Obama Administration's New HHS Rule Threatens Crippling Fines, Livelihood of Americans

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) responded today to a new final rule issued by the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The rule mandates that non-profit organizations be forced to pay for coverage that includes sterilizations, contraception and drugs that have the potential to destroy an unborn child. The rule also applies this accounting gimmick to family-owned businesses that already won relief by the U.S. Supreme Court under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

 Jamie Dangers, Legislative Assistant at the Family Research Council made the following comments:

 “Ignoring a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and dozens of court injunctions, the Obama administration is pressing forward with a mandate that forces family businesses and non-profits to either violate their deeply held moral beliefs or pay crippling fines of up to $100 per day, per employee. After last year’s Supreme Court ruling, millions of Americans expressed relief that the HHS mandate would no longer threaten their jobs, livelihood and healthcare simply for following their moral beliefs.   Today, the administration is telling Americans: comply or be severely punished.

 “The Obama administration is offering a variation of an old accounting gimmick which still mandates that the Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame, and many other religious non-profits offer coverage with objectionable benefits. Instead of requiring them to sign and send a form to their insurer stating their objections, they must now either send the form or notify HHS itself of their moral objections. It’s small comfort to know that the government mandates a violation of a religious entity’s moral beliefs, and then offers to carry out the violation.

 “Even more incredible, HHS is now applying this scheme to family-owned businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties which already won relief from the government mandate by the Supreme Court. The Obama administration is disregarding the Court’s ruling declaring this mandate a violation of the family owned business’s religious freedoms.

 “Crushing federal mandates of this kind don’t belong in a free country.   The Constitution does not give the government the right to impose a law on Americans forcing them to violate their beliefs in order to hold a job, own a business, or purchase health insurance. It’s time that the Obama administration recognize reality and withdraw this mandate which will have crippling consequences for businesses and families,” concluded Dangers.