Wednesday, February 8, 2012
So says the HHS, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The entire thrust of ObamaCare is to standardize benefits and how they must be paid for and provided, regardless of individual choices or ethical convictions.
To take a small example: The HHS rule prohibits out-of-pocket costs for birth control, simply because Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's regulators believe no woman should have to pay anything for it....
Practicing this kind of compulsion is routine and noncontroversial within Ms. Sebelius's ministry. That may explain why her staff didn't notice that the birth-control rule abridges the First Amendment's protections for religious freedom. Then again, maybe HHS thought the public had become inured to such edicts, which have arrived every few weeks since the Affordable Care Act passed.
Bad call. The decision has roused the Catholic bishops from their health-care naivete, but they've been joined by people of all faiths and even no faith, as it becomes clear that their own deepest moral beliefs may be thrown over eventually. Contraception is the single most prescribed medicine for women between 18 and 44 years old, and nine of 10 insurers and employers already cover it. Yet HHS still decided to rub it in the face of religious hospitals.