FOOL ME TWICE

Friday, February 10th, 2012 | Uncategorized

Desperately trying to put out the fire that he himself set, Barack Obama abruptly announced changes to his contraceptive policy:

Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.  The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

The new policy ensures women can get contraception without paying a co-pay and fully accomodates important concerns raised by religious groups by ensuring that objecting non-profit religious employers will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer women to organizations that provide contraception.

The President will also announce that his Administration will propose and finalize a new regulation during this transition year to address the religious objections of the non-exempted non-profit religious organizations. The new regulation will require insurance companies to cover contraception if the religious organization chooses not to. Under the policy:

Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception.

Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception.

Contraception coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance companies directly, with no role for religious employers who oppose contraception. 

Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.

Sounds reasonable.  Until you begin to think things over..

The plan, put forward as a concession to freedom of religion, was immediately denounced by Catholic Rep. Chris Smith as fundamentally the exact same mandate.

“The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,” said Smith. “It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naive or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.”

“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction,” Smith continued. “It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”

For all practical purposes, then, all this plan does is to give the bishops a loophole, a bit of plausible deniability.  But for a people for whom Matthew 5:37 is kind of important, deniability is not a feature but a bug.  Nevertheless, some liberal Catholics are safely back on board.

Carole Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association said in a statement that the compromise “protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions.”

“This decision shows the White House respects the Catholic community and concerns of diverse religious leaders,” said John Gehring, the Catholic outreach coordinator at Faith in Public Life. “It’s clear that the president worked very hard to protect both religious liberty and women’s health. Those two values should not be in conflict. Republicans leaders and others who have unfairly bashed this administration for being hostile to religion should stop perpetuating that absurd narrative.”

While other Catholics no longer trust the President and see this proposal as the complete and utter sham that it is.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, president of the Catholic anti-abortion organization Priests for Life, said “A resolution to this issue cannot only cover ‘religious’ employers. Religious freedom, which includes freedom of conscience, does not belong only to religious entities but to every American. There are many non-religious reasons to object to the administration’s policy.”

Writing at CatholicVote.org, Tom Crowe was not satisfied with the compromise: “If the religious institution is being required to pay for an insurance plan that subsidizes the insurance company’s efforts to proactively spread information about obtaining contraceptives, and then also pays for the contraceptives, that still means the church is being required to subsidize services and items it deems morally repugnant. The church’s money would still be used to support gravely immoral activity.”

Speaking on “Morning Joe” as news of a potential deal broke, Washington Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl said: “It’s the administration who has redefined health care. It is the presumption that pregnancy is some sort of health care anomoly that to have, to be pregnant is some sort of illness. [That approach says] we must prevent that illness and so we’ve redefined health care. . . A pregnancy becomes the problem.”

The health insurance industry is leery about the idea of being legally forced to provide contraception for free.

U.S. health insurers said on Friday they feared President Barack Obama had set a new precedent by making them responsible for providing free birth control to employees of religious groups as he sought to defuse an election-year landmine.

Obama on Friday announced the policy shift in an effort to accommodate religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, whose leaders are outraged by a new rule that would have required them to offer free contraceptive coverage to employees.

Instead, the Obama administration ordered insurers to provide workers at religious-affiliated institutions with free family planning if they request it, without involving their employer at all. Insurance industry officials said the abrupt shift raised questions over how that requirement would be implemented.

“We are concerned about the precedent this proposed rule would set,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group. “As we learn more about how this rule would be operationalized, we will provide comments through the regulatory process.”

While the Catholic bishops check this hand.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sees initial opportunities in preserving the principle of religious freedom after President Obama’s announcement today. But the Conference continues to express concerns. “While there may be an openness to respond to some of our concerns, we reserve judgment on the details until we have them,” said Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of USCCB.

“The past three weeks have witnessed a remarkable unity of Americans from all religions or none at all worried about the erosion of religious freedom and governmental intrusion into issues of faith and morals,” he said.

“Today’s decision to revise how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable to religious entities and people of faith is a first step in the right direction,” Cardinal-designate Dolan said. “We hope to work with the Administration to guarantee that Americans’ consciences and our religious freedom are not harmed by these regulations.”

So where are we?  The bishops are wise not to commit themselves.  But if they truly believe that that can “work with the Administration,” they are worse than fools. 

Because this is pure electoral politics.  The concept of free birth control is a bribe, pure and simple, and Obama only came out with these revisions because he’d just handed the Republicans as deadly a weapon as he could possibly have provided them.

Will the bishops sign on?  One would hope not.  The moment they express their willingness to compromise on this issue, they have just indirectly approved of the idea that health care plans ought to include free contraception. 

Once they do that, they will, assuming Obama wins another term, find that not only Christian ministries but Christian churches themselves will be legally forced to provide free birth control to all their employees regardless of Church teaching.

67 Comments to FOOL ME TWICE

ann r
February 10, 2012

What about universities and colleges that self-insure?

FW Ken
February 10, 2012

Remember that the bishop’s function like a committee, in which good men will do really stupid things. I wouldn’t put money on this ugliness either way.

It’s arguable the nation conferences of bishops are the worst thing that has happened to ecclesiology in awhile. Better synods be gathered in regions under archbishops than this faux senate of political creatures.

FW Ken
February 10, 2012

I spoke too soon; the bishops have countered and it’s not too bad.

http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-026.cfm

However, it appears the New York Catholic institutions do offer incense to Caesar. At least this has brought that to the light, and the light may well overcome the darkness.

FW Ken
February 10, 2012

More -

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

I promise, no more.

Peter
February 10, 2012

Chicago Politician in money laundering scheme. Hmm…

In other news, Pope found to be Catholic. :-)

J. Stuart Little
February 10, 2012

Yeah, the insurer is going to give it “free” – they’ll be paying for it but behind the door.

Oh, if woman are entitled to receive FREE contraceptive services without a copay why do I have a $15 copay FOR EVERYTHING?

My insurance provider is contracted by Barry! (Federal employee’s health care).

I aint saying something is fishy by it really stinks that way!

Clown Celebrant
February 10, 2012

Why is the government involved in this?

Ad Orientem
February 11, 2012

Obama’s “compromise” is as phony as a $3 bill. Just some accounting gimmickry that is risible on its face. Obviously the Church is still paying for all of these morally inadmissible things. Unless of course the Administration is now claiming the authority to coerce people into providing free goods and services.

Doug Indeap
February 11, 2012

Ad Orientem,

I’m curious. How long does a dollar remain Catholic after the Church uses it to pay others and they use it to pay others, etc?

Lone Star
February 11, 2012

So, who’s really going to pay for the contraception/abortions? Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Wait!! I’ve got it!!! The President can win big with environmentalists AND anti-breeders by planting rubber trees!

Doug Indeap
February 11, 2012

Lone Star,

So if an employee has an abortion and pays for it with money paid to her by her employer as wages, can the employer object to having paid for the abortion?

Lone Star
February 11, 2012

Troll alert.

Dan
February 11, 2012

Doug, try really hard not to be a complete tool.

This is the compromise;
“You don’t have to offer the incense to Caesar yourself. Instead, you give the incense to the temple priest and HE offers it to Caesar for you. See, you don’t have to violate your conscience at all.”

Sinner
February 11, 2012

So if an employee has an abortion and pays for it with money paid to her by her employer as wages, can the employer object to having paid for the abortion?

Yes of course. If you’re a religious instruction teacher at a Catholic school, and you have an abortion, you can be fired the next day

O-b-K hasn’t changed that. Yet.

find that not only Christian ministries but Christian churches themselves will be legally forced to provide free birth control to all their employees regardless of Church teaching.

Not quite quick enough Chris, I’m afraid. Osama-bin-Kenya’s latest ruling does just this. The ruling applies not only to religious employers but anyone who is employed by a religious group — in fact to anyone whose insurance cover doesn’t cover contraception and abortion.

This really is Obama forcing the Bishops to buy abortions for the nuns

OK. So where does the money come from? Well from the Church itself of course. Mostly. Here’s the maths: contraception is cheaper than abortion; Abortion is cheaper than pregnancy. Cheaper – in particular – to the insurance company.

Let’s imagine an insurance company, lets’ call it “Satan’s General Insurance Co”.

Before the ruling, Satan’s General offers two policies: one to Catholic employers that doesn’t cover abortion or contraception, another that covers both. Even though the Catholic policy covers less, it will be more expensive actuarially and the church will pay a little more for it to cover the extra pregnancies amongst its cohort that are prevented or terminated in the general cohort.

After the ruling: it’s just the same as far as the church is concerned. As far as Satan’s general is concerned, it offers contraception and abortion to the nuns (insured on the Catholic policy). That reduces pregnancies, saves money, and Satan’s General pockets the difference.

But what’s changed as far as the church is concerned? Nothing. Because yesterday – before the ruling – what Satan’s General Insurance Co did is take the church’s money, and the secular employers money, and put it into one big pot. Out of that pot it pays for everything, including paedogenocide — yesterday, only to those in the secular policy; today, to anyone it covers.

In other words: yesterday, before this ruling, any church money that was paid to any insurance company (or hospital, or clinic, etc) that provides or funds abortion supports abortion. Just like money for “breast screening” paid to Planned Paedogeddon goes into a pot that pays for abortions too. Just like your taxes that pays for the police that stop resistance movements against abortionists and clinics, and the lawyers, judges, prisons, and executioners that deal with members of the resistance who have taken direct action.

Sinner
February 11, 2012

What about universities and colleges that self-insure?

Mandated to provide everything up to and including paedogenocide.

What about churches self-insure, that run their own hospitals, clinics, and provide care only in those facilities

Mandated to provide everything up to and including paedogenocide.

Sinner
February 11, 2012

So, who’s really going to pay for the contraception/abortions? Money doesn’t grow on trees.

Contraception is cheaper than Peadogenocide.

Peadogenocide is cheaper than Pregnancy.

With a big enough cohort, contraception and abortion pays for itself may times over.

That’s why every single public health system in the West covers contraception and abortion — although for the state, there’s an even bigger financial imperative as it avoids paying benefits to families with children, paying for the education and healthcare of the children, and paying to imprison the adults.

Michael Berry
February 11, 2012

If Obama is really really forcing the insurance companies to offer free, as in really free, coverage then that is an unconstitutional taking of property. The government has no constitutional power to compel a person to work for free.

And Sinner’s right. A lot of state expenses can be lowered by simply killing people. A great way to lower our prison population.

Donald R. McClarey
February 11, 2012

“That’s why every single public health system in the West covers contraception and abortion — although for the state, there’s an even bigger financial imperative as it avoids paying benefits to families with children, paying for the education and healthcare of the children, and paying to imprison the adults.”

Get rid of the people! That does seem to be one of the distinguishing feature of modern liberalism’s approach to government. Thank you for putting it in a nutshell aptly named Sinner.

Dacama
February 11, 2012

So now that the evil HMO’s pay for the service all is well and good.

Something only a liberal’s small mind could love.

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

The process is this:

1.) The institution/employer pays premiums.
2.) The mandate to provide “free” coverage means that either

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

Why do these things happen?

The process is this:

The mandate to provide “free” coverage means that either
the government forces a private company to give away it’s services, the government pays for abortifacient drugs by paying the cost (illegal, is it not?) or the cost is spread through the premium paid by the institution/employer. So see, it’s not a question of when a dollar ceases to be Catholic. Someone pays, and the president, in his dedication to death, is determined it won’t be the person who chooses to kill the baby.

There, is that clear enough, Doug? Let me make a suggestion: the puling arrogance of the left aside, it’s foolish to equate “conservative” with “stupid” and it’s likely to lead to the downfall (well-deserved) of your cause. People are often not at all allied to belief, but they are often repelled by smug superiority.

FWIW, the president’s compromise may well have been a desperate move rather than a pre-planned machination. It seems to be giving cover for Catholic Democrats, who clearly wanted it; however, faithful Catholics are still calling for the government to withdraw the mandate to insure the murder of babies.

Fuinseoig
February 11, 2012

“the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.”

And by the way, anyone interested in purchasing a rather nice bridge located in a borough of New York city?

There is no “free”. If the insurer has to provide it ‘free’, they will whack up the premium charged to the institution to cover the extra expenses, so that the employer will end up paying the cost anyway.

Look, over here, I’m entitled to a medical card for a range of services (doctor visits if a doctor on the medical board panel agrees to take me on; prescription medicines, though there is an notional charge of 50 cent per item prescribed; in-patient hospital stay on a public ward; out-patient public hospital services and a few others) under certain conditions (if I am unemployed and/or under a certain income limit, via a Means Test, or over the age of 70). (There’s also a range of public health services for children, which is the usual public immunisation schemes – remember getting the sugar lump for the polio vaccine, those of you of a certain age like myself? – and eye and hearing tests and certain dental services – that’s how I got my teeth filled when I was in primary school way back).

But we all pay for it through income tax and the other range of methods by which governments raise revenue. There is no “free” system whereby any organisation, especially a business run for profit, just provides a service out of the goodness of its heart. I hate to inform the President of this, but neither does money grow on trees, there are no pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the Care Bears is only a cartoon.

Really, this is an attempt to find out “Exactly how stupid are you mackerel-snappers; will you fall for this?” and to give the progressive Catholics a chance to fall back in line and vote for him in the election.

Katherine
February 11, 2012

This controversy shows us what’s wrong with the “Affordable Care Act” in general. The government, that is, the HHS Secretary, is going to decide what is “health care” and what is not. It is going to decide what people pay for health care. It is going to require employers, employees, and insurance companies to modify their business practices to accommodate the government’s dictates and further distort the near-vanishing relationship between medical services provided and their real cost. And it’s going to trample your consciences if you disagree.

Repeal it. All two thousand pages of it.

Fuinseoig
February 11, 2012

It also strikes me that providing an exemption for employees of religious organisations (however the transition year regulation will define those) on contraceptive coverage being provided by the insurer for free will immediately provoke cases from employees of non-religious organisations for the same.

After all, discrimination (even positive) on the basis of religion is illegal under equality law. If I am working for the University of Potterville (formerly Potterville State Agricultural College) and I have to pay for my implants, but my cousin working for STHS College (formerly St. Tiggywinkle’s Hedgehog Sanctuary) gets hers for free, why wouldn’t I get on the phone sharpish to the ACLU?

I cannot believe politicians would be this stupid (except they regularly prove that they can be, as our late Minister for Finance did with his bank bailout guarantees that have tied us to paying billions in bonds to vulture investors).

Katherine
February 11, 2012

Fuinseoig (and FW Ken), honest and means-tested public health services such you describe are a far more rational and less coercive approach to fixing the problems with medical care for the poor. This law is a disaster from beginning to end.

Fuinseoig
February 11, 2012

“This really is Obama forcing the Bishops to buy abortions for the nuns”

Been thumbing through your usual bedside reading of Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, or, The Hidden Secrets of a Nun’s Life in a Convent Exposed again, Sinner?

“That’s why every single public health system in the West covers contraception and abortion”

Ours doesn’t, Sinner – at least, not abortions (and we’ve had court cases over that). We lost the battle on contraception (but that was a long-fought one) but still no legal abortion in Ireland, public or private.

William Tighe
February 11, 2012
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
February 11, 2012

I think a big part of the problem is that Obama’s grasp of markets, economics and capitalism is so poor that he believes this is how stuff works. The man who would cause the air to clear, the thermometer to drop and the seas to fall while spreading peace accros the globe doesn’t even understand the [No] Free Lunch Theory. He does not see any problem with the government mandating that independent companies provide products or services for free.

Fuinseoig
February 11, 2012

The bishops seem to know how many beans make five:

“Second, the President has announced some changes in how that mandate will be administered, which is still unclear in its details. As far as we can tell at this point, the change appears to have the following basic contours:

·It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write. At this point, it would appear that self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate.

·It would allow non-profit, religious employers to declare that they do not offer such coverage. But the employee and insurer may separately agree to add that coverage. The employee would not have to pay any additional amount to obtain this coverage, and the coverage would be provided as a part of the employer’s policy, not as a separate rider.”

So, Doug Indeap, it is not the employee going off and buying separate coverage for contraception/morning-after pill/sterilisation, it is the insurance company loading it onto the employer’s premium as part of the policy. See the problem there?

Stephen
February 11, 2012

Doug –

Just to make up some numbers, let’s imagine that insurance coverage without contraception costs $100, and contraceptive coverage adds another $5. If there is *no* contraceptive coverage, the cost is $100 and the church doesn’t violate its principles.

Under the proposed Obama rule, the insurance companies will be providing the service for “free.” What do you think they’re actually going to do? Keep charging $100 and giving contraceptive coverage out of their pocket? Of course not. They’re going to (quite sensibly) charge $105 to the church for services that ostensibly don’t include contraception. That way, their costs are covered when they have to pay for contraception themselves.

It’s nothing more than a shell game. Whether the church physically participates in listing the contraception as a benefit, they will be paying money that they wouldn’t otherwise pay, for added contraceptive coverage that wouldn’t be mandated if not for Obamacare. They’re still paying to violate Church doctrine.

Doug Indeap
February 11, 2012

Arguments for a “religious employer” exemption have gone from wrong to ridiculous.

Those demanding such an exemption initially worked themselves into a lather with the false claim that the law forced employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers considered immoral. The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government. Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs. Problem solved–except perhaps for an employer who really desires not just to avoid a moral bind, but rather wants to retain control of his employees’ health plans, limit their choices to conform to the employer’s religious beliefs, and avoid paying the assessments that otherwise would be owed. For that, an employer would need an exemption from the law.

Indeed, some continued clamoring for just such an exemption, complaining that by paying assessments they would be paying for the very things they opposed. They seemingly missed that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to most taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of their tax dollars. Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for a war, health care, or whatever else the government does that each of us may consider wrong or even immoral?

In any event, they put up enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required. Problem solved–again, even more.

Nonetheless, some continue to complain. They fret that somehow religious employers ultimately will pay for the services they oppose. They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages. They counter what they call the government’s “accounting gimmick” with one of their own: the “Catholic dollar.” These dollars, once paid by a religious employer to others, e.g., insurers or employees, should be used only for things the religious employer would approve. The religious employers’ aim, we are assured, is not to control the actions of others, oh no, but rather is merely to assure that the employers themselves have not somehow acted contrary to their
own beliefs by loosing “their” dollars into hands that would use them for things no self-respecting religious employer would himself buy. Their religious liberty, they say, requires not only that they be exempted from the law, but further that anyone to whom they pay money also be exempted and thus “free” to act according to their desires.

I wonder what they would say if they knew they had some of my “atheist dollars” in their wallets that can only be used for ungodly purposes, lest I suffer the indignity of paying for things I disbelieve.

Donald R. McClarey
February 11, 2012

“The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government.”

Somehow I doubt that the Constitution requires paying a tax in order to exercise religious freedom.

“They seemingly missed that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to most taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of their tax dollars.”

No it is more akin to conscientiuous objectors being granted an exemption from the draft. Additionally, by what right can government compel anyone to provide health insurance?
“They fret that somehow religious employers ultimately will pay for the services they oppose.”

As they would. Obama’s “compromise” is a transparent shell game. A good fairy would not appear and simply magically cause money for people wish to have “free” contraceptives.

The whole point of course is not to provide contraceptions and abortifacients, which Obama could do by convincing Congress to pass a program to have the govenment supply these. The whole purpose is to cause the Catholic Church and others to knuckle under to this bigoted administration.

Therese Z
February 11, 2012

1. I hadn’t thought about the insurance companies griping. Of course. Why should they be told to “absorb” the cost (which of course they shouldn’t)?

2. I’ve heard a lot of nonsense about “28 states already require coverage for contraception” blah blah blah Catholic church participates blah blah. The truth of those matters is that in those states, the coverage is in the prescription coverage portion of the policies and in those states religious institutions simply do not offer prescription insurance coverage. Georgia, I believe, specifically includes language in their law that says that no institution shall be mandated to offer prescription coverage.

3. If Dolan handles this with charm and passion and tact and SUCCESS, I think he’ll be our next Pope. He doesn’t have the language but he’ll have proven the diplomacy.

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

An atheist!! That explains a lot. I mean… a BRIGHT… a harbinger of reason…

Unfazed by facts. Sounds about right.

I will admit “Catholic dollars” is original, since no Catholic have used the phrase (at least since I’ve read). Keep repeating it, Doug, it might get you points.

Atheism doesn’t seem content with murdering 100 million in the past century. The willingness of Doug to use the government to eviscerate Christianity and murder unborn baby is certainly in line with atheistic ideology and history.

Well, the more you talk to him, the more he rants, which definitely says “troll” to me. Enough.

Doug Indeap
February 11, 2012

Donald,

Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new. And such issues are not unique to Christians or Catholics. Hardly. The courts have occasionally confronted such issues and have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning traffic, pollution, taxes, contracts, fraud, negligence, crimes, discrimination, employment, and on and on) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them. Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate. Thus, the government can forbid discrimination against specified people and apply that law even to those who say their religion allows or requires them to discriminate. In rare (one hopes) circumstances, such a generally-applicable law could put an individual in moral bind if it requires one to take actions one considers immoral. For just this reason, when such binds can be anticipated, provisions may, as a matter of legislative grace, be added to laws affording some relief to conscientious objectors. Such provisions need not be “free” to the conscientious objector. For instance, we have not allowed conscientious objectors simply to skip military service for “free”; rather, we have required them to provide alternative service in noncombatant roles or useful civilian work.

Here, religious employers plainly are not compelled to do anything contrary to their beliefs. Some nonetheless pretend otherwise in an effort to curtail a law they just don’t like.

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

Therese Z. –

Unfortunately, some of it’s true, and some have offered their incense to Caesar. Not as bad as the lede, but bad enough:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/02/report-ny-catholic-institutions-have-been-offering-contraception-coverage-for-years/

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

And this is new news: Muslims and Amish are exempt from Obamacare altogether, for religious reasons

http://www.examiner.com/small-business-management-in-phoenix/if-you-are-muslim-you-can-opt-out-of-the-obamacare-health-care-reform-laws-with-no-penalties

A sample:

In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a
member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian,
or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.”

Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274

It looks more and more like Sibelius is on a vendetta.

Denise
February 11, 2012

The president has quite a few errors and misleading stats in his announcement of this “accommodation”. He claims that the insurance industry will actually be happy to foot the bill because they will make so much more money if everyone is using contraception. Actually, Blue Cross has put out an estimate that this will cost the insurance industry 2.8 billion dollars and will result in increased premiums to cover it. He claims that 99% of women use contraception. This is from a 2010 CDC report (Contraception Usage: 1982-2008). What the report actually says is that 99% of women use some form of contraception at some point in their reproductive years. The demand for contraceptive services is much lower at any given moment. This statistic also includes the use of periodic abstinence (old rhythm method) as well as the more sophisticated Natural Family Planning as using a form of contraception.

Sinner
February 11, 2012

There is no “free”. If the insurer has to provide it ‘free’, they will whack up the premium charged to the institution to cover the extra expenses, so that the employer will end up paying the cost anyway.

You fail to understand that this is insurance. There is free when it reduces other costs. In this case the cost of contraception and abortions across the whole insured population is LESS that the cost of the prevented pregnancies and medical cover for the nonborn children

Jay Random
February 11, 2012

In this case the cost of contraception and abortions across the whole insured population is LESS that the cost of the prevented pregnancies and medical cover for the nonborn children

Since no premiums are paid by those children or on their behalf, this is a red herring. Of course it costs less to provide a service to fewer customers than to provide it to more.

Meanwhile, the insurance companies aren’t going to take a voluntary loss to provide employees of Catholic schools and hospitals with free morning-after pills. And self-insured Catholic institutions will be forced to offer that ‘service’ themselves, or else pay a fine of $2,000 per employee per year.

To construe this as anything but an attack on freedom of religion is the act of a useful idiot.

Clown Celebrant
February 11, 2012

Please: Why in tarnation is the government involved?

FW Ken
February 11, 2012

Less a red herring than extremely short-sighted.

Accepting that contraception and abortion might be cheaper than pregnancy and birth, you have to wonder why the insurance companies aren’t thrilled with this deal. As someone noted, they should have already been offering it without government coercion.

Of course, it’s potential customers being prevented. The premiums will not be paid for those children. Nor will they grow up to buy insurance. In fact, customers generate profits. Forty million workers are missing from the United States. Forty million insurance customers are not paying premiums. They are also not paying into social security or otherwise supporting their parents. China, I understand, is in severe crisis over their one child policy of the past generation. You can understand our social security problem as being partly caused by our population bust.

It’s an interesting facet of the secular mind that people become liabilities rather than assets. Which is probably why it’s been so easy to kill them before and after birth, and support euthanasia for the weak and elderly. Islam, and certainly not Christianity haven’t killed a fraction of the people killed by atheism in the past 100 years. That’s not counting the tens of millions aborted. I don’t think it’s fair to impute that solely to secularists. They had plenty of support from religious liberals, Christian and Jews. Now, you can argue that the religion of those religious libs was just secularism in a cassock, but that’s another discussion.

Sinner
February 11, 2012

Since no premiums are paid by those children or on their behalf, this is a red herring

Osamacare covers children on their parents policies till age 25.

Please: Why in tarnation is the government involved?

Because the government makes it illegal for hospitals to turn away patients.

Or are you with Ron Paul – let the uninsured die?

honest and means-tested public health services such you describe are a far more rational and less coercive approach to fixing the problems with medical care for the poor

Well I think so. That gets tax-free churches and charities off the hook. But then every US citizen is paying for abortion and contraception.

Don Janousek
February 11, 2012

All of this is liberal gobbledegook.

The bottom line is that the evil mooslim we have as our acting President is determined that all Americans will have blood on their hands from the murder of babies.

“Moloch is burning infants, not you, so don’t worry.”

“The abortionist is butchering children, not you, so what’s the problem?”

“The folks killing babies are doing it for free, so Christian doctrine is not involved.”

What an evil Dark Age we now live in.

Gilbert
February 11, 2012

The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

Isn’t being forced to provide work or services for free the definition of slavery.

Dan
February 12, 2012

Doug, I did ask nicely that you not be a complete tool.

Suppose we change this to a matter of 1st amendment jurisprudence that you might take more seriously. Let us say that Congress pass and President Bush signed a law requiring every public and private school student in America to be afforded religious education, including Bible memorization, attendance a a variety of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish services. Let us further suppose that you ran an Atheist school. As a reasonable Atheist, you do not raise a fuss over other people giving their own children religious training. You do, however firmly resist any attempt to disseminate what you consider lies to your own children, or to any put in your care. You would, rightly, object to this violation of your right to give the children in your care no religious education at all.

Would it make everything all better if the President offered to let someone else pay for such education? “You don’t have to train them yourself, you just have to let the teachers from St Sabinia’s come in for an hour in the middle of the day to teach them. You could go have a drug trip or whatever it is that Atheists do in their free time.”

It is, of course, like all analogies, imperfect, mostly because Atheists don’t believe in sin. You should not, and in the US, cannot require that a person violate his conscience on a matter of religion just because you think it’s a good idea, and believe the other person to be horrible. Shoving a fig leaf over such coercion doesn’t fix anything.

FW Ken
February 12, 2012

That gets tax-free churches and charities off the hook. But then every US citizen is paying for abortion and contraception.

No, the charitable work they do get them of the hook for taxes. Of course, Christians pay tithes that make the charitable work happen AND we pay taxes. The latter, of course, recognizes the value of the former with a discount of 20% or so, which is nice.

I’m reasonably certain our public hospital doesn’t do abortions, but probably does provide contraceptives. I know we have a free-standing women’s health center, so it’s reasonable to suppose they do contraceptives.

Sinner
February 12, 2012

Suppose we change this to a matter of 1st amendment jurisprudence that you might take more seriously. Let us say that Congress pass and President Bush signed a law requiring every public and private school student in America to be afforded religious education, including Bible memorization, attendance a a variety of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish services

Suppose President Obama signed a law requiring every public and private school student in America to be taught that evolution is a fact. Oh wait: he did it already.

I’m reasonably certain our public hospital doesn’t do abortions

Ectopic pregnancy? Unless you’re in Ireland, mostly likely they do.

FW Ken
February 12, 2012

Sinner! Buddy! You are losing your edge. I offer you red meat and all you can muster is ectocpic pregnancy?!

http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=57

Allen Lewis
February 12, 2012

Well, for those such as Doug who are True Believers, then there is no problem with this “compromise”, aka fig leaf which the Administration has concocted.

Keep trolling, Doug. I’m sure you will get some takers eventually.

The fact that we are even having this debate is sad.

Doug Indeap
February 12, 2012

Dan,

Your hypothetical is just way off. It has the government violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment by requiring religious instruction, and it doesn’t put an atheist in a moral bind so much as simply call for him (or anyone really) to urge the government, or perhaps even sue it, to comply with the First Amendment.

Neiman,

The law of the Constitution is simply other than you suppose, and thus so is the issue. The law is pretty much as I summarized above (e.g., http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/494/872/case.html) and thus the First Amendment does not compel the broad exemption you advocate (e.g., http://www.aafcp.org/cplm/files/12.pdf). It just doesn’t.

The real question here is whether, as a matter of legislative grace, to grant an exemption to those who otherwise would be forced to act contrary to their beliefs. Since the law simply does not do that, there is no need for an exemption.

I understand that some just don’t like the law and would like to reopen a broader debate on its merits. That, however, is an entirely different question than the exemption issue.

GillianC
February 12, 2012

The lipstick on this pig is not helping a bit.

To be fair, I doubt if they are talking about free birth control or abortions or morning-after pills – but free coverage for these things. I would imagine that the standard deductibles and co-pays would apply. Insurance companies are not that stupid, and I haven’t heard of ANY policy besides perhaps an HMO (hard to find these days) or Medicaid that provides free anything.
The concerns are about paying for the coverage, and how that will be passed along – either to the employer or perhaps even the other employees – in the form of hidden upcharges etc.
In the time since ObamaCare has been out there (even before it was passed), my health insurance premium has more than doubled, I am no longer offered a 90/10 plan (only the 80/20 plan), and my deductible has tripled. Yep, affordable health care!! Have another cup of that Koolaid, my friends.

ann r
February 12, 2012

Dug in Deep, if I remember correctly, Jim Crow laws really started to fall when religious people showed themselves willing to go to jail rather than comply. When heads of religious organizations state they will not comply, and will risk jail instead, I think you have to consider that the matter on hand is truly a conscientious objection on religious grounds. The murder of millions of babies in the US is something a lot of folks feel very strongly about. Of course, great O and the media routinely ignore the masses that walk in the “march for life.” But they ignore it at their political peril.

Doug Indeap
February 12, 2012

ann r,

Just because they claim a conscientious objection does not make it so. They may well simply not understand that they are not being forced to act contrary to their beliefs and thus there is no need for an exemption nor for them to “go to jail” for noncompliance. Or if they do understand there is no need for a religious employer exemption, they may simply be exploiting the confusion of others on that point in a political effort to revisit other aspects of the health law they don’t like. I fully understand that, either way, they may whip up a political frenzy. Their arguments don’t need to be right to do that.

Denise
February 12, 2012

GillianC, there will be no copays. That is part of Obamacare. Once something is designated as “preventive medicine” it is required to be covered without a copay. If you want to read about the underhanded way contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients became “preventive care”, read this. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/09/4031

FW Ken
February 12, 2012

Ann –

Before you post again, think ”John” and save the bandwidth.

Clown Celebrant
February 12, 2012

Sinner: Thanks, didn’t know that about Osamacare… wait, are you serious? But, I’m interested in your comment about Ron Paul. Scared of Ron Paul are you? I don’t recall hearing Paul say “let the uninsured die,” so who are you shilling for? Obama-yo-mama or Mormo-Romney? It’s okay, you can tell us. Remember, it’s a sin to tell a lie… Unless it’s funny. Clowns rule.

Sinner
February 13, 2012

</I don’t recall hearing Paul say “let the uninsured die,”

quote: “Are you saying society should just let him die?”

answers: YEAH! YEAH!

Sept 12 2011

Sinner
February 13, 2012

Thanks, didn’t know that about Osamacare… wait, are you serious?

Which bit? — Sure Osamacare covers children on their parents policies till age 25
(actually until the day of their 26th birthday) Section 2714 of the Public Health Service Act. (thank you wikipedia)

The murder of millions of babies in the US is something a lot of folks feel very strongly about

Oh please. Here’s a really simple question: Let’s imagine the US federal and state governments were rounding up and executing a million Jewish US citizen every year. Do you really think a few protests and haggling about “employer exemptions” would show that “a lot of folks feel very strongly about” judeogenocide?. Do you think it would be Christian? Even in the Second-Amendment US?

In those circumstances, if Scott Roeder had shot the commandant of a Jewish-extermination centre, he wouldn’t be a pariah – he’d be a (posthumous) All-American hero.

When you react to paedogenocide the way you would react to judeogenocide, then I’ll believe you “feel very strongly about it”.

Clown Celebrant
February 13, 2012

It must be true if you say it is so, Sinner. But, when I look at the videotape of that September 12 debate, it looks to me like the context of the hypothetical question you cite is quite different than what you imply. I can’t imagine that you would lie, but I just looked at that clip and Paul clearly said “no,” while some goon in the audience shouted “yeah!” Actually, the video I saw seemed to show Paul suggesting we should do what we want to do and live like free people.

I am curious to know who are you shilling for: Obama-yo-mama or Mormo-Romney?

On the question of paedogenocide, I tend to agree with you a little bit, although I know you’re not directing that at me.

Actually, on the “insurance to 25″ thing, I think many insurance policies–if not most?–cover children of insured parents until 25 provided they’re still in school, Obamacare mandate or no.

Anyway, this troll-trail is keeping me away from more important things like the Hellboy movie on FX, so I think I’ll get back to it.

FW Ken
February 13, 2012

So, CC… inquiring minds want to know : Hellboy ot Hellboy II?

Clown Celebrant
February 13, 2012

Hellboy II, FW Ken. Thank goodness for Hellboy and The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.

Sinner
February 14, 2012

Hellboy? naa — Lord of the Rings

Return of the Planet of the Apes!

Tintin!

Dam Busters… and of course the Hobbit!

NZ. where the best films come from.

Sinner
February 14, 2012

I can’t imagine that you would lie, but I just looked at that clip and Paul clearly said “no,” while some goon in the audience shouted “yeah!”

I understand Paul said – no, he should take the consequence of his actions. Which, to my mind, is tantamount to saying he should die.

I am curious to know who are you shilling for: Obama-yo-mama or Mormo-Romney?

Neither. I mean, Obama is far to right-wing for my politics :-) I’m quite happy with living in a country with private health insurance: I just want a single-payer system underlying it. And of course Kiwis are almost religiously anti-nuclear, let alone nuclear weaponry…
Between the two, I’d prefer Osama to Romney to Santorum to Gingrich — given that Gingrich’s policy seems to be to hasten Armageddon by all possible means…

On the question of paedogenocide, I tend to agree with you a little bit, although I know you’re not directing that at me.

I’m not. But I don’t think voluntary inducing miscarriages is genocide. But if I did, I can see I’d be in an extremly difficult position in NZ or the US – especially as I’m not a pacifist. My father bombed Hamburg: in any other circumstance that would be a massive crime against humanity. Kiwis joined the French & Dutch “resistance” that in any other circumstance would have been terrorism. Would I e.g. join Iran in an attack in NZ, or a bunch of anti-abortion Wahabists taking “direct action” against abortion clinics and abortionists? I don’t know. But, to me, hat’s a far, far more justifiable cause that NORAID that the NYPD was so generous towards before 9/11.

And – in this whole debate- I’m surprised no-one so far has mentioned that the most public, and most outspoken global Anglican figure against abortion remains Rowan Williams.

FW Ken
February 14, 2012

Return of the Planet of the Apes was pretty good. I didn’t realize it came from NZ.

Personally, I don’t think a single payer system would not work as well in the United States as it does in Canada and a variety of smaller countries, but it would be better than the bastardized system that is Obamacare.

FW Ken
February 14, 2012

Sorry for the double-negative. Never post before coffee.

William Tighe
February 14, 2012

“And – in this whole debate- I’m surprised no-one so far has mentioned that the most public, and most outspoken global Anglican figure against abortion remains Rowan Williams.”

This is true; sadly, it remains the one “left-over” from his “orthodox” Anglo-Catholicism of the period before ca. 1977. Otherwise, he has come to be a pathetic and ridiculous figure, with his successful maneuverings to prevent any meaningful discipline from being imposed on TE”C,” his sponsoring of the farcical and pointless Lambeth Conference of 2008, and his absurd claim in the “Cardinal Willebrands Lecture” that he gave in Rome 2 or 3 years ago that the gender of the celebrant of the Eucharist was not so important an issue that it should prevent continued “convergence” of the Catholic church and Anglican churches.

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