In Joe Biden’s America, the government will decide how employers structure health care plans, regardless of an employer’s religious beliefs.
That was the bottom line Biden expressed after Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling affirming a Trump administration policy that provided a broad exception to Obamacare’s mandate which required employers to fund contraceptives as part of health insurance, according to Fox News.
Past court rulings involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns, and Hobby Lobby, had supported an exemption to Obamacare that covered groups with religious affiliations and some private companies. Wednesday’s ruling upheld the Trump administration’s broad exemption to the Obamacare mandate.
Biden did not approve.
“As disappointing as the Supreme Court’s ruling is, there is a clear path to fixing it: electing a new President who will end Donald Trump’s ceaseless attempts to gut every aspect of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.”
Biden said the court was putting women at risk by siding with the Trump administration.
“Health care is a right that should not be dependent on race, gender, income or zip code. Yet as a result of today’s decision, countless women are at risk of losing access to affordable, preventive care,” he said.
Biden said the policy developed when he was vice president was good enough.
“The accommodation will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator,” he said.
That so-called accommodation allowed religious-based charities to avoid paying for contraceptives, but simply shifted the cost to the states.
The Trump campaign jabbed Biden after the court ruling.
“Joe Biden’s decade-long war against Catholic nuns and the Little Sisters of the Poor is finally over. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a landmark win for religious liberty. Unlike Joe Biden, President Trump has been a staunch defender of religious freedom since taking office and will always fight to defend communities of faith,” said Ali Pardo, the Trump 2020 deputy communications director.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement saying the ruling was a win for religious freedom.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a big win for religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Almost a decade ago, the Obama administration attempted to force employers, including religious nonprofits like the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns, to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, in violation of their religious beliefs,” she said.
“Twice before in this ongoing saga, the Supreme Court has blocked these overly rigid and misguided efforts and sided with religious freedom. Today, it has once again vindicated the conscience rights of people of faith,” she said.
“Since Day One, the Trump Administration has sought to lift burdens on religious exercise for people of all faiths,” she said.
McEnany said the administration is showing it can be pro-woman and also support religious freedom.
“This Administration will continue working to protect healthcare, including contraceptive healthcare, for the American people. Unlike the last administration, however, we have the courage of our convictions:
“We are allowing women who lack access to contraceptive coverage because of their employer’s religious beliefs or moral convictions to more easily access such care through the Title X program at little to no cost. Ensuring that women receive the healthcare they need does not require banishing religious groups that refuse to surrender their beliefs from the public square.”
One commentator said the court appears to be solidly behind religious freedom.
“The majority of justices on the Supreme Court have increasingly treated religious liberty rights as of greater importance and weight than other fundamental constitutional and civil rights,” Katherine Franke, a law professor at Columbia University, said, according to The Hill.
“When they are asked to adjudicate conflicts between religious liberty and other fundamental rights, they have consistently ruled that religious liberty supersedes other rights.”
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