I applaud the bill Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) has put before the House of Representatives, the one endorsed earlier today by the CatholicVote Legislative Team. Not only because it seeks to restore religious liberty in this country, but because it will do so for all persons of religious conviction and not just those who operate explicitly religious institutions.
According to The Hill:
Sensenbrenner’s bill would erase the taxes faced by employers who choose not to cover certain healthcare benefits “by reason of adherence to a religious belief or moral conviction.”
If the bill means what the plain language of that paragraph and quotation means, it will eliminate the HHS mandate for all employers, not just the explicitly religious.
The bishops have spoken up about this, and CatholicVote has filed a lawsuit on behalf of this cause, but the HHS mandate does not only affect institutions like schools and hospitals and Catholic Charities and other organizations that are explicitly religious but are not a house of worship (and therefore are not exempt from the HHS mandate)—it affects mom and pop shops too: the ones that make things and sell things and do things that are not in any way religious. Those moms and pops have been in limbo wondering what they can do to continue doing right by their employees but to do so without violating their consciences.
The CV lawsuit is making its way through the system; hopefully this legislation will make that suit unnecessary.