Obama Contraception Mandate Compromise Called an “Accounting Gimmick”

Posted on | February 10, 2012 by Lisa Correnti |

Today the Obama administration announced a compromise they hoped would end the firestorm created by the HHS decision to mandate contraception coverage through the new healthcare law. The exemption to religious institutions was far too narrow and would require Catholic hospitals, universities and other religious affiliated organizations to provide at no cost contraception, the morning after pill and sterilizations.

The policy change now no longer requires the coverage to be through the employer it now requires contraception coverage be offered through the health care provider. – Is there a difference? I’m actually a little flabbergasted. How could they possibly believe this would be an acceptable alternative. The compromise falls short of the religious freedom protection guaranteed in the First Amendment.

The only groups applauding the change are pro-abortion ideologues. Take a look at how RHRhealityCheck is reporting on the Obama compromise:

Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.  The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

Moreover, women will not have to opt in or out; contraceptive care will be part of the basic package of benefits offered to everyone. Contraceptive care will simply be “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer,” said a White House official.

“We are actually more comfortable having the insurance industry offer and market this to women than religious institutions,” said the White House official because they “understand how contraception works” to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce health care costs. “This makes sense financially.”

The way it works is this: Insurers will create policy not including contraceptive coverage in the contract for religious organizations that object. Second, the same insurance company must simultaneously offer contraceptive coverage to all employees, and can not charge an additional premium. This provides free contraceptive coverage to women.  The reason this works for insurance companies is because offering contraception is cost-neutral; companies realize the tremendous cost benefits of spacing pregnancies, and limiting unintended pregnancies, planned pregnancies and health benefits of contraception.

 

Aside from the assault to religious freedom the mandate assaults our personal dignity by implementing a population control mentality. This population control mentality is evident in our humanitarian aid and foreign policy  - the recent foreign ops bill budgeted $700 million for family planning/population control in FY 2012 – and, it is now evident in our domestic policy as well.

Below are responses from members of Congress.

Senator Blunt’s response:

“It’s still clear that President Obama does not understand this isn’t about cost – it’s about who controls the religious views of faith-based institutions. President Obama believes that he should have that control. Our Constitution states otherwise.

“Just because you can come up with an accounting gimmick and pretend like religious institutions do not have to pay for the mandate, does not mean that you’ve satisfied the fundamental constitutional freedoms that all Americans are guaranteed.

“I’ll continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we reverse this unconstitutional mandate in its entirety.”

Rep. Joseph Pitts response:

“This is a fig leaf and a disingenuous gimmick. The President needs to take off his green eye shade and read the First Amendment. This outrage is one more reason why the President’s healthcare law needs to be repealed. The very idea that the President now has the power to force America’s largest Christian denomination to violate long-held church doctrine is antithetical to everything America stands for. This is supposed to be a free country.”

ProLife Caucus Chairman Chris Smith response:

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

“The newest iteration of Obama’s coercion rule utterly fails because it still forces religious employers and employees who have moral objections to paying for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception to pay for these things, because it is still the employers who buy the coverage for their employees.

“Today’s announcement is a political manipulation designed to get Obama past his own self-made controversy and past the next election.

“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction. 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.

“However, Obama has tipped his hand—at the end of the day, he will use force, coercion and ruinous fines that put faith-based charities, hospitals and schools at risk of closure, harming millions of kids, as well as the poor, sick and disabled, that they serve, in order to force obedience to Obama’s will.”

Bills in both the U.S. House and Senate have been introduced to deal with this egregious assault on religious liberty.

House legislation:

H.R. 1179, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, 180 cosponsors

Senate legislation:

S. 1467, Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced by Sen. Roy Blunt, 36 cosponsors

S. 2043, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, 29 cosponsors

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Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.

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