The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the Congressional Research Service a simple question. From the CRS report:
In particular, you have asked whether a health plan that does not offer coverage for contraceptive services and is maintained by a religious entity that is not considered to be a “religious employer” under final rules issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (the Departments), would be subject to penalties.
The answer in the CRS report is chilling. This is what we are facing from the Obama administration.
A group health plan that fails to comply with the pertinent requirements in the IRC may be subject to a tax of $100 for each day in the noncompliance period with respect to each individual to whom such failure relates. However, if failures are not corrected before a notice of examination for tax liability is sent to the employer, and these failures occur or continue during the period under examination, the penalty will not be less than $2,500. Where violations are considered to be more than de minimis, the amount will not be less than $15,000.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee’s press release that accompanied the release of this research report has even worse news:
Consequently, for example, if a self-insured religious charity or hospital with 100 employees chooses to exercise its religious rights instead of complying with the Obamacare mandate, it could be subject to a $3.65 million annual fine.
Imagine for a moment a Catholic charity or a Evangelical school or a Lutheran adoption agency who cannot comply, for reasons of their faith, with the HHS mandate to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization to employees in their health plans. The price of conscientious objection to this violation of religious liberty? $100 per day per employee to the IRS, and not to the poor, the sick, the needy, or the children. If they have 100 employees, that could mean $3.65 million per year. So sad for the poor, the sick, the needy, or the children. I’m sure, though, that we will have sufficient contraceptives to distribute to all!