Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released the following statement regarding two cases currently before the Supreme Court involving religious objections to ObamaCare’s HHS mandate and the rights of family-owned businesses:
“Our nation’s forefathers guaranteed the right to free exercise of religion in the First Amendment, yet ObamaCare is being used to trample those rights by forcing people of faith to choose between violating deeply-held religious beliefs or being punished with astronomical fines. Up until this point, this Administration has exempted more than 100 million from the H.H.S. mandate for political and commercial reasons while refusing to recognize the conscientious objections of the families who run these companies, countless non-profit organizations, and charities. This is a shameful attack on religious freedom, and it is my hope and prayer that the Supreme Court rules to restore First Amendment rights for all affected.”
The families involved in the current cases have expressed religiously-held objections to just four of the most controversial drugs and devices that are required under the Department of Health and Human Services (H.H.S.) mandate. If the companies were to cover all but the objectionable drugs, they would be subject to fines of $36,500 per employee per year. If they were to drop health coverage for employees altogether, fines would equal just $2,000 per employee per year.
A narrow exemption from the H.H.S. mandate has been issued for churches but would not extend to religious schools, hospitals, charities, and family businesses.