(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Friday that he supports eliminating as soon as possible a new regulation that forces individuals to buy – and institutions to provide – health insurance plans that cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that induce abortions.
Catholic bishops are arguing that this regulation violates their freedom of religion as it forces Catholic-run hospitals, charities and universities to go against the commandments of their faith and provide services Catholicism defines as evil.
“On August 1st a part of the healthcare bill takes effect in requiring health care plans to cover sterilizations and including contraceptives that induce abortions. Should the Republican House insist on language in Fiscal Year 2013 funding bills that prohibit funding of this legislation?” CNSNews.com asked Rohrabacher.
“We should do everything we can to as quickly as possible remove any of the mandates and structure that were set up by under the title of Obamacare. The fact is that by its very nature and by the fact that it’s controlling decisions that weren’t controlled before by the federal government, we are bound to make decisions that people don’t want but also decisions that large numbers of people think are immoral,” Rohrabacher replied.
“And it is, it is wrong to force someone who believes that abortion is the taking of a human life, to force them in some way to pay for it or to have to participate in a health care system that provides for that service. But of course when you are talking about these federal planners who are going to make our world perfect, I guess they know better for us,” he added.
“But to answer your question directly, we need to eliminate those provisions ASAP, as soon as it is legislatively possible they should be eliminated from the books,” Rohrabacher said.
CNSNews.com: “Would you support putting in a specific provision right now for the …”
Rohrabacher: “Any way that we could do it.”
CNSNews.com: “Any way?”
Rohrabacher: “Any way that will accomplish that goal as soon as possible.”
Congress does have the ability to stop the regulation right now through the appropriation power granted them by the Constitution.
Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states:
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
This means that Congress can prohibit Health and Human Services from implementing the regulation by denying funding for it. Congress can do this through inserting language into HHS funding bills. They can say something like:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds made available in this or any other Act may be used to implement any provision in a rule if that provision requires mandatory coverage of sterilizations and birth control within health care plans.”
Effectively this would kill the regulation even if it is still on the books.
Congress regularly defunds regulations it disagrees with. In 2011, Congress used this ability to protect businesses that produce animal manure from EPA restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.