National Catholic Reporter

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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

USCCB: New rules to opt out of HHS mandate still unsatisfactory

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday urged the federal government "to reconsider" its new rules to allow religious institutions -- and potentially some for-profit companies -- to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

On Aug. 22, the Obama administration issued rules it described as a "work around" to offer religious employers who are not exempt from the mandate a new way to opt out of coverage they find morally objectionable.

The rules also provide some for-profit companies a way to opt out.

USCCB: Government report 'confirms' suspicions about Affordable Care Act abortion coverage

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement Tuesday saying a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office "confirms" the bishops' suspicions about abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

"Despite repeated claims by President Obama and other supporters that the ACA would not promote abortion," the statement reads, "the report identified over a thousand health plans eligible for federal premium subsidies that cover elective abortions."

HHS tries new modifications to contraceptive coverage rules

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Late last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a new round of modifications to a federal mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptive care to employees under the Affordable Care Act.

In keeping with modifications past (this is the eighth), the new rules have triggered yet another dustup in the ongoing fight between religious liberty advocates and the Obama administration, even as their effects remain unclear.

Obama administration says it plans opt-out alternative on mandate

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The Obama administration has filed a brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver indicating it plans to develop an alternative for Catholic and other religious nonprofit employers to opt out of providing federally mandated contraceptives they object to including in their employee health care coverage.

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