Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement Thursday in response to the Obama Administration's recently-revealed mandate that health insurance plans offered to employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, universities and other organizations must cover sterilization, birth control and abortion-inducing drugs:
"Dictating the terms of health insurance coverage that private employers must offer their employees without regard to the Constitutionally-protected freedoms of religious-affiliated institutions is simply an extreme overreach by the Obama administration. Government-mandated contraception coverage is yet another example of how the President's health care law ties the hands of doctors, patients and private employers while giving more power to Washington. Since this law was enacted nearly two years ago, we've heard Washington tell us that it can force individuals to buy government-approved insurance and fine or imprison anyone who refuses to do so. We've watched Washington try to hide the true cost of government-controlled health care by devising a program known as the CLASS Act and then admit it was financially unsustainable. And job creators and seniors have braced for job-crushing new taxes and hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare Advantage looming on the horizon when Washington takes even greater control of health care in 11 months. The families, seniors and job creators in my District have had just about enough. That's why I look forward to working with colleagues from both parties to replace the onerous mandates and higher taxes in the President's health care law with true reforms aimed at getting a better handle on costs, improving patient care and expanding consumer choices for purchasing insurance."