by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Following on the heels of a letter from the bishops of Kansas, some U.S. senators have criticized new U.S. Department of Health and Human Service mandates.
The rules implement part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
On Oct. 6, a group of 28 Republican senators — including Kansas’ Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran — sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. They asked her to redraft the Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services and to provide information relating to the creation and issuance of the mandates.
The senators criticized the new guidelines as a threat to constitutional rights to religious liberty and personal conscience. The senators accused HHS of failing its obligation to consider the ramifications of the guidelines and said the time allowed for public comment was too short. They expressed concerns about abortifacients in the mandates.
In their letter, senators included excerpts from the Kansas bishops’ Sept. 6 letter to Sebelius and criticized her characterization of public comments. “You seem to suggest that most religious persons had no concerns with any requirements that contraceptive services be included, but this hardly squares with the public feedback that we are hearing from religious persons and institutions,” wrote the senators.