ETBU’s battle against the HHS Mandate put forth by the government continues, due to the Obama Admin-istration’s failure to draft an acceptable exemption for reli-gious organizations.Passed in 2010, as part of the universal health insur-ance reform, all group health plans must provide ‘preven-tive services’ to female policy holders, paid for by the group health plans themselves. In this stipulation, the HHS Mandate requires that “all Food and Drug Administra-tion approved contraceptive methods, sterilization pro-cedures, and patient educa-tion and counseling for all women with reproductive ca-pacity” be provided. ETBU has since entered into a legal battle against the HHS Man-date, taking issue with the fact that one, if not more, of the approved methods has been known to cause abortions, which ETBU considers a seri-ous violation of faith. In re-sponse, ETBU, through the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, put forward a lawsuit challenging the mandate.In February 2012, Dr. Samuel “Dub” Oliver, the President of ETBU, accepted an invitation to go to Capitol Hill to testify and present the school’s case against the man-date. For a while there seemed to be no official updates regarding the law-suit until February 1, when the Obama Administration released an 80-page, “self-proclaimed”compromise regarding the religious chal-lenges against the original HHS Mandate. While at first glance the new proposal ap-pears to be a much-needed answer towards the issue. However, upon much closer inspection the actual language of the proposal reveals a dif-ferent story from the Obama Administration’s ‘all is well’ declaration.The 80-page proposal’s complicated language puts forward a plan for insurance plans that will not cover the contraceptives. For those with such plans, there will be ad-ditional insurance plans that they can access. However, for institutions such as ETBU, which use a ‘self-funded’ in-surance plan, the wording and language of the proposal does not even address such plans and thereby does not resolve the issue.“The Administration’s proposal is very disappoint-ing,” Dr. Oliver said in an email to constituents. “ETBU needs an exemption, not a complicated bookkeeping ar-rangement. We need clear protection for our conscienc-es, not a convoluted account-ing scheme that raises more questions than it answers.” In the email, Dr. Dub Oliver explains the reasons why ETBU will continue its lawsuit against the HHS Man-date. “The Administration had over a year to formulate a real exemption,” Dr. Oliver said. “It had the benefit of thou-sands of comments from re-ligious objectors. It had seen the unprecedented number of lawsuits filed by religious organizations across the spec-trum of faith and politics. Yet after all that time, the Admin-istration has simply refused to expand a religious employer exemption at all. Instead, the Administration has pub-lished an 80-page proposal that would create a new insur-ance bureaucracy that appears unworkable and unlikely to protect anyone’s conscience.”Dr. Oliver also spoke against the overall effective-ness of this proposal in his email when he said “The 80-page proposal does not even make a concrete proposal for the many religious organiza-tions, like ETBU, that have self-funded plans. The Ad-ministration has merely float-ed three possible ‘alternatives’ for self-insured organizations. This strongly suggests that the Administration has no idea whether any of this will work.”Dr. Oliver said that he has returned to D.C. in order to be part of a panel of college presidents, which was meeting to discuss the HHS Mandate issue. He also said that he would “gladly and eagerly” return to provide testimony if he were invited back to Capi-tol Hill.