Health Law’s Reproductive Health Provisions Continue To Draw Criticism
At a Wednesday subcommittee hearing, faith-based providers and some House Republicans lamented new federal rules that they say could erode long-standing "conscience clauses."
NPR Shots Blog: Religious Groups Want Relief From Birth Control Mandate
Faith-based health providers got a chance to vent about new federal rules that require them to offer prescription contraceptives as part of their health insurance plans at a House subcommittee hearing today. They also proposed some changes (Rovner, 11/2).
Politico Pro: House GOP Attacks Health Law Contraceptive Coverage
House Republicans on Wednesday called a health care reform requirement that all health plans cover contraception an attack on religious liberty and said it could erode long-standing "conscience clauses" for health providers that oppose abortion. "Why must President [Barack] Obama insist that the price of health care reform be giving up the civil liberties through an individual mandate and the religious liberties that our Founding Fathers guaranteed under the Constitution?" Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. Largely following recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, HHS published interim final rules in August that would have health plans cover all FDA-approved contraceptives and birth control without cost-sharing (Feder, 11/2).
CQ HealthBeat: Reproductive-Health Provisions Draw Continued Controversy To Health Care Overhaul
A conscience clause that allows religious employers to opt out of contraception coverage under the health care overhaul is too restrictive and was issued without adequate public input, Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee said Wednesday. The clause, included in a preventive-services rule issued Aug. 1, exempts religious employers from including free contraceptives as part of their health plans. But some say that doesn't go far enough. The clause "offers no conscience protection to individuals, schools, hospitals or charities that hire or serve people of all faiths in their communities," said Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa (Bristol, 11/2).
Modern Healthcare: Lawmakers Urged To Revise Definition Of Religious Employer In Preventive-Services Rule
HHS' interim final rule on preventive services for women led House lawmakers to examine whether the new mandates threaten both conscience rights and access to health care services. ... HHS allowed an exemption for religious employers, but [William Cox, president and CEO of the Alliance for Catholic Health Care] testified that the definition is too narrow and raises the question of whether the federal government can determine what parts of a religious organization are religious and which are secular (Zigmond, 11/2).