Catholic Bishops call Biden out for lying about HHS mandate
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a little peeved at Vice President Biden who told this whopper during the debate on Thursday night:
"With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution-Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital-none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact."
The USCCB begs to differ:
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain "religious employers." That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to "Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital," or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional "accommodation" for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as "non-exempt." That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation "to pay for contraception" and "to be a vehicle to get contraception." They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
The bishops wouldn't be suing the government over the mandate if what Biden said was true. The way the administration has played fast and loose with the truth when trying to obscure the attack on freedom of religion the mandate represents is truly despicable and for all the talk about "lying" by Romney-Ryan, this fish story takes first prize for extreme prevarication in service to a narrative.