Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule requiring insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive and sterilization treatments with no cost-sharing (i.e. no copays).
Catholic hospitals and other faith-based organizations that offer health insurance plans to their employees have asked for an exemption from the rule so they may continue to offer health insurance coverage not in conflict with their religious beliefs. However, late last month, the president denied their requests and announced it would only grant them a year delay before requiring them to comply with this mandate.
It is not the government's role to dictate to health care providers, health insurers and others how to serve their patients and employees. Nor is it the government's role to dictate when groups must abandon their religious or moral beliefs to ensure certain services are provided.
I have co-sponsored S. 1467, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011. This legislation would ensure health care providers, insurers and others do not have to violate their personal moral and ethical principles while providing health care mandated by the federal government.
This is an issue I am closely monitoring to help ensure the federal government does not overstep its bounds.