CMDA's The Point

Federal Policy Top Priorities in 2017

January 4, 2017
Federal Policy Top Priorities in 2017 January 4, 2017

by Jonathan Imbody

The Washington Office of CMDA (which hosts Freedom2Care) focuses on the fundamental issues of the right to life and freedom of faith, conscience and speech, which serve as the foundation for all other rights and freedoms. Following are some of the top priorities for the new year:

Freedom of faith and conscience

  1. Protect conscience rights in healthcare by restoring the conscience protection regulation for healthcare professionals and institutions, along with its educational outreach program.
  2. Prevent government coercion related to abortion by passing conscience-protecting legislation (e.g., Conscience Protection Act – S 2927, H.R.4828; Healthcare Conscience Rights Act – S 1919; Abortion Non-Discrimination Act – S 50).
  3. Overturn  “transgender mandate” regulation, which disallows medical judgment and redefines Congress’ biological definition of sex to include LGBT issues, by winning our lawsuit vs. US Dept. of HHS.
  4. Sweep away radical federal regulations by empowering Congress (e.g., through the  Midnight Rules Relief Act – S.3483, HR 5982) to disapprove of federal agency regulations that fall within 60 legislative days of a president’s final term.

Right to life

  1. Ban abortions of developing babies at the stage in which they can feel pain (e.g., Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – S.1670; HR 36-passed).
  2. Redirect tax dollars from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood to federally qualified health centers (e.g., Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act – S 51, HR 217).
  3. Save lives of babies born in an abortion (e.g., Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act – S2066; HR 3504 passed).


Promote and support pro-life, pro-religious freedom individuals for key positions including:

  • Supreme Court: new justices
  • Health and Human Services: Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Health, Surgeon General, Assistant Secretary For Children And Families, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Director of National Institutes of Health, Director of faith-based office, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Global Health Affairs
  • White House – Domestic Policy Advisor, director of faith-based office
  • Department of State – AIDS Ambassador (PEPFAR), Office of International Religious Freedom, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, faith-based office, Office of Religion and Global Affairs
  • US Agency for International Development – Administrator, Asst. Admin. – Bureau of Global Health, faith-based office

About Jonathan Imbody

Jonathan previously served as CMDA's Federal Policy Analyst and as CMDA's liaison with the federal government in Washington, D.C. A veteran writer of more than 30 years, Jonathan authored Faith Steps, which encourages and equips Christians to engage in public policy issues. He has published more than 100 commentaries in The Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and many other national publications. Jonathan's writing focuses on public policy issues including freedom of faith, conscience and speech; human trafficking; abortion; assisted suicide; stem cell research; the role of faith in health; international health; healthcare policy; sexual risk avoidance and HIV/AIDS. Jonathan received his bachelor's degree in journalism and speech communications from the Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree from Penn State in counseling and education and a certificate in biblical and theological studies from the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Jonathan's wife Amy is an author and leads the Redemptive Education movement. They have four children and four grandchildren.


  1. Norman Wetterau MD on January 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I have been a CMDA member for 50 years. Health insurance coverage for the poor is a ethical issue The AMA has shown concern and consider this ethical issue. Now Christians are about to pass a law removing health coverage from 25 million people CMDA should be clear: this is a ethical issue. If we do not speak out, no one will pay any attention to our other ethical statement.

  2. Matthew Loftus on February 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Why is ensuring that the poor are adequately cared for not on this list? Seems like a pretty big omission.

    • Stephen Hwang, MD on May 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      It’s obvious — Jesus spent a lot of time teaching about abortion and homosexuality, but He wasn’t particularly concerned about the poor.

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