Federal law makes it a felony to engage in “Frauds and swindles” (Section 1341 of Title 18, U.S. Code). A fraud is a “scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises[.]…”
In the scenario addressed by the Obama administration’s cockamamie “compromise,” religious organization employer (call it “A”) wishes to purchase health insurance from B insurance company for C, its employees, but not cover birth-control services that violate A’s religious principles and that the First Amendment protects A from having to subsidize.
Obama is telling A that it can pay B and that the payments will not cover birth control services for C; he is then telling B to cover the birth-control services for C — but only because A is making the payments. A is thus deceived by Obama’s representations into paying B for C’s birth-control services.
That is fraud. If you tried to pull something like it, federal agents and attorneys would investigate and prosecute you. And if millions of dollars were involved, the sentencing guidelines would dictate many, many years of incarceration.
Like Ed, I’m with Yuval: We’ve gone from bad to worse. First religious organizations were being bludgeoned in violation of the Constitution; now, they’re still being bludgeoned but they’re also being fleeced.