The decision last week by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reject the appeals of scores of religious leaders and retain a very narrow “religious” exemption from Obamacare’s so-called contraception mandate has ignited an uproar among Catholic leaders, as well it should — because it’s hard to fathom a government dictate more offensive than this one.
Here’s how we got where we are: Obamacare includes within its massive delegation of power to the federal government the authority to define what constitutes “preventive services” that must be covered by all health-insurance plans sold and purchased in the United States, including plans sponsored by employers. Services defined by HHS as preventive for purposes of this provision are required under the new law to be covered by the insurer or employer with no charge to the insurance plan’s enrollees.
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