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The Price Is Wrong: HHS Secretary Nominee’s Views On Religious Freedom Are Dangerous

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions wrapped up its hearing on Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education at 8:45 last night, and will be back at 10 this morning to hold another confirmation hearing. Up today: Trump’s pick for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.).

Is Discrimination The Price We’ll Pay For Trump’s HHS Secretary?

Today, President-elect Donald Trump named yet another troubling pick for his cabinet: he’s tapped U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  

HHS is responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as many vital social service programs including those for early-childhood education and adoption and foster care. While Price’s nomination will be controversial because of his clear desire to fully dismantle the ACA, those who support religious freedom should also have concerns.

New Birth Control Regulations Won’t Stem Religious Right Groups’ Attacks On Reproductive Health Care, Says Americans United

Far-Right Groups Are Determined To Curtail Access To Contraceptives, Church-State Watchdog Says

The Obama Administration today issued the latest in a series of regulations designed to ensure that Americans have access to affordable birth control, but the move isn’t likely to end litigation over the matter, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Protect Americans’ Access To Birth Control, Americans United Tells HHS

Church-State Watchdog Group Says No More Exemptions Are Needed To Health-Care Regulations

The federal government should protect Americans’ access to contraceptive coverage, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In comments submitted to HHS, Americans United urged the department to reject demands from conservative religious interest groups that seek to curb access to contraceptives under the guise of religious liberty.

Court Tosses Out Lawsuit Over Funds For Bishops

A federal appeals court has tossed out a lawsuit over religious restrictions placed on a federally funded program for victims of human trafficking.

In January, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said ACLU of Massachusetts v. Sebelius is moot because the federal government discontinued the Roman Catholic bishops’ control of the program in 2011.

Right Flank Attack: Theocrats Blast Lynn Over Birth Control Mandate

It doesn’t take a whole lot to get the Religious Right riled up, but it seems Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn really touched a nerve when he took the “radical” position of defending the rights of women to make their own decisions about their health care.

Speaking at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s “Women, Money, Power” summit in Washington, D.C. on March 29, Lynn said, “The Protestant Religious Right and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church today has no moral authority whatsoever to speak on the rights of women.”

Contracting Controversy: The Catholic Bishops Want To Get Paid – Even Though They Won’t Do The Job

Some of my friends in Washington are employed by firms that handle contracts for various federal agencies. It works like this: The department in question (Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, etc.) issues a document listing in detail what needs to be done, and companies compete to get the contract by explaining how they’ll do it and what they’ll charge.

If a company doesn’t come up with a convincing plan or ignores the department’s wants, it won’t win the contract. It’s that simple.

Bad Conscience: Obama Administration Rejects Oppressive Bush Medical Regulations

Last week, the Obama administration did something that didn’t capture much media attention but should have: It officially overturned a bad policy from the Bush years and issued a series of final regulations dealing with health care and the right of “conscience.”