HHS MANDATE – OVERVIEW

Most people are aware of the recent HHS Mandate regarding contraception. One side of the debate argues for women’s rights. The other side stresses religious freedom. Although I do have a very strong opinion, the purpose of this article is to go behind the specific topic and explain how mandates are made.

Up until Affordable Care Act, all mandates of insurance were done on a State level. They were completed as part of the legislative process. If people wanted to change what is covered by insurance, a bill would be drafted and debated. Once it passed both houses of Congress in the State and received the Governor’s signature, the Insurance Companies would have to comply with the mandate as law.

With the passage of the Health Care Reform Act, the Director of Health and Human Services (HHS), could declare a mandate that would become law. The process is certainly quicker than the prior process. It also skips the public discussion or debate. This reminds me that the actions of any totalitarian process is faster than democracy.

No matter which side you are on in the current debate, the fact is that the Government under the Health and Human Services now determines mandates. As is seen in the current case, it can be done arbitrarily. Maybe you like this mandate, maybe you don’t. The fact is that the next one will also come without a democratic process.

Without a change we can anticipate political favors being distributed through mandates of one unelected individual, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, no matter which party is in power. This makes me uncomfortable.

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