Press Releases and Correspondence
Reckoning and Resolve: The Obama HHS Mandate
August 01, 2012
Reckoning and Resolve: A Statement of the Catholic Medical Association on the Obama HHS Mandate
On August 1, 2012, President Obama’s HHS mandate took effect. We cannot let this day pass without a reckoning of what has been lost and without a statement of resolve to restore our freedom, rights, and security.
President Obama’s mandate constitutes a raw use of political power to subsidize services and organizations to which his Administration is ideologically committed. This intrusive, unprecedented mandate from the federal government:
- Was founded upon agenda-driven rulemaking and a misleading process of policy formation, at odds with the language and congressional intent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
- Improperly defines and promotes as "preventive," services that are at best elective and controversial, that undermine the very goals of preventive medicine, and that have demonstrably failed as public policy; and
- Will raise health insurance premiums for all rather than reduce the cost of health care.
Because President Obama’s HHS mandate defines abortion-causing drugs, contraception, and sterilization for women as “preventive” services, and demands full subsidy of their cost by all Americans:
- The beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, and Muslims have been blatantly trampled upon and their religious freedom has been violated. The beliefs and institutions of the Catholic Church in particular have been attacked and undermined;
- A new definition of “religious employer” -- and of religion itself -- is being imposed by regulatory fiat. If this definition stands as public policy, countless religious institutions will be forced to abandon their beliefs or be driven from the public square, despite their constitutional rights and despite decades of service to America. Moreover, the religious freedom and conscience rights of individual American citizens and business owners have now been subjected to an unprecedented attack;
- Abortion drugs, contraception, and sterilization will be channeled to millions of young people, increasingly without their parents’ knowledge and consent;
- The practice of authentic medicine and the rights of faithful and pro-life healthcare professionals are now more likely to be undermined by a federal government demonstrably hostile to conscience rights, religious freedom, and religious institutions.
That President Obama’s administration could execute such a destructive mandate, completely at odds with centuries of law and public policy in America and against public opinion, illustrates its determination to impose its will and ideology on American society.
That Americans would tolerate this attack on religious freedom is due in some measure to the political skills of the Obama administration, abetted by the mainstream media, but also to a dangerous complacency among American citizens regarding their most fundamental constitutional and human rights.
That the Obama administration's has had success, to date, in imposing the HHS mandate reveals the failure of Catholics and Christians to adequately evangelize our families and our culture with the Gospel and, in particular, with the good news of God’s plan for human love and life.
The Catholic Medical Association hereby resolves:
- To support our bishops, priests, and religious in their public witness against this mandate and to oppose it ourselves by every appropriate means available to us as American citizens;
- To take a leadership role in educating our fellow Catholics, neighbors, and citizens about the destructive consequences of President Obama’s HHS mandate and, in particular, its negative effects on women's health and on the doctor-patient relationship;
- To provide resources and support to our fellow Catholic physicians and health-care professionals; and
- To redouble our efforts to offer health care services that respect the teachings of the Church on life and love and that truly serve the health and well-being of patients and their families.
The Board of Directors of the Catholic Medical Association
Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America. For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.
CONTACT: John Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L., Executive Director & Ethicist