White House proposal gives religious groups more say in birth control mandate


#1

By David Gibson| Religion News Service, Updated: Monday, March 19, 3:11 PM

The Obama administration is offering to expand the number of faith-based groups that can be exempt from the controversial contraception mandate, and proposing that third-party companies administer coverage for self-insured faith-based groups at no cost.

At its heart, the newest offering from the White House would allow religious groups — dioceses, denominations and others — to decide which affiliated institutions are “religious” and therefore exempt from the new requirement that employers offer free contraception coverage as part of employee insurance plans.

The other main innovation in the new proposal is to have a “third-party administrator of the group health plan or some other independent entity” assume responsibility for the contraception coverage for self-insured organizations, with various proposals for ensuring that self-insured groups with religious objections would not directly or indirectly pay for the birth control policy.

washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/white-house-proposal-gives-religious-groups-more-say-in-birth-control-mandate/2012/03/19/gIQA3cMbNS_story.html


Making progress…


#2

Wouldn’t it just be easier to allow all religious institutions the exemption, instead of a 2nd accounting shell game?

Oh wait, that might anger his Planned Parenthood allies.

“Free contraception is a right!” :rolleyes:


#3

Obama is not about keeping things simple.


#4

[sarcasm] It’s so nice of him to volunteer these 3rd parties to provide services for free.[/sarcasm]

Did I miss the memo where it says the President has complete control over everything and everyone in the US? If I did, could someone please forward it to me?


#5

President Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources

:smiley:


#6

I was thinking the same thing. If he was smart, Obama would just give the full exemption, and then either have a separate, government-funded coverage, or allow insurance companies to sell such additional coverage directly to individuals. As long as you have the religious institutions involved in offering such coverage, even if they don’t directly pay for it, then you are still causing a problem of religious conscience.

Disclaimer: I’m not in favor of above proposed solutions…just saying it would be the smart way to go for Obama and all of the liberals who support him, Catholic or otherwise…


#7

:rotfl:


#8

What’s this little king afraid of?


#9

There is no progress until a full religious exemption has been made to Churches, religious institutions, colleges and to individual employers who do want to pay for contraception, sterilization and aboritificants. The Amish and medi-share members of the Christian Care Ministry get an exemption, so should everybody else.

Obama is trying to buy time, probably because of the nine lawsuits, Obama admin has conceded nothing.

People can see through this latest White House gimmick:

The Latest Mandate Announcement: ‘We Need a Process to Get Past November!’

At 4:15 p.m. this afternoon, the Obama administration issued its latest pronouncement on the HHS mandate, in the form of an Advanced Notice on Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). So what did the administration have to say on this late Friday afternoon?

Basically, it was a thinly veiled attempt to punt the entire issue into 2013, thus allowing the president to continue his doublespeak on the issue — pretending that he is interested in protecting religious liberty with pronouncements about a forthcoming concession while the policies he actually implements go in exactly the opposite direction.

nationalreview.com/corner/293747/latest-mandate-announcement-we-need-process-get-past-november-james-c-capretta

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s Senior Counsel, Hannah Smith also questioned the timing of the latest HHS statement, but for a different reason. The administration has sought to dismiss the cases filed by the Becket Fund, a public interest group, arguing that the specifics of the “accommodation” will soon be worked out, thus eliminating the basis for the legal challenge.

“The timing of this announcement is also suspect. The Administration knew that the Becket Fund’s response to the government’s motion to dismiss will be filed in federal court on Monday. This delay tactic is designed to disrupt those arguments because the administration knows it won’t be able to answer them,” Smith said.

“We do not need any more rule making. We do not need any more comment periods. We already settled this with that one original rule: The First Amendment,” said Smith, in a statement released this afternoon.

“The Administration’s action is just another delay tactic,” said Smith. “It’s not that complicated. Grant a wide enough exemption to honor the conscience of millions of Americans. The First Amendment demands it.”

ncregister.com/daily-news/hhs-issues-statement-confirming-outlines-of-contraception-mandate-accommoda

Gimmicks Won’t Resolve HHS Mandate’s Religious Liberty Assault

In yesterday’s notice, the Administration is suggesting that insurance companies offer coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception—free of charge—directly to employees of religious organizations that oppose the mandate on moral or religious grounds. This way, according to the Administration’s logic, religious employers aren’t providing or paying for such services.

But religious groups aren’t following that distorted logic. Among many others, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has made clear that such accounting gimmicks are wholly inadequate to deal with the serious moral problem the mandate has forced upon religious groups.

Insurers are not going to eat the costs of these services themselves. They will simply pass the costs for the drugs along to employers through increases in premiums, a fact the Administration admits in its own notice released today.

blog.heritage.org/2012/03/17/gimmicks-wont-resolve-hhs-mandates-religious-liberty-assault/


#10

I’m in favor of broad exemptions - whether it is by allowing currently-qualifying organizations to list those that are affiliated with them, or by not requiring the health insurance mandate require reproductive rights, and have it be subsidized to those providers.

Now, if the Bishops (or other institutional religious leaders) get to decide who is considered an affiliate and the exemption applies, employees of those institutions (such as schools and hospitals) will not have access to those items as part of their health care. I don’t believe they should at all, but I bring this up because it could have an affect on the types of employees those institutions hire. I’m not saying this will turn out positive (more employees in line with Catholic teaching) or not (potential staff-shortages for good teachers who don’t always follow the Church’s teachings), but I think it will absolutely have an impact. To me, the Bishops/leaders of the exempt-organizations are the most qualified in the matter to make the determination - so let the shepherds tend to their flock.

The other compromise proposed is one I have suggested to my liberal friends all along. Why not remove the requirement entirely from the mandate, and then subsidize these costs with government money. It gives people like Obama the chance to give back to those organizations who provide so much in campaign donations to make sure the “right people” for women’s (read as 'contraceptive/abortive) rights are elected to office. Clearly, I am not a fan of this plan because it is putting money into the hands of criminals (yes, there have been clear, documented examples of PP committing crimes, not to mention the charges brought against some ‘sole practitioner’ abortionists like the case in Philly last year). This is a better solution than how the mandate currently stands, but if it is enough of a compromise for Catholics to support with a clear conscience, I leave that up to the wisdom of the USCCB.


#11

I was thinking the same thing. If he was smart, Obama would just give the full exemption, and then either have a separate, government-funded coverage, or allow insurance companies to sell such additional coverage directly to individuals. As long as you have the religious institutions involved in offering such coverage, even if they don’t directly pay for it, then you are still causing a problem of religious conscience.

There is the ultimate solution. Most insurance companies, being businesses, will likely offer such coverage at very reasonable rates…for obvious reasons.

John


#12

Actually, I’m not sure it’s possible from a private enterprise standpoint. When you are talking supplemental coverage, how would an insurance company cover birth control, for example. The people buying it would definitely be using it. Paying for “insurance” where 100% of the customers will be using it doesn’t make fiscal sense. Even if you bundle it with abortion coverage, it wouldn’t make sense because the women who have no interest in abortion would have to pay more than the cost of birth control for the extra insurance they don’t intend to ever use. :shrug:


#13

Even if you bundle it with abortion coverage, it wouldn’t make sense because the women who have no interest in abortion would have to pay more than the cost of birth control for the extra insurance they don’t intend to ever use.

All true, but it is far cheaper for the companies to cover contraception versus delivery.

Cold, but, I believe, true.

John


#14

Opinion


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