Sen. Lee on Obamacare: ‘Morally Unacceptable...to Allow This Law to Continue to be Implemented’

September 12, 2013 - 5:35 PM
Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah)

Sen. Mike Lee (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah), who has been a leading advocate for Congress to prohibit funding for Obamacare, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that it would be “morally unacceptable” for Congress to vote for the funding to allow Obamacare to continue to be implemented.

Lee also said he believes that Obamacare, as the administration is planning to implement it, violates the freedom of religion by forcing individuals to buy health insurance plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so is against the teachings of their faith.

Lee’s assertion on funding Obamacare, and thus allowing the administration to continue to implement it, came in response to a question about whether he believed it was morally acceptable for Congress to vote to give the administration the money to implement an Obamacare regulation that will force Christians and other Americans to buy coverage for abortion-inducing drugs or to provide Americans with subsidies they can use to buy health plans that cover abortions.

“Do you think it is morally acceptable for members of Congress to vote to give money to the administration to force Christians to act against their faith by providing abortion coverage and to force all Americans to subsidize abortions through insurance plans? Is that morally acceptable?” CNSNews.com asked.

“No,” said Lee. “No, and for a whole host of reasons it is morally unacceptable, and unacceptable as a matter of public policy, to allow this law to continue to be implemented.”

The continuing resolution (CR) that is now funding the government will expire on Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year. For the government to be funded after that date, Congress must pass a new CR or other appropriations legislation. Lee has called for the Republican-majority House to include language in that new funding legislation to prohibit the implementation of Obamacare.

In an interview in July, Lee told CNSNews.com that he was drafting an amendment to attach to the CR when it came to the Senate that would in fact do that.

Here is the transcript from the part of Lee’s interview today with CNSNews.com in which he explained why he believes it would be “morally unacceptable” to vote to fund Obamacare:

Jeffrey: I want to ask a question about the morality of this. A lot of people talk about the public policy. I want to ask a question about the morality.

As you know, there is a regulation—the preventive services regulation—under Obamacare, issued by HHS, that says virtually all health-care plans in the United States must cover artificial contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, which many Christians and people of other religious denominations just think are immoral—to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Catholics also believe that sterilizations and contraceptives are immoral.

In addition to that, Obamacare will allow people to take federal subsidies, if they earn under 400 percent of the poverty level, go into the government-run exchanges and purchase health insurance plans that in fact cover abortion and quite literally pay abortionists to perform abortion.

Do you think it is morally acceptable for members of Congress to vote to give money to the administration to force Christians to act against their faith by providing abortion coverage and to force all Americans to subsidize abortions through insurance plans? Is that morally acceptable?

Lee: No. No. No, and for a whole host of reasons it is morally unacceptable, and unacceptable as a matter of public policy, to allow this law to continue to be implemented.

I mean, look, from the Independent Payment and Advisory Board being given basically legislative authority that it may exercise without Congress’s assent, making all kinds of decisions, turning itself into what some have characterized as a death panel, to the contraceptive and abortifacient mandates that you referred to, this law and its implementing regulations are just chock-full of all kinds of things that the American people have problems with.

And, I should tell you, this should not be surprising to us. This is just what happens when government gets too big, when government gets too expensive, when the American people find that too much of the power of government has been delegated to people who are neither elected by voters nor accountable to the voters at any point.

These are the kinds of things that happen when the American people lose control of their government. And, I can tell you, if Obamacare kicks in, we will to an increasing degree start to lose control of our government.

Jeffrey: The Catholic bishops of the United States last year unanimously approved a statement that called that particular preventive services regulation an “unjust and illegal mandate” and a “violation of personal civil rights.” Do you agree that Obamacare, as it is going to be implemented, will violate both the free exercise of religion and the right to life?

Lee: “In many, many circumstances as it’s applied I think it could well do that.

Jeffrey: It could well or it does?

Lee: [Inaudible]

Jeffrey: If you force Christians to act against their faith and purchase a health-care plan that covers abortion-inducing drugs, does that violate their free exercise of religion?

Lee: Yes, I think it does, particularly in light of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as it applies to the actions of the federal government is still intact, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s holding in City of Boerne vs. Flores. And what the Religious Freedom Restoration Act says is that actions like that that interfere with somebody’s free exercise of religion are proscribed, even if they are in the form of a general applicable religiously neutral law like--

Jeffrey: Here you have the federal government expressly forcing an individual to act against the explicit teachings of his faith.

Lee: Right, and if you don’t provide an exception there then you have violated that person’s religious freedom. And that’s a problem.

Jeffrey: And because this regulation is in place, and the element that is enforced on individuals has not been modified in anyway, members of Congress who vote for implementing this and funding this are voting to give the government money to violate the freedom of religion of Americans. Is that correct?

Lee: Yes, I think that is a fair statement.

Jeffrey: And do you think it is morally acceptable for members of any party in Congress to vote to fund the government to attack the freedom of religion of Americans?

Lee: No, and so this is one of many, many reasons why I think we should vote to fund government, fund everything else in government, but not Obamacare.

Watch CNSNews.com's entire interview with Sen. Lee here: