• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Hercules Takes on the Obamacare Hydra

    The contraception mandate has met yet another foe. On Monday, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a complaint against Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius on behalf of Hercules Industries, Inc., a family-owned HVAC manufacturer based in Denver, Colorado.

    Hercules Industries is owned by five family members, all practicing Catholics, who seek to operate the business in accordance with their beliefs. As such, the self-insured company’s health plan does not include coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization procedures—and had no intention of doing so.

    Until Obamacare, that is.

    Under the law’s HHS mandate, Hercules will be forced to provide and pay for coverage of all these drugs and services in its company’s health plan, directly violating the owners’ deeply held beliefs. Because the company is a private, for-profit business, it is excluded from the mandate’s narrow religious exemption and, like all non-religious employers, is ineligible for the Administration’s year-long “safe harbor period.”

    Hercules’s self-insured health plan renews every year on November 1, and the company must make arrangements for what services will be covered in the next plan year by about August to meet open enrollment deadlines. Since the HHS mandate requirements take effect August 1 of this year, ADF has requested an injunction against the mandate within the next 90 days.

    Fortunately for Hercules and the seven other organizations challenging HHS, it might not take super-human strength to defeat the ill-conceived and unconstitutional mandate. In its few responses to complaints against the HHS mandate, the Department of Justice has offered up no substantive defense of the new rule but continues to request that federal courts ignore the constitutional problems with the finalized rule and patiently wait until the Administration releases a future rule-making at some undetermined date to deliberate on the law’s legality.

    Much like a tentacle of the multi-headed hydra slain by the mythical Hercules, the anti-conscience mandate is just one of many liberty-trampling provisions in Obamacare. Dictating what employers must cover, what insurance companies must provide, and what individuals must purchase, the health care law contains countless, inescapable provisions that restrict freedom and could pose many additional conflicts of conscience.

    Congress can learn a lesson from ancient myth by recognizing that the problems with the health care law can’t be dealt with piecemeal by simply excising individual, offensive provisions. The health care monster that’s threatening jobs, the economy, and constitutional liberties needs to be slain in its entirety—by repealing Obamacare.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Hercules Takes on the Obamacare Hydra

    1. Bobbie says:

      When are these unconstitutional intrusions going to stop? If people want on the job contraception they can pick the job that provides it or use their personal responsibility to provide for themselves like Americans did without a FLIRT before this pestering government overreach, interfering in private matters that aren't federal cases!

    2. Bette says:

      We also need to repeal OBAMAO and all of his minions!!!

    3. Diana D says:

      WOOHOO!!! Finally more Catholics rising to the occasion! Too bad I don't see much of an ecumenical effort– it seems like all other Christian denominations have gone quiet as the Catholic Church, once again, stands up for the moral compass written in our hearts. *sigh*

    4. Mary V says:

      So if the Newland's were Jehovah's witnesses they could refuse to offer a policy that covered blood transfusions.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×