HHS Mandate Change Is Sleight of Hand

Comment: The article is correct. Even if contraceptive coverage doesn’t cost more as a result of savings from fewer births, a religious employer’s conscience is still violated. The employer may, in effect, be paying the same for additional services, but the employer is still the source of funds and the one buying the policy. Watch this hand and don’t watch the other hand.

“The Obama administration today proposed a new rule…”

“While the administration has expanded the definition of institutions that could qualify for a “religious employer exemption,” the “accommodation” is no different than the notice issued last year. The administration still intends to require that the services be available to all female employees and college students at no cost to them, and it plans to force health insurance companies to provide individual policies for these services to women whose employers object to the policy – without collecting premiums or co-pays.”

“… employees still must have free access to the services.  Here is how it works, according to the HHS fact sheet:

“[U]nder the proposed accommodations, plan participants would receive contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies, without cost sharing or additional premiums.  The issuer would work to ensure a seamless process for plan participants to receive contraceptive coverage.”

“And here is how the administration proposes this would work:”

“[T]he health insurance issuer…would automatically provide separate, individual market contraceptive coverage at no cost for plan participants. Issuers generally would find that providing such contraceptive coverage is cost neutral because they would be they would be insuring the same set of individuals under both policies and would experience lower costs from improvements in women’s health and fewer childbirths.”

“…Since health insurers receive their money through premiums paid by policyholders, this is simply money laundering.  Ultimately, religious institutions would still pay.”


“The new rule is of no help to private companies, such as Hobby Lobby, which are challenging the HHS mandate in court as a violation of their religious liberty.”

“…Comments are due in 60 days before the rule becomes final.”

The HHS Mandate Isn’t Fixed

Grace Marie Turner

February 1, 2013



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