The Obama administration has released new proposed rules that were supposed to placate religious employers who object to the Obamacare mandate that they must offer health insurance that covers contraception and abortion. The proposal still falls short of protecting religious liberty.
Under the newly proposed rules, as under the original, churches are exempt. But other religiously based employers, such as church hospitals and Catholic universities, are not. These employers do not have to directly offer the mandated coverage through their own insurance. Rather, their insurer will offer a separate policy that covers only contraception, abortifacient drugs, etc. The insurers are to be reimbursed through a discount on what they pay to participate in the federal health insurance exchanges mandated by Obamacare, USA Today reported.
So these religious employers will not provide the coverage through their insurance premiums; they will fund it through their taxes (how else to subsidize the discount insurers will receive?). Also, individual employers whose businesses are not explicitly religious in nature will still have no relief. They will have to violate their faith by directly providing coverage for procedures they object to on religious grounds. Do not be surprised when this proposal does not halt the more than 40 lawsuits filed against the administration over this issue.