Cato Video •

Will Obamacare Trump Religious Organizations?

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Two years ago, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court ruled that regulations implementing Obamacare’s “preventive care” mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) for certain closely held corporations. Religious schools, charities, and the like were instead offered an “accommodation”: These employers had to give the government information about their insurers and sign forms allowing their health plan to provide contraceptives. The only justification for this differential treatment was that employees of organizations that aren’t houses of worship are less likely to share their employer’s faith. In other words, HHS refused to exempt people who work for groups like Little Sisters of the Poor — a group of nuns who vow obedience to the Pope! — because they’re less committed to a religious mission. Thus the Supreme Court has taken up the issue of whether the contraceptive mandate and its “accommodation” violate RFRA by forcing religious nonprofits to act in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs when the government has not proven that this compulsion is the least restrictive means of advancing any compelling interest.

Lori Windham