There is no progress until a full religious exemption has been made to Churches, religious institutions, colleges and to individual employers who do want to pay for contraception, sterilization and aboritificants. The Amish and medi-share members of the Christian Care Ministry get an exemption, so should everybody else.
Obama is trying to buy time, probably because of the nine lawsuits, Obama admin has conceded nothing.
People can see through this latest White House gimmick:
The Latest Mandate Announcement: ‘We Need a Process to Get Past November!’
At 4:15 p.m. this afternoon, the Obama administration issued its latest pronouncement on the HHS mandate, in the form of an Advanced Notice on Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). So what did the administration have to say on this late Friday afternoon?
Basically, it was a thinly veiled attempt to punt the entire issue into 2013, thus allowing the president to continue his doublespeak on the issue — pretending that he is interested in protecting religious liberty with pronouncements about a forthcoming concession while the policies he actually implements go in exactly the opposite direction.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s Senior Counsel, Hannah Smith also questioned the timing of the latest HHS statement, but for a different reason. The administration has sought to dismiss the cases filed by the Becket Fund, a public interest group, arguing that the specifics of the “accommodation” will soon be worked out, thus eliminating the basis for the legal challenge.
“The timing of this announcement is also suspect. The Administration knew that the Becket Fund’s response to the government’s motion to dismiss will be filed in federal court on Monday. This delay tactic is designed to disrupt those arguments because the administration knows it won’t be able to answer them,” Smith said.
“We do not need any more rule making. We do not need any more comment periods. We already settled this with that one original rule: The First Amendment,” said Smith, in a statement released this afternoon.
“The Administration’s action is just another delay tactic,” said Smith. “It’s not that complicated. Grant a wide enough exemption to honor the conscience of millions of Americans. The First Amendment demands it.”
Gimmicks Won’t Resolve HHS Mandate’s Religious Liberty Assault
In yesterday’s notice, the Administration is suggesting that insurance companies offer coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception—free of charge—directly to employees of religious organizations that oppose the mandate on moral or religious grounds. This way, according to the Administration’s logic, religious employers aren’t providing or paying for such services.
But religious groups aren’t following that distorted logic. Among many others, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has made clear that such accounting gimmicks are wholly inadequate to deal with the serious moral problem the mandate has forced upon religious groups.
Insurers are not going to eat the costs of these services themselves. They will simply pass the costs for the drugs along to employers through increases in premiums, a fact the Administration admits in its own notice released today.