The Hill is reporting that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has introduced a bill that would roll back a recent decision by the Obama administration to require that insurance providers — with the exception of religious employers — cover birth control as a preventive service. Rubio is among a small group of legislators that receives money from a Catholic group that has been opposed to the mandate for some time.
The birth control mandate, which has been championed by women’s health advocates, means that women who have health insurance will not have to pay a co-payment for their birth control. For many women, steep co-payments for birth control have become unaffordable.
One of the most vocal opponents of the decision since it was first announced, the Catholic Church, has said it will continue to fight the decision.
The Hill reports that Rubio has introduced legislation to overturn the decision. According to the publication:
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S. 2043, would roll back the Department of Health and Human Service’s mandate earlier this month that requires health plans, beginning Aug. 1, to cover birth control without a co-pay or a deductible.
Rubio blasted the administration for ignoring people’s right to oppose birth-control coverage on religious grounds.
“The Obama administration’s obsession with forcing mandates on the American people has now reached a new low by violating the conscience rights and religious liberties of our people,” Rubio said.
“Under this president, we have a government that has grown too big, too costly and now even more overbearing by forcing religious entities to abandon their beliefs. This is a common-sense bill that simply says the government can’t force religious organizations to abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith because the government says so.”
The Catholic Advocate PAC was among the many Catholic groups that voiced opposition to the administration’s plans. The group launched ads last October attacking the president for the decision.
A group that is affiliated with Catholic Advocate PAC, the Catholic Advocate Candidate Fund, has ties to Rubio. The group, according to its website, helps “elect pro-life, pro-family candidates through direct support to endorsed candidates, ‘bundled donations’ from members of the Catholic Advocate community that are sent to the candidates, and select independent campaign activities to help turn out the vote for pro-life, pro-family candidates.” Rubio is among the handful of endorsed candidates by the group that receives those bundled donations.