House Continuing Resolution 35 opposes the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate that religious organization provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs at no charge to their employees. It passed by a vote of 56-38 (a listing of yeas/nays, with representatives from our area in bold, is at the bottom).
The resolution urges the "President of the United States to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to rescind the rule that would force an employer to offer health insurance coverage that violates the employer's religious beliefs or moral convictions." It also asks members of Congress to enact the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act" (H.R. 1179 and S. 1467).
What I find amazing is that this was a mostly party-line vote with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. I would think that ALL state legislators would oppose the intrusion on states rights that this mandate represents.
As I've previously written:
For years, individual states have determined what insurance companies operating within their borders must provide. Some states, like Ohio, mandate certain mental health coverage. Other states have different criteria. The differences between the state mandates means that some states have lower health insurance costs than others.
This is one of the primary reasons why so many have pushed for the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines.
In presenting his compromise, President Obama is now dictating coverage to the insurance companies. The federal government has not just violated the Constitution - they have usurped the authority of the states, which had exercised exclusive authority over the coverage provided within their borders.
This further erosion of the power of the states, overtaken by the power of the centralized government, is exactly what our founders warned against and set up a structure to avoid.
But, as far as I can tell, virtually no one is talking about this aspect. And I believe it is clearly the more dangerous one.
I can't help but wonder if the vote would have been different had the resolution focused on the exclusive authority of the states (or the people, per the Tenth Amendment) to determine such things, rather than the federal government.
But then again, I've seen too many state legislators across the nation (from both sides of the aisle) willingly abdicate the rights of their states in order to advance their national political agenda.
Sadly, the politics are more important to them than the Constitution and the fact that our Ohio representatives did not focus on this important infringement means that further violations of the Tenth (and other) Amendments cannot be far behind.
***Side Note: As one of my Smart Girl Politics friends commented:
The lunkheads who are promoting this bill in the Ohio legislature need to have someone explain to them that we already HAVE a religious liberty resolution. It's called the First Amendment.
Those voting in favor of H.C.R. 35:
Those voting against: