Andrew M. Grossman and Robert Rector at National Review Online say that the Obama administration’s recent decision to repeal, by executive fiat, the core of the welfare reform of 1996 (the work requirement) is illegal:

Section 407 establishes stand-alone work requirements for state welfare plans that brook no exceptions. And Section 407 is absent from the list of sections that the HHS secretary does have the authority to waive. That alone proves that Sebelius lacks any authority to waive the work requirements.

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Last August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new regulations requiring all “new health insurance plans” to provide contraceptives (among other things—“well-woman visits”?) “without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.”  A narrow religious exemption was made only for such employer as

(1) Has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose;
(2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets;
[and]
(3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets . . . .

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