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Forum Post: Catholic Bishops Oppose Compromise on Birth-Control Insurance

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 11, 2012, 4:34 p.m. EST by Jflynn1964 (-206)
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Thank goodness good people are standing up against this tyranny:

Catholic Bishops Oppose Compromise on Birth-Control Insurance By LOUISE RADNOFSKY

Catholic bishops said Friday night that they would not support the Obama administration's proposed compromise on a controversial rule that requires most employers to fully cover contraception in their workers' health plans.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had led opposition to the regulation, issued a statement saying that they didn't believe their concerns were addressed by a new policy offered by President Barack Obama on Friday morning to allow religious employers who object to the use of birth control to turn over responsibility for covering it to insurance companies.

Under the new policy, religious employers that don't want to offer contraception could exclude it from their policies. Insurance companies instead would be required to provide access to contraception for plan participants who wanted it, without explicitly charging either the religious employer or worker.

The shift is intended to ensure that women working at religious hospitals, schools and charities who want to use contraception can obtain it in the same way as women who work for secular employers. It also means the cost of providing the coverage for those women is likely to be spread across all policyholders by insurers.

The bishops had earlier expressed cautious optimism about the announcement, saying that it was "a first step in the right direction" but that they would have to study it.

In their later statement, they said they still had "serious moral concerns," noting that the proposal didn't contain provisions for religious employers who self-insure, meaning the employer takes on the underlying risk of covering employees' health care.

The bishops also said that the current structure of the proposal meant that if an employee and insurer agreed to add contraception coverage to a health plan, it would still be financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the employer.

"These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection... is unacceptable and must be corrected," the statement said.

The White House declined to comment.

Under the health-care law passed in March 2010, insurers must cover preventive care at no out-of-pocket cost for consumers. The Institute of Medicine recommended that all forms of contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration be included on the list of covered services.

The bishops also said that they were unlikely to be satisfied by changes that affected only religious employers, since they still had "grave" objections to the overall mandate, which includes the morning-after pill and sterilization.

The later statement came after leading members of the conference reviewed the proposal, among them president Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the two men who chair its committees on doctrine and what the church calls "pro-life activities," the cardinals Donald Wuerl and Daniel DiNardo. Archbishop Dolan will be elevated to the rank of cardinal next week.

President Obama telephoned the archbishop to tell him of the announcement Friday morning. The bishops said they hadn't been previously consulted about the proposal.

"We note that today's proposal continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions....The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is... to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services," they wrote.

It isn't clear what effect the bishops' objections will have on the Catholic community, which had already been divided in its initial response to the proposal, and to the health-care law as a whole.

Several Catholic organizations praised the administration compromise after it was announced, including the hospitals group the Catholic Health Association and Catholic Charities USA.

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10 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

This "protest" is ridiculous. It's none of your damn business what your employees are or are not doing on their off time, including obtaining contraception or abortions. The only leg these people even have to stand on is the "Damned if I'll pay for it" stance, and Obama removed that responsibility from them and placed it on the insurance company. At this point, all he's demanding is that employers refrain from meddling in their workers' lives, and if he can't even ask that then something is seriously wrong.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 2 years ago

This has nothing to do with the employees. The regulation orders employers to pay for something that they consider morally wrong. The concern of the bishops is to protect what they consider the right of any employer to freely exercise their religious beliefs and not provide services they consider morally reprehensible. The compromise seems to say you don't have to buy it but the insurance company has to give it. I haven't read the compromise yet so I don't know exactly what it says, but the reality is the insurance company doesn't pay for anything ever. Those that don't use insurance pay for those that do. So it may just be verbal gymnastics saying the church doesn't have to pay for the coverage.

Cost isn't really much of a factor here anyhow, the pill is generic and very cheep (you can get them for as little as fifty cents a day), an abortion can cost from as little as $300 to maybe $900 and at about 1.2 million a year an employer isn't likely to have many employees using the option anyhow. The insurance company doesn't care, it isn't paying, the pool of people not using the service are paying for it.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Contraception is against the beliefs of the Catholic religion. Those employees work for a religious organization and agree to those prinicples. If they don't like it, quit.

You want to push your ideas on everybody. We don't want to ruin our communities with your ideas. Freedom is what this country was founded upon and you just want everybody else to pay for your good time.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

You're speaking to someone who's never had sex and who would never have it unprotected (without a condom that I obtained beforehand) unless I was prepared to take care of any progeny that might result, so the matter of "my good time" is irrelevant at best. We're not asking any religious organizations to fund contraception or abortions; we're merely making sure that those who work for such organization aren't unfairly denied access to medical care (and whether you like it or not pregnancy and the prevention thereof is definitely a medical issue, to say nothing of the non-birth control uses for birth control pills).

I thought the compromise was fine considering that it basically released religious organizations from any obligation to fund a practice they do not agree with, while still ensuring that women who need contraception can get it. Demanding that religious organizations be allowed to actively deny their employees contraception (rather than just not have to pay for it) constitutes demanding the right to meddle in their employees' private lives and is unacceptable.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

Your asking religious organizations to conform to your ideas of moralitty and that is unacceptable.People who work for religious organizations know they work for these organizations. If they want to go work for the DMV and pray to the SEIU god then so be it.

Build your immoral society in your own communities. Don't push your ideas onto the rest of us.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

What all of these contraceptive measures represent from the Catholic point of view is the convenient solution to sinful sexual irresponsibility; sex is between married men and women for the purpose of pro-creation; why do so many struggle with this concept?

Cry me a river... there can be no higher moral ground in relation to our species.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Because that's their definition of sex (and apparently yours as well) but it is not (and does not have to be) the only view out there nor even the view adhered to in practice by even many Catholics (or many "family values" politicians), and that's something that each individual has the right to choose for himself. If you (generic) aren't comfortable with having sex outside of marriage, then find a spouse and close your legs until you do; neither I nor anyone else will fault you for that. Those who are more comfortable with sex, however, have the right to have it or not have it, and they have a right to employ contraceptives in the act if they so choose.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

I'm not Catholic and I do not generally practice what they preach, yet I cannot deny that in relation to the promotion of a common mindset, societal structure, the limiting of STDs, the responsibility of parents to society to not only provide care but also raise "good" children (or in other words, on virtually every front) that their beliefs represent the absolute moral high ground.

The Church cannot be required under the Constitution to either provide these services for their employees or pass the cost of their religious beliefs onto others.

The compromise is a no-go and I think they should sue; definitely.

[-] -1 points by Jflynn1964 (-206) 2 years ago

No one has the right to have sex and no one has the right to have the rest of us to pay for it. This is ridiculous. The Catholics are not pushing their views on anybody else. They are asking those who work for them to follow their rules. That is liberty.

[-] -2 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

You are a flaming idiot that doesn't even understandvthevissue. Please kill yourself.