Last night in the Vice Presidential debate, America's Rain Man, Joe Biden made a rather astonishing claim about the Obamacare mandate that martyrs religious freedom in favor of sexual gratification:
"With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact."
Of course this is a lie. As I pointed out last week, this was one of the dangers facing Paul Ryan. Ryan is a decent man who was prepped for the debate by another decent man. Decent men tend to expect their opponents to be honorable and not us barefaced lies as an argumentation technique.
As Ryan pointed out, this is rather a distinction without a difference. They don't have to pay for contraception, but they do have to carry health insurance policies that are legally required to cover contraceptive services. The fact that these services are baked-in expenses rather than add-ons means nothing.
This prompted the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to issue a press release today challenging nominal Catholic Joe Biden on this egregious lie. This is unprecedented in the history of presidential debates. Responding to his laughably false "That is a fact" statement:
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain "religious employers." That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to "Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital," or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional "accommodation" for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as "non-exempt." That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation "to pay for contraception" and "to be a vehicle to get contraception." They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
I've also drawn some comment from the left for my avowed intent to ban anyone who quotes a media "Fact Checker" in any post on this site. So how do they treat this incident?
The shameless Democrat shills and bootlicks at Politifact didn't even bother to rate this howler.
The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler finds "there are still unsettled issues in this matter" despite acknowledging precisely what Paul Ryan said:
The Obama administration made a decision to fully exempt religious institutions such as churches from this rule. It also said it will exempt religiously affiliated organizations such as Catholic schools and hospitals, but their insurance providers must still cover birth control with no out-of-pocket costs for the insured.
This is incredible. The Vice President tells a brazen lie, a lie he is called on by the organization representing the Catholic bishops in the United States and the media refuses to even acknowledge.