Grassley calls on Administration to rescind invasive health care rule Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Chuck Grassley   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:40

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to rescind the Obama Administration’s health care rule that will force religious affiliated organizations to either abandon their freedom of conscience or pay a fine of up to $2,000 per employee.

The rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of the department’s implementation of the sweeping Affordable Care Act of 2010, mandates that religious-affiliated charities, schools and hospitals provide coverage for controversial contraceptive products.

“The federal government does not have the right to tell religious groups to provide a service that violates their faith,” Grassley said.  “This rule emphasizes one of the many concerns Americans have with the 2010 health care law, that it is a dramatic overreach into personal freedoms and liberties.”

In a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Grassley said the mandate as written will result in litigation that could be avoided with a regulation that shows respect for religious freedom.  Here is the text of his letter.

 

February 7, 2012


The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

I write to express serious reservations with the rule issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 20, 2012, mandating that religious-affiliated charities, schools, and hospitals provide coverage for controversial contraceptive products.  This decision would force many groups, including charities, schools, and hospitals, to provide coverage of contraceptive and abortifacient products despite strong objections to these drugs rooted in religious beliefs.

The federal government does not have the right to tell religious groups to provide a service that violates their faith.   It is disturbing that under the broad HHS requirement and narrow exemption, religious affiliated organizations will face a choice that Americans should not confront: adhere to their freedom of conscience or pay a fine of up to $2,000 per employee.  As currently written, this mandate will result in litigation that could be avoided if HHS issued a regulation that showed greater respect for religious freedom.

This rule highlights this Administration’s continued invasive role in designing the health care benefits available to Americans and underscores one of the numerous concerns Americans have with the Affordable Care Act.  That the definition of a preventative benefit services has morphed into a requirement to force Americans to buy a product that violates their conscience demonstrates the dramatic overreach of the law into Americans’ personal freedoms and liberties.  This burdensome and morally dubious regulation stands against more than 200 years of our nation's proud history of religious and individual liberty.  I strongly urge you to rescind this rule and ensure that any future issuance of a revised rule respects the conscience of not only medical providers, but healthcare consumers and faith-based organizations as well.

 

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator
blog comments powered by Disqus