspective or interpretation. Hobby Lobby’s employees will receive contraception without copays. It’s absolutely stunning how most people don’t seem to know that. It’s maddening. Anyone who claims otherwise can be immediately dismissed as ignorant or a liar.

I find it really strange that the constitution explicitly affirms the right of Americans to bear arms and yet in every private case I’m aware of, citizens must jump through regulatory hoops, cut red tape and PAY FOR their own if they want them. And yet the “right” to contraception can only be asserted via an absolutely tortured extrapolation of the constitution and yet it is a vile injustice if these aren’t absolutely free of charge to those who want them?

How’d we get such a screwed up government? Here’s a concept: Want something? Go buy it yourself. Especially when said item has a completely effective alternative that costs $0.

Erich;12278723]And if the insurance company offers this coverage free of charge, but the premiums for other coverage ever go up, now or sometime in the future, is this coverage really “free of charge”?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

I’m confused. How is this new rule any different from the former “accommodation”? :confused:

EDIT: P.S.: You gotta love how these announcements from the HHS always come out on Friday afternoons. Ah, the Friday data dump. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Supreme Court ruled in June 2012 that compelling the people to participate in Obamacare is in effect a tax. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution does give Congress the power to lay an collect taxes. So like it or not, it’s legal.

Okay, so here is the difference:

Previously, religious groups were instructed to sign a form voicing their objection to the coverage, which would authorize their insurer or a third-party administrator to pay for the products.

Many religious groups had objected to this arrangement, saying that it still required them to violate their religious beliefs by authorizing an outside organization to pay for the products they found to be immoral.

The new rule announced Friday allows these non-profit groups to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of their objections. The federal government will then contact insurers and third party administrators to provide the coverage.

It still seems like just more shuffling the ball under the cup. :shrug:

That’s because it is just shuffling the ball. This administration has proven time and time again that it is dead set against giving an inch to anyone who doesn’t agree with their liberal ideology. They won’t allow their gods of sex and murder to be impeded from exacting their pound of flesh from the populous.

It sure feels that way. They keep “changing” the rule without ever actually changing it in any substantial way.

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

In no way does Obamacare “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” It was supposed to insure the uninsured; we see instead that it is uninsuring the insured.

I suppose it could be argued that the Obamacare tax will be used “to pay the Debts” that Obamacare will certainly create… but getting rid of Obamacare would thereby get rid of the need for the Obamacare tax – and we’d all be better off for it.

USCCB usccb.org/news/2014/14-145.cfm

Statement of EWTN Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw in response to changes in the HHS contraceptive services mandate announced on Friday, August 22nd:

“Once again, we find ourselves extremely disappointed by the government’s latest attempt to modify the rules governing the HHS contraceptive services mandate. Instead of broadening the criteria for organizations that should be completely exempt from these rules, it appears that the government has simply changed the flow of paperwork and done little else. We will continue to analyze the latest rules with our legal team at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to determine their impact on EWTN’s challenge to the mandate which is now pending before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We ask our EWTN Family to continue to keep this matter in their prayers.”


Killing Jews in nazi Germany was legal also

That was legal under their system. This legal under ours.

BTW, I’m not defending it and I certainly don’t agree with it or support it; I’m just saying that like it or not, it’s the law of the land.

Unfortunately, the term “general welfare” paints with a very wide brush. Some will argue that providing affordable insurance for those who cannot otherwise afford it is promoting the “general welfare” of the country. Personally, I beg to differ. :shrug:

Let us never, ever forget though that the word “tax” was never used in the verbiage of that section. Penalty was used in Section 5000a:

‘(1) IN GENERAL.—If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013, then, except as pro-vided in subsection (d), there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection ©.

The way the law was written (not the way it was re-written by Roberts) was that it was a penalty.

As Justice Scalia said in his dissent:

For all these reasons, to say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubl-ing. Taxes have never been popular, see, e.g., Stamp Act of 1765, and in part for that reason, the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. See Art. I, §7, cl. 1. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off. The Federalist No. 58 “defend[ed] the decision to give the origination power to the House on the ground that the Chamber that is more accountable to the people should have the primary role in raising revenue.” United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 U. S. 385, 395 (1990) . We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty. See Affordable Health Care for America Act, H. R. 3962, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §501 (2009); America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, S. 1796, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §1301. Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry.

Finally, we must observe that rewriting §5000A as a tax in order to sustain its constitutionality would force us to confront a difficult constitutional question: whether this is a direct tax that must be apportioned among the States according to their population. Art. I, §9, cl. 4. Perhaps it is not (we have no need to address the point); but the meaning of the Direct Tax Clause is famously unclear, and its application here is a question of first impression that deserves more thoughtful consideration than the lick-and-a-promise accorded by the Government and its supporters. The Government’s opening brief did not even address the question—perhaps because, until today, no federal court has accepted the implausible argument that §5000A isan exercise of the tax power. And once respondents raised the issue, the Government devoted a mere 21 lines of its reply brief to the issue. Petitioners’ Minimum Coverage Reply Brief 25. At oral argument, the most prolonged statement about the issue was just over 50 words. Tr. of Oral Arg. 79 (Mar. 27, 2012). One would expect this Court to demand more than fly-by-night briefing and argument before deciding a difficult constitutional question of first impression.

The funny thing is that Congress could have written the “individual mandate” in a fashion that would have nullified a large part conservative objection to it (the individual mandate, in of itself…not all of Obamacare).

Had the Democratic 111th Congress written the text so it would have been a “tax credit” for having qualified health coverage, along with another refundable tax credit to help people get that qualified health coverage who otherwise would not have been able to afford it, I doubt that there would have been much outrage from the right to the individual mandate…and it would have accomplished the same exact goal.

Likewise, had the Democratic 111th Congress simply rewritten the HIPAA pre-existing conditions rules and portability rules to include individual policies the same way that they cover group policies, the pre-existing condition issue concern that Obamacare was supposed to cover would have received bipartisan support. (For those who don’t remember, HIPAA stated that an employer’s insurance coverage could only exclude preexisting conditions for a period of one year and that ONLY treatment for that preexisting condition could be excluded during that period. Further, it stated that if you had insurance from a prior employer, your current employer’s plan could not impose that exclusion)

But, instead, they decided to completely reengineer the health system in America and turn it into a nightmare for virtually everybody. You have a federal bureaucracy deciding that I, as a 50 something male, need to have coverage for abortions (??), contraceptive devices (??) and so on. Next thing you know, HHS will mandate that all insurers finance bins of condoms be placed (free for the taking) in all pharmacies and grocery stores.

(Catholics really need to re-read Quadragesimo Anno 79 and ask themselves some really hard questions about this)

Point is legal does not make moral. Our legal system is in shambles when the President decides which laws to follow. Our legal system has killed more babies than Hitler killed all groups combined. We hold no moral high ground.

It seems to me if the administration were interested in compromising they would offer a solution their opponents could possibly accept. Adding another middle man to pass the dollars from employer to insurance isn’t going to make anyone happy. They are still playing politics.

No argument there. But again, this is what we are stuck with. :frowning:

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