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  • Obamacare’s Legal Battles Continue in HHS Mandate Cases

    This morning, the Supreme Court didn’t just miss the opportunity to protect individual liberty. It also failed to defend religious freedom. The Court’s ruling to uphold Obamacare doesn’t mean the law has cleared its legal challenges, however. Twenty-three federal lawsuits against Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate—which goes into effect on August 1—now take on added urgency.

    Implementation of the behemoth 2,700-page Obamacare law has only just begun, and the HHS mandate signals the damage to religious liberty and other freedoms Americans will experience as the teeth of the law sink deeply into our society in the coming months and years.

    The HHS anti-conscience mandate is a completely separate rule from the individual mandate, and its constitutionality was not considered by the Supreme Court in the cases decided today. The HHS mandate, along with the individual mandate and the rest of Obamacare, still presents a clear threat to individual and religious liberty. Nothing short of full repeal of the statute will adequately protect our freedoms from this federal overreach.

    The next legal battleground against Obamacare resides in the fight to protect employers from the coercive requirement to provide coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization under the HHS mandate.

    More than 50 plaintiffs have joined the 23 lawsuits against the anti-conscience mandate to demand relief for countless religious employers forced into an untenable situation by the coercive rule.

    Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate affords the narrowest religious exemption in federal law, effectively covering only formal houses of worship. Countless other religious employers, like schools, hospitals, and religious charities, are forced to provide coverage for the mandated services despite moral or religious objections—simply because they step outside the four walls of a church to serve others.

    Creating the choice to violate conscience or forgo providing health insurance entirely—and risk hefty fines under Obamacare—the HHS mandate profoundly and adversely affects many employers and the people they serve. It also does severe damage to the broad understanding of religious freedom that Americans have enjoyed throughout the history of this great nation.

    As the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s Senior Legal Counsel Hannah Smith stated:

    “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors.”

    The HHS anti-conscience mandate is only an early warning sign of how one-size-fits-all health care requirements will trample on religious liberty as well as individual liberty.

    To protect religious liberty specifically and individual freedom generally, Obamacare must be repealed. While the HHS mandate is litigated in Court, the broader fight for freedom now moves to Congress. Policymakers should repeal the entirety of Obamacare and replace it with health care reform that reduces costs, increases access, and leaves personal health care decisions where they belong: in the hands of the American people.

    Americans need and want health care reform that respects their liberties and their conscience.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    28 Responses to Obamacare’s Legal Battles Continue in HHS Mandate Cases

    1. USA Born & Raised says:

      Hope they have enough jails. We won't by buying.

      • JPB says:

        If Obamacare is now a tax, how does that affect the religious freedom suits of Catholic institutions in that they are tax exempt?

    2. Robin Underwood says:

      I think the gutless SCOTUS gave into Obama and his ilk apparantly taking his threats literally and fearfully. I think it is disgusting that Kagan did not recuse herself. I think this will embolden the liberals on the left to try and userp more and more power and try to dictact increasingly every aspect of American lives. The SCOTUS did not say this is a good and proper law only that in their feeble minds it is constitutional. What's more, the justices had to reword the law changing the word "mandate" for "tax." My hope is that this travesty awakens a sleeping giant and we are able to get rid of Obama, Harry Reid as senate leader and overturn obamacare in the Congress. Obama's repeated and clear claims that the mandate was/is not a tax is just another shameful lie told by this creature in the White House.

    3. Rochelle Staffieri says:

      I am in shock and saddened. This ruling has to throw Obama care back to the congress and the people. We have to repeal it! But the only folks talking about it are Heritage and the news outlets. This will cause me to double my efforts to support more conservative people into congress on the state and federal levels. We have to get more grassroots people involved.

    4. abigail says:

      If none of the employees choose to practice birth control or take advantaged of any other disputed services, which we have to presume is the case if they are all as religious as their employers, this is a non-issue.

    5. R. Hert says:

      It is this citizen's view that nothing short of a Secession from this Union will eliminate the Progressives and the Communist-Democrats from their dictatorial seat of despotism, and their contempt of the US Constitution. Every time that a US President has ignored our Constitution-we have suffered from war, revolution, loss of dignity, loss of support from other countries, and death. Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, and Heisenhower. All of these so-called good guys were really against the Constitution, Federalism, and the US people. They were wolves in a US wrapped tradition and protected from the scruinity that other US citizens are expected to receive. It is time that we audit the Federal Reserve and shine the light on the criminality that has been going on for the last 100 years at the US taxpayor's expense.

    6. R. Hert says:

      Approval by the site administrator must mean denial for any contrary opinion.

      • Stirling says:

        Sorry R, but plenty of oBama Lemings have been posted, it just takes a bit before it's posted.. fyi.. funny how some people think that liberal views aren't welcome. If more of you actually read (rather then bash HF) and understood why your handing your liberties away, our country would be in better shape then it is.

    7. Jim Richard says:

      Isn't it great! Now we are on equal footing with insurance companies. They must use bulk of fees for health care an cannot refuse existing conditions.

      • Stirling says:

        Actually as a result insurance companies will go bankrupt, then you will be left with only government healthcare (single payer) which will ration care more then the private insurance companies in the end.

        In 2007 Obama said as much.. That it would take 5-10 years to get to single payer (government run only.) If you thought the DMV was a long wait for service, wait till it happens.. Europe and Canada already stacks Ambulences up in front of hospitals as a result of Government Run healtcare. We are using their model in Obamacare for it.

    8. Jim Richard says:

      Thanks to Supreme Court: We now are on equal footing with insurance companies. They are required to use most of fees for health care and cannot refuse pre-existing conditions.

    9. SandySinclair says:

      I and my whole family are devastated by the supreme court to uphold the bumscare! How can they do this to us…what happened to what the people of our nation want? This is purely evil and I pray that we can turn this around by electing all republicans & Romney & they will repeal this mess! If not, I feel like this will be the death of our nation as we know it. May our good Lord help us & conservatives please pray for justice and a return to freedom from this dictator! I am a mother and great-grandmother & work as a caregiver; I am part of the working poor that use to be middle-class before the dems made such a mess of our wonderful country. I worry for my children and grand-children; they do not deserve to be in this situation. Please pray for us…all. We need the Lord to overturn this; our majority is still Christian and conservative in the US…no matter what the Liar says. The bummer is completely out-of-touch and an evil person along with his Chicago co-horts. PLEASE let us all get rid of him and his communist ways…vote for Romney in November. May our Lord and savior be with us all!!!!

    10. Stephen J. Gordon says:

      This is a wonderful decision for those of us who have health insurance. No longer do we have to subsidize the uninsured. In terms, I want the freedom not to have to pay for other people's health care. Also, our society does not permit people to decide what their individual tax dollars will go for. To do so would cause chaos. I must pay for things I disapprove of and the church must pay for benefits they disapprove of. Anyone can anything is a matter of conscience or religion. Does a Quaker have to pay to support war? So, Catholic church,, stop bellyaching and get with the program. We all have to make compromises for this country to work.

      • Freedom says:

        It's not about Catholics. How will religious organizations (hospitals, universities, and the millions of organizations who help the poor) survive if imposed a $600,000 fine? How will this Make the country work? It's all about RELIGOUS FREEDOM, which is why there are laws separating church and state!

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        Their dispute is not how their taxes are being used; certainly everyone can cite some federal expenditure (wars, welfare, UN, cowboy poetry, solar panels, etc.) with which they disagree. Their dispute is how their own money is being used.

        Why can't they tailor their insurance and cafeteria plans to exclude payment for services with which they, as a private organization, disagree? Do they tell their employees they can't get contraception, abortions, etc.? Maybe so, and that is also their right, but if not, then only on their own dime. Living in a free country means tolerating other people, groups and businesses doing things you may not like. I want freedom not to have to pay, by force of law, for other people's food, clothing and shelter. When I'm forced to do so by force of law, I have less disposable income to do so out of a charitable heart.

        Why don't laws allow for the garnishing of wages and seizing of assets of those "free riders" if and when they use health care services? It sounds cruel, but that would be closer to a free-market approach that respects private property, a central tenet of the Constitution and a primary duty of government.

      • O2BMe says:

        With the Government now in control of both the Insurance Companies and Health Care be prepared to find it hard to find doctors to take the insurance. When I was in Alaska it was difficult to find a doctor to take Medicare. My son said it was also difficult to find one to take Military Insurance. When I cared for foster children it was difficult to find a doctor to accept their Medicaid card. This program also sets up a board to tell the doctors what you can have and what you cannot have and there is not one doctor on the board. The insurance exchanges are to order you to buy a certain minimum insurance coverage and all control has been taken from you to control your deductible. IRS will be able to check your finances to see if you can afford insurance or go on Medicaid. We are also as taxpayers going to pay a very large number of IRS agents to take care of investigations and collection.

    11. Elmer Fudd says:

      if my employer offers health insurance it is because I have earned it .It is not a gift.they have no business
      or right to concern themselves with my medical issues.Unless of course they affect my ability to do my job
      the guy at the sporting goods shop doesn't sell me a rifle and tell me I can't shoot wabbits

    12. james walsh says:

      health insurance is earned weather your employer pays all or part of it
      they should have no more right to restrict how it is used than they do your wages

    13. GAIL says:

      THE VERDICT/INDICTMENT ISSUED BY THE "SUPREMES" IS ANOTHER TRAMPLING OF OUR RELIGIOUS RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND A FURTHER "FEDERALLY MANDATED" THEFT OF OUR REMAINING FINANCIAL ABILITIES AND THE FURTHER CRIPPLING OF SMALL BUSINESS.

      CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS HAD THE POWER TO STRIKE DOWN AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL PIECE OF LEGISLATION AFFECTING 1/6/TH OF THE OF THE NATION'S WEALTH AND FAILED TO DO SO…….WHERE WILL HE FAIL US NEXT? IS THIS THE BEST THE NATION CAN DO AS A CHIEF JUSTICE? IF SO, WE'RE IN GREATER TROUBLE THAN I THOUGHT, WITH FAR MORE THAN OBAMA TO WORRY ABOUT!

    14. Tom Little says:

      This is a sad case of those with good intentions opening a Pandoras Box of Government Dependancy. We became a Great Country by discovering our individual ability to contribute to the greater good while improving our individual lot. If we are no longer about paying our own way, and expect that Government should be our keeper, expect Government to dictate lifestyles. Those that make the decisions for the masses will not only live as Elites, but will increasingly extract more of the cornucopia as the cost of that care. Shame on those who claim to want to help the downtrodden, only to subject them to lives as second class citizens, and abject slaves. Equal opportunity is only available for those who fight for it.

    15. Dr. Pete Kleff says:

      The majority decision by Chief Justice Roberts is at best strange. Perhaps he made a deal with the left on the Court: I'll vote for constitutionality, but you must agree the statute is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. If so, it was a deal with the devil.

      Roberts' opinion is correct regarding the Commerce Clause, but frankly strained regarding the Taxing Clause. Not even the Obama crew argued that point strongly. Obama himself has stated repeatedly there were no increased costs (i.e., taxes) in the statute. The opinion is strained intellectually. No, it is outright intellectually dishonest. In effect, the opinion would allow Congress to control an individual's decisions by simply imposing a penalty…oh, excuse me, a tax.

      It is an unfortunarte opinion which opens up Pandora's box wide. Congress can now do all kind of mischief under the guise of a tax scheme. Hello fascism. Shame on Roberts and woe to the future of the U.S.

    16. Charles says:

      The ruling by the court to uphold Obamacare because it deems any tax Congress wants to levy is permissible is mind boggling. The court has in essence taking away our 1st Amendment rights. Because the law allows the government to have access to your personal bank accounts, no one can opt out by not paying.

      If the people do not rise up against this and vote into office enough Constitutional Conservatives to repeal the law, there is no end to what this administration, as well as future progressive administrations, will be empowered to do. By cognitive extension, the 2nd amendment right to bear arms will be close behind. All they have to do is charge you enough tax on guns in your possession that you will be unable to keep them. The HHS secretary can deem guns as a health risk and make your premium so high because of the risk to your health (as well as others' health), that you will be forced to give your guns up.

      The domino effect has begun. It is time for us to stop it at the ballot box.

    17. Pete Houston says:

      Very disappointed in the outcome of the Supreme Court decision. It is clear the will of the people is being trampled on. Not all of us are good with that.

    18. historianMI says:

      It has been the fate of (small d) democratic societies throughout history to fade or be forced into, centralized, usually despotic, regimes. It will be interesting to see what the socialist president of France will do with his political powers during his tenure. It has not yet reached that level, but someone said that if a President has a friendly Congress and is able to pack the Supreme Court with cronies, there is no policy or law which could not be passed and declared constitutional. Nothing. Nothing, unless the people can mount a successful, (very unlikely),. revolution.

    19. leslie cahill says:

      The Chief Justice took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United State. He lied. He twisted law to make it fit. He made a tax. He also suffers from the Progressive disease, which seems to be catching in D.C.. He should be remembered in history as Benedict Roberts. This is a good reason to term limit Justices.
      How can one person have so much power to turn the US upside down, and throw the Consituion out the window. Maybe he is crazy or had a stroke, or on that day was mean spirited, or it was somekind of payback..

      I still cannot believe this!!!!!!!!!!.

    20. ZoiloG says:

      CJ Roberts showed conservatives the path to resolve this issue (as well as all other future issues) when he decided to uphold Obamacare on the basis of the constitutional provision of congressional power to tax – simply said: it is not for the court to decide if Obamacare if the right policy for Americans or not, it is up to the voters to decide that as elected officials who make such laws and policies (like the HHS mandate) can always be thrown out of office by majority vote on election day. Conservatives should take decisive action come November 6, 2012 and let their voices be heard. Let us elect officials (congressmen, senators, president, and even local officials like mayors and governors) who will support morally correct laws and policies.

      Now that CJ Roberts has shown his impartiality, he can more easily make decisions favoring the conservative positions like on the HHS mandate without being accused of towing the Republican political line. I fervently believe the HHS mandate will be rejected by CJ Roberts who understands the fundamental right of Americans to do according to their religious beliefs is at stake in this issue.

    21. Jack R says:

      We are now less free, less wealthy, and more socialist/communist.
      Those who have studied hard, worked hard, saved, lived according to the rules are now subject to rules made by those that are living off of other people's efforts. It will not be long until you will not be able to recognize the "GOOD OLD USA".
      WHAT A TRAVESTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    22. dougindeap says:

      I understand that some Catholics now think they and their religion are victims of the administration's implementation of the health care law and that the law forces employers to act contrary to their consciences. I think, though, that they have been duped by their bishops and are being used to serve the bishops' rather ordinary political aims. Notwithstanding the bishops' arm waving about religious liberty, the law does not force employers to act contrary to their consciences.

      Many initially worked themselves into a lather with the false idea that the law forces employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers consider immoral. The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government (which, by the way, would generally amount to far less than the cost of health plans). Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs. Problem solved. Solved–unless an employer really aims not just to avoid a moral bind, but rather to control his employees' health plan choices so they conform to the employer's religious beliefs rather than the law, and avoid paying the assessments that otherwise would be owed. For that, an employer would need an exemption from the law.

      Indeed, some have continued clamoring for such an exemption, complaining that by paying assessments to the government they would indirectly be paying for the very things they opposed. They seemingly missed that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to many taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of “their” tax dollars. Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for making war, providing health care, teaching evolution, or whatever else each of us may consider wrong or even immoral? If each of us could opt out of this or that law or tax with the excuse that our religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate.

      In any event, those complaining made enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking (yay!) and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required (yay!). Problem solved–again, even more.

      Nonetheless, some continue to complain, fretting that somehow the services they dislike will get paid for and somehow they will be complicit in that. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. They evidently believe that when they spend a dollar and it thus becomes the property of others, they nonetheless should have some say in how others later spend that dollar. One can only wonder how it would work if all of us could tag “our” dollars this way and control their subsequent use.

      The bishops are coming across more and more as just another special interest group with a big lobbying operation and a big budget—one, moreover, that is not above stretching the truth.

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