Sebelius negotiating new mandate rules–with “Catholics” but without our Bishops

From the Politico, with my comments in bold italics.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the Obama administration plans to issue a rule “in the near future” on its compromise plan on contraception coverage and is meeting with insurers, clergy and health leaders to get feedback on how to make it work.

“We’ve begun outreach. I have talked to Catholic health leaders, I’m reaching out to priests. We’re also talking to union leaders, we’re talking to our partners at labor who run the self-insured plans to figure out a strategy,” Sebelius told reporters at a conference in D.C. on Tuesday.

Do you notice who she is NOT talking to?  Right–the bishops.  HHS is not negotiating with the USCCB.  The Obama administration did not talk to the bishops when they crafted the “accommodation” that changes nothing, and they will not talk to the bishops when they force this rule down our throats.

“We intend to propose a rule in the near future on some implementation strategies that I think do exactly what the president says –- which is make sure women have preventive health services and respect religious freedom,” Sebelius said.

How will they respect religious freedom by requiring us to pay for procedures and drugs against our moral beliefs?  Oh, yeah….the administration will redefine religion!  A Catholic charity, a Catholic university, a Catholic hospital are no longer religious; these institutions do not fit the Obama administration’s definition of religious organization.

A final rule on preventive services for women has already been issued, requiring employers to cover all FDA-approved contraception. The rule exempted only churches and grandfathered plans, but Obama announced earlier this month that faith-based employers will not need to provide the free contraceptive coverage to employees. Instead, insurance companies will have to pick up the cost.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he will pay the insurance companies for these “services.”  Does the administration really think that the insurance companies are going to pay out of their stockholder’s pockets?  Of course not, they will pass on the costs to—you got it—the insurance policy holder.  Also, this “accommodation” does not even mention those institutions (many dioceses, hospitals, and universities) that are self-insured.  Santa Claus will pay for them, I suppose.

“This will be an implementation rule, so we’ll propose it and have it in place in time,” Sebelius said. “For those religious employers who do not fall under the exemption, their implementation deadline is August of 2013. So we have 18 months, but we intend to move well ahead of that deadline.”

We have it loud and clear, Mr. President.  We have until August of 2013 to figure out how to violate our consciences.  


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