Congressman Joe Pitts and Congressman John Fleming, M.D., Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the House Values Action Team, responded to the final rule issued today by the Obama Administration for its HHS (Health and Human Services) mandate. The mandate requires businesses and nonprofit religious organizations to provide health coverage that includes drugs and services that violate the deeply held beliefs of some organizations and business owners.
"The HHS Mandate remains a clear attack on religious freedom," said Fleming. "The Obama Administration is bent on telling the owners of private companies that they must check their beliefs at the door and offer only government-approved health coverage. That means companies like Hobby Lobby would be forced to offer health insurance that would provide drugs which could cause abortion, clearly violating the conscience of the company's owners. Even though a federal appeals court ruled this week that there was merit to Hobby Lobby's objections, Obama Administration bureaucrats think they know better and are continuing to push a mandate that will require even nonprofit religious organizations to assure employee coverage that may defy fundamental beliefs of that organization. Congress must act to stop this ongoing attack on the First Amendment"
"I am very disappointed with the phony accommodation the Administration issued today regarding the HHS Mandate," said Pitts. "The Administration's so-called "accommodation' specifically for religious nonprofit employers still forces them to facilitate coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization, in violation of their religious beliefs. This continues to violate the First Amendment rights of both for-profit or nonprofit employers and employees. This Administration refuses to protect Americans freedom to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs."