The State of California has gone beyond the Obama administration’s HHS Mandate and now requires health insurance coverage for abortions for any reason even for religious institutions.
The California Catholic Conference has filed a federal lawsuit against the recent state ruling. Here’s the story from the Catholic News Service:
The Department of Managed Health Care issued its administrative ruling after abortion advocacy groups complained when Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University altered their health insurance plans this year to exclude voluntary abortion coverage. …
The state Department of Managed Health Care’s Aug. 22 letter to the heads of eight different health insurance plans ordered them to amend their current health plans and remove any exclusions regarding voluntary abortions on the basis that abortion for any reason was "basic health care" and could not be excluded. The directive was issued to Aetna, Anthem/Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, GEM Care, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare.
<Read the whole article>
Response: Leave it to California to go one step beyond trumping religious rights in the progressive name of abortion. In a letter of complaint from the Calif. Catholic Conference included the following response:
"For the first time in California — indeed, for the first time anywhere in the United States — health plans are now required, as a matter of regulatory fiat, to cover all legal abortions, even late-term abortions, for any reason."
Interestingly the Conference is expecting the Obama HHS to respond negatively to the DMHC action and maybe even withhold federal funds due to the provisions of the 2005 Weldon bill:
"None of the funds available in this act may be made available to a federal agency or program, or to a state or local government, if such agency, program, or government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions."
The Catholic Conference would seem to have a valid point and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Meanwhile this is another example where freedom of religion and conscience is being compromised in America in spite of a Constitution that is suppose to guarantee that no government action is taken against it. *Top