Thank you for contacting me regarding provisions in the health care law, specifically the Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. It is good to hear from you, and I appreciate you letting me know how you feel.
As you may know, two bills have been introduced in the Senate that provide conscience protections for individuals or entities who opt not to participate in contraceptive services on the basis of their religious beliefs. While I understand and respect the importance of protecting access to women's health coverage, I do not believe that the federal government should implement mandates that require Americans to provide services that are contrary to their moral convictions.
S. 2043, the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012," of which I am cosponsor, was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions o n January 30, 2012. If passed, this legislation would ensure conscience protections for all individuals and entities that opt not to offer, provide, or purchase coverage for a contraceptive or sterilization service on the basis of their religious beliefs. This legislation would also remove regulations in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; P.L. 111-148) that impose a fine or penalty on individuals or entities on the basis of a religiously based decision not to offer, provide, or purchase coverage for a contraceptive or sterilization service.
Additionally, I am a cosponsor of S. 1467, the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011," which would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; P.L. 111-148) to allow the provider or beneficiary of a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and/or services that are contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of that individual. These plans would still be considered qualified health plans under the law and therefore not be eligible for penalty. It would also prevent government entities from discriminating against a health plan, sponsor, or provider who chooses not to perform a service because of religious convictions.
As the Senate continues the debate on this issue, I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind. Although we may disagree on these questions and this legislation, I am grateful that you contacted me, and I hope you will continue to provide me with the benefit of your insight on this matter and other legislation of concern to you that may come before the Senate.I'm morally against unmarried men having access to Viagra for the purpose of non-procreative sex. Think I could get the good Senator to co-sponsor a bill denying unmarried men or married men who are not interested in fathering more children access to the drug?