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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY– As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) begins its Spring General Assembly, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is expressing his support of religious freedoms in health care.
The USCCB has filed a dozen lawsuits against a mandate of the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to offer free birth control to employees of religiously-affiliated organizations. While the “compromise” shifted the financial burden from religious employers to insurance companies, the bishops still feel that their religious convictions are under attack.
“Religious freedom is a basic constitutional right granted by our founding fathers and paid for by the sacrifice of millions of veterans. We must stand up and protect liberties threatened by Obamacare mandates that contradict religious doctrine,” Doak said. “The federal government shouldn’t force anyone to violate their religious convictions. I fully support the bishops in their quest to protect religious beliefs.”
Commissioner Doak was the only insurance commissioner to stand up for Oklahoma values and religious liberties at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) meeting in March. Doak introduced a resolution that called for the NAIC to condemn the free birth control mandate, but the proposed resolution failed to pass out of committee.
“I was disappointed that the resolution failed but I will never be ashamed of making a public stand for my beliefs and the rights of citizens,” Doak said.
Oklahoma City cardiologist Dr. Dominic Pedulla applauds Doak’s mission to protect religious freedom.
“Catholic health providers all over the country are deeply disturbed about a federal mandate that would force them, as well as other employers, to provide services they deem immoral, not to mention being harmful to women, marriages and family, such as contraceptives, sterilization and abortion by various means,” Dr. Pedulla said. “They intend to stand with the Catholic bishops and resist this violation of liberty of conscience.”
The USCCB is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that makes decisions on issues that affect U.S. Catholics. It meets June 13-15 in Atlanta.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
For more information contact:
Brian King, Public Information Manager