HHS Secretary Sebelius announced that the HHS mandate will take effect on the 1st of August. She made the announcement on the same day that public comments on the bill were closed. This indicates that the public comments were only a formality–federal law requires that time be made available for the public to comment. Politicians are not required to actually heed the public comments. It would seem difficult for Secretary Sebelius to have read and considered many of the comments, since she announced the same day that the HHS will continue with the mandate as previously published.
At the Harvard School of Public Health, Secretary Sebelius said:
As of Aug. 1, 2013, every employee who doesn’t work directly for a church or a diocese will be included in the benefit package.
Of course, this is not the truth. She has conveniently forgotten the millions of employees that have been given waivers from Obamacare–many union members, for example. She has also seemingly forgotten the millions of Americans who work for employers with fewer than 50 employees, also exempt. But she does include employees of Catholic charities and hospitals, Evangelical seminaries and universities, and private employers who believe that the HHS mandate will force them to violate their faiths.