(1) Conscience Denial: The Department of Health and Human Services on Feb. 15 finalized its mandate that all health insurance plans include coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization procedures, and contraceptives. The mandate allows no exception for church-affiliated schools, hospitals and charities whose religious principles conflict with the mandate. To date, 42 lawsuits representing more than 110 plaintiffs have been filed challenging this restriction on religious liberty as a violation of First Amendment.
As busy as regulators were in 2012, don't look for them to rest next year. Already in the pipeline are dozens of new rules covering health care, finance, global warming and more. It is anybody's guess who will win next year's prize. The only safe bet is that consumers will lose.
Diane Katz is research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, where James Gattuso is senior research fellow in regulatory policy.
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