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Second front attacks ‘Obamacare’

By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

As President Barack Obama's historic health care reform inches toward its final exam before the Supreme Court next month, a second front led by leaders of the Catholic Church has been growing against the Affordable Care Act.

Unlike the legal challenge by 26 states to the act's "individual mandate" that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014, the bishops are actually demanding expansion of an accommodation in the act called the "refusal clause" that exempts them from including contraceptives and family planning services in their employee health insurance plans.

In December, Bishop Robert Lynch, leader of nearly a half-million Tampa Bay Catholics, vowed that unless the legislation is changed, his diocese will no longer provide health insurance to its 2,300 employees, and instead would pay employees cash to seek out their own health coverage, which is allowed under the law. The diocese's existing health plans do not cover contraceptives, sterilization or drugs such as Viagra.

Last week, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would effectively allow any employer with religious objections to avoid covering contraception in its health insurance plan.

"From a practical standpoint, this will force Catholic organizations to make an unacceptable choice: ignore a major tenet of their faith or not provide any insurance to their employees and be punished with a federal fine for violating 'Obamacare's' mandate on employers," Rubio wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York Post last Friday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the refusal clause, noting that 28 states currently require insurers to cover the cost of contraceptives, and that requirements in California, New York and North Carolina are identical to those in the act. Insurance laws in Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemptions for religious institutions, Carney added.

Political agendas aside, this second front has rekindled two ongoing cultural debates: the separation of church and state, and a woman's right to manage her own body.

What do you think? Should employers be allowed to opt out of covering contraceptives in their health plans on religious grounds?

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50 Comments
1ManfromMckavett13
April 06, 2012 at 11:56 pm

All employers, not just the Catholics, should have the unchallanged right to include or exclude what ever they want to from any health care plan they are providing their employees !! If the employee disagrees or simply doesn't like it, then he/she is entitled to purchase their own private health insurance !! This is really such a simple matter - It's not like we're trying to decipher the inner workings of a space ship's fuel system written in Chinese !!

R Richards
April 05, 2012 at 7:45 pm

The Catholic Church should probably do one better, close down all the hospitals and universities immediately. This will accomplish a number of things. First, the church will not have to decide between ethics and 'rendering to Caesar'. Second, it will add another 100,000 people to the unemployment rolls. Third, it will make the amorous Ms Fluke have to get up off her - -- and find another place to have constant sex.

Me
March 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Where are all the knuckleheads who scream separation of church and state? Well if you want it SO BAD, tell Obama to leave the Church alone!

Mark Richards
March 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

The solution has always been Medical Savings Accounts (MSA), which allow an individual to contribute to an account for medical expenses similar to a 401K in combination with a catastrophic health care policy that you chose the deductible ($5000, $10,000 - your choice). Employers could contribute and get away from administering all of the programs they deal with now.

Typically, most young people are healthy and the costly medical procedures don't start until later in life.

For those of us over 40 an MSA would be a problem as it woul difficult to accumulate sufficient money in the MSA account to cover a serious illness or pre-existing condition.

The larger problem is that the Marxists/Socialists/Fascists (Democrats and some Republicans) won't be able to become tyrannical, despotic dictators by taking over the health care industry

JingJong
March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Well lets see they say now it's only going to cost twice what the liar quoted us.

Broom
March 19, 2012 at 12:27 am

If Obamacare is going to cover birth control for women, why isn't it paying for condoms for men?

NoSocialism.com
March 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

This is crazy that a Federal Law can now, not only FORCE you to buy a product, but additionally force an Insurance Company to pay for contraceptives. What's next, tell Auto Insurance companies that they have to pay for Oil Changes, since Oil Changes are necessary?

What people don't seem to realize is that the more regulations they pack on, the more employees the Insurance company needs to add to their rolls, and therefore the higher the price gets. Instead of making Insurance MORE affordable, they're making it more EXPENSIVE.

The only way to keep Insurance prices in line with reality is to have them cover the absolute necessities. The VAST majority of Americans can pay their own Vaccines, Doctor Visits, contraceptives and other prescriptions. By having the insurance companies ONLY indemnify catastrophic expenses, of say over $2500.00 a year or so, it would STOP skyrocketing insurance. I just took my son yesterday to the Doctors. This group of 5 doctors had 15 girls working in the front, just to take care of Insurance, HMO and PPO Claims. If most people went back to paying their own way, the Doctors wouldn't need such a huge staff and could afford to charge less. Instead both the Doctors and Insurance companies are forced to have MASSIVE staffs of Paper Pushers and have no choice, but to both pass on the costs to us.

debbie
March 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Dhimmitude-- What does it mean?

Obama used it in the health care bill.

Now isn't this interesting? It is used in the health care law.

Dhimmitude -- I had never heard the word until now. Type it into Google and start reading. Pretty interesting. It's on page 107 of the healthcare bill. I looked this up on Google and yep, it exists.. It is a REAL word.

Word of the Day: Dhimmitude

Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-Muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-Muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to Islam.

ObamaCare allows the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia Muslim diktat in the United States . Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be "gambling", "risk-taking", and "usury" and is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on this.

How convenient. So I, as a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time if I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will have no such penalty and will have 100% of his health needs paid for by the de facto government insurance. Non-Muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize Muslims. This is Dhimmitude.

I recommend sending this onto your contacts. American citizens need to know about it Check it out on Snopes.com-

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/exemptions.asp

Alexander Sowell
March 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

All of the health care lie needs to be completely and utterly repealed.

C Pryde
March 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm

And, to be clear, Prescription prices have nothing to do with benefits. The pharmaceutical company- like my previous employers Baxter, Abbott, Eli Lilly- make careful calculations based on the cost of ingredients and their rarity, the cost of the research and development, the cost of the actual production, packaging, and shipping, and most importantly, the amount of time they have to recoup their costs before the drug patent expires and it goes generic. Depending on how long testing phases last until a drug is approved, this can be a very small window, and drug companies have been known to drop working medications because they will be out of patent before they can complete stage III trials, which would negate the period they have to recoup costs. What we need to do is improve the patent rules for this.