Camille testified today before Washington state’s Senate Health Care Committee in opposition to a bill that would force nonprofits like Healing the Culture to subsidize drugs that cause early abortions.
Watch her testimony below, or read the transcript below that.
“Thank you, Madam Chair, and members of the Committee.
My name is Camille Pauley. I serve as President and CEO of Healing the Culture. We are a small, non-profit organization based in Snohomish County, founded in 2003. We have four full-time employees.
Our organization develops and implements educational programs that promote greater respect for human life. We have a particular focus on protecting the most vulnerable in society, including unborn children, the disabled, and the frail elderly.
The coercive mandate contained in HB 1523 violates the very core principles upon which our organization was founded. HB 1523 imposes a “one size fits all” mandate that forces every health plan in the state to pay for drugs and devices that cause early abortions.
Like many small non-profit organizations, Healing the Culture does not offer a group health insurance benefit for our employees. It’s not like we haven’t thought about it. I think it’s a benefit that almost every employer wants to offer. Among other positive attributes, it’s very useful for attracting the best employees in a competitive job market.
But the hurdles for a small non-profit are considerable. Certainly, a big factor is the cost of health insurance – and one of the big drivers of increased costs are government mandates. Government is very good at demanding that this or that service be covered. Politicians get to look good because they can show people how much they care – but of course all this caring and compassion gets paid for with other people’s money. With my money.
Another factor is the difficulty at finding a health care plan that doesn’t violate our values as an organization. Already in this state, it is difficult to find health plans that do not include coverage for surgical abortion, or drugs that cause early abortions. We do not wish to subscribe to such coverage, because it essentially means that our dollars are being used to subsidize practices that violate our conscience
This legislation, HB 1523, takes a bad situation and makes it infinitely worse. The so-called religious exemptions contained in this bill are worthless for our organization. My organization is not a church. We are not a subsidiary of a church. There is no accommodation for us. We simply must pay for health insurance that violates our principles – or we can just choose not to offer health coverage at all.
Please vote against HB 1523. This bill doesn’t do one thing to help me provide health care for my employees. Like so many solutions advanced in government, it strikes me as being heavy in politically correct symbolism, while doing little to solve the real problems faced by both employers and employees in the health care marketplace. Thank you.”