The Religious Conscience Tax Begins Today
Today – August 1, 2012 – will go down in history as the day the U.S. government finally helped 50 million women obtain vital preventive and contraceptive care—for free—thus ending decades of needless and systematic deprivation of basic women’s rights.
At least, that’s the narrative being peddled by the left.
Yesterday, a host of Democratic senators and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined Washington’s liberal “think” tank crowd for a press conference to celebrate the myriad new gender specific “preventive” services employers will now be forced to offer coverage for without co-pay. Or as Sebelius has said: “New private health plans must cover the guidelines on women’s preventive services with no cost sharing in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012.”
For those unaware of the moment of peril at hand, today is the day the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service will begin compelling U.S. business owners to comply with a regulation Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promulgated in January, requiring employers to include in extant employee health plans abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, sterilizations, and dual breast pumping equipment.*
On Friday a small victory for conservatism was won when Judge John L. Kane took extraordinary judicial measures to prevent the regulation from applying to a family owned business in Colorado. Judge Kane’s temporary injunction means the Newman family, who happen to own Hercules Industries , will not have to choose whether to violate their religion by offering coverage for abortions to their employees—but only until the court has rendered its final decision.
Should the final verdict fall against the Newman family, the IRS will have license to fine Hercules unto oblivion, or into compliance. The fines, which will increase should a business be fortunate enough to grow, are designed to encourage compliance – compliance with a rule contained not in the 2,700 pages of the Affordable Care Act, but buried in the 10,000 pages of regulations promulgated since Congress dumped a steaming pile of health care legislation on President Barack Obama’s desk on the spring of 2010.
The rule in question offers religious business owners a stark choice: comply with law by providing employees with health insurance plans that include abortion-inducing drugs or face litigation, fines, fees, and all manner of federally-directed regulation, coercion, and ostracism. In practice, the HHS abortion coverage mandate amounts to a tax on individuals who prefer to—and have for decades—run businesses according to religious principle. The Newman family also has the option to cease providing healthcare insurance altogether—that is permissible under the Obama-Sebelius regime.
The following flow chart will help elucidate the decision the central government is foisting upon the Newman’s, as well as every other religious business owner, as of August 1, 2012:
August 1, 2012 – The HHS and the IRS command you to modify your current employee insurance plan to include abortive, sterilizations, and dual breast pump devices.
Obey your God
If you choose to obey your God, you must:
1.) Pay a fine to the IRS/HHS that will render your business uncompetitive and eventually insolvent
2.) Cease providing employee health insurance entirely thus upturning the lives and families of your employees.
Obey your Obama-Sebelius
If you choose to obey your Obama-Sebelius, you must:
3.) Engage in business activity that facilitates and encourages violations of your religious teaching including the termination of unborn life.
Here’s the catch: every single one of those scenarios advances—was designed to advance—the Obama-Sebelius final solution.
Option 1, you religious business owners stomach the new fines on faith. Great, new revenue for entitlements and social spending.
Option 2, Fabulous. In government run care, the more the merrier the misery!
And, as for Option 3, well that was really the end destination all along, for Options 1 and 2 are not really options, but punishments designed to encourage strict adherence to liberal conceptions of what is good and what is right.
The Obama administration is charging forward with a regulation that presents not a threat to religious liberty, but a promise.
It’s a promise that if employers refuse to comply with the Obama administration’s secular commandments viz a vis the operation of their family owned businesses, then their businesses will be leveled by fines on faith.
*Yes, dual breast pumping equipment is among the new benefits the government is touting:
Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive measures mothers can take to protect their health and that of their children. One of the barriers for breastfeeding is the cost of purchasing or renting breast pumps and nursing related supplies. (Emphasis mine; however did women breast feed before Obama-Sebelius told them how and gave them the equipment.)