Boozman: Mandate may make religious institutions disappear

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) took to the Senate floor today to voice his opposition to President Obama’s health care mandate that he says “fails to respect the conscience rights of religious institutions.”

“What this means in simple terms is that churches are exempt from the mandate, but institutions such as church-run universities, hospitals and non-profits must comply with the government regulation,” Boozman said in his speech. “Therefore, in order to continue to operate, these church-run institutions must violate the very beliefs that inspire them to care for the least among us. I would not be surprised to see many faith-based institutions disappear should this mandate move forward.”

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate Jan. 20 requiring almost all private health insurance policies, including those issued by religious institutions, to cover free sterilizations and contraceptives at no cost to policyholders.

Religious groups have been outraged by the requirement, arguing it unfairly forces people to choose between their health and their morals or religious values.

Boozman said this decision is based on Obama trying to protect his job “even if it means a blatant infringement on First Amendment rights.”

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