I am writing to update you on my efforts to protect American religious freedoms.
One of the cornerstones of our society is the religious liberty guaranteed to everyone by the Constitution. Under President Obama's healthcare law, the Department of Health and Human Services will require that all health plans, including those sponsored by religious organizations, provide birth control as a free preventive service. This would include religious hospitals and universities. President Obama's healthcare law is an astonishing attack on the First Amendment and religious freedoms in our country.
I am a co-sponsor of S. 1467, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. The bill amends the health care law by allowing health plans to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor offering the plan or the purchaser without penalty. Similar legislation, S. 2043, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was introduced recently by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Additionally, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on February 8, 2012, that the House would move quickly to block this rule. I look forward to supporting this effort if it is brought before the full Senate for a vote.
Please know that I will continue to fight for our religious liberties and the ultimate repeal of President Obama's bad healthcare policy.
John Barrasso, M.D.
United States Senator