National Right to Life Statement on Obama Administration Proposal for Revisions in Preventive Services Mandate: “Changes in packaging in an attempt to conceal continuity in substance”

President Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

President Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

WASHINGTON (Feb. 1, 2013) – In proposed revisions to the preventive services mandate issued today, the Obama Administration once again employs changes in packaging in an attempt to conceal continuity in substance. This latest revision continues to compel countless employers to purchase health plans that will pay for drugs and procedures to which they are opposed on moral and religious grounds. For a nonprofit organization that “holds itself out as a religious organization,” the Administration claims that it is relieving the employer of the moral conflict by obligating the insurer to pay for the objected-to drugs and services. This is a subterfuge, since the employees would not be getting the objected-to services if the religious employer was not paying for the health plan.

Moreover, the Administration once again puts forward the rationale that “issuers generally would find that providing such contraceptive coverage is cost neutral because they would be insuring the same set of individuals under both policies and would experience lower costs from improvements in women’s health and fewer childbirths.” This justification — which essentially argues that contraceptive coverage really costs nothing — could later be employed by the Administration to attempt to mandate coverage of surgical abortions in at least some health plans, on similar grounds that each abortion prevents the higher costs of prenatal care and childbirth.

The proposed revision also continues to apply the mandate to for-profit businesses run by people of faith, without even the cosmetic changes discussed above, and provides no options for individuals seeking plans that accommodate their values on the exchanges.

National Right to Life applauds the ongoing work of Alliance Defending Freedom and others in challenging the Obama Administration’s infringements on the free exercise of religion in the courts. National Right to Life will continue to work with like-minded members of Congress to seek legislative remedies, as well.