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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:07 AM

Opt out option expected for religious insurers who oppose contraceptives

By Dan Merica, CNN
updated 6:33 AM EST, Fri February 1, 2013

Washington (CNN) -- Religiously affiliated organizations will be able to opt out of providing their employees with insurance coverage for contraceptives under updates to an Obama administration mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to unveil on Friday, according to two sources.

In March, after an uproar among religious institutions that didn't want to pay for contraceptives, the Obama administration offered several policy suggestions that would require the administrator of the insurance policy, not the religious institution or the insurer, to pay for contraception coverage and invited comment on those proposals.

The administration is expected to detail how it will handle two of the more controversial situations, said a source familiar with Friday's announcement.

"Religiously affiliated organizations will be given the option of exempting themselves from the requirement of providing their employees with contraceptive access or service that they are morally opposed to," said the source.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/31/politics/religion-contraceptive-insurance/index.html

13 replies, 876 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Opt out option expected for religious insurers who oppose contraceptives (Original post)
rug Feb 2013 OP
cbayer Feb 2013 #1
eomer Feb 2013 #2
cbayer Feb 2013 #3
rug Feb 2013 #4
cbayer Feb 2013 #5
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #6
cbayer Feb 2013 #7
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #8
rug Feb 2013 #9
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #10
rug Feb 2013 #12
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #13
cbayer Feb 2013 #11

Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:38 AM

1. I think this is a very reasonable compromise, but most of these organizations won't.

The will still maintain that they are paying for it one way or another and that won't be acceptable, imo.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:09 PM

2. The cost is actually negative in the context of a typical medical insurance program.

Apparently the cost to let women control their reproduction is less than the extra maternity benefits that result from depriving them of the tools for that control.

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Response to eomer (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:18 PM

3. Agree, but I fear this is less about cost and more about control, particularly political control

We shall see.

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 04:43 PM

5. Thanks. That's comprehensive.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:53 PM

6. Bad idea.

I don't think this is reasonable at all. Contraceptives are health care, and it's not the place of the employers to have a say in this.

This would open up the door for e.g. an organisation run by Jehovahs to refuse to pay for blood transfusions or a Christian Science-run business to pay for no healthcare whatsoever and so on.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:43 PM

7. While I agree with you in principle, the legal nightmare this has created is

going to inhibit implementation in significant ways.

Without a compromise, we could be looking at contraceptive coverage being denied to everyone.

At least with this compromise, all women will have access.

Catholic institutions have refused to provide things such as abortions forever. It hasn't led to what you describe with JH's or Christian Scientists.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:27 PM

8. Here is Americans United's take on it.

Americans United Issues Statement On Obama Contraceptive Rule

SOURCE:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Press Release
Feb 1, 2013

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Policy Appears To Protect Employees’ Access To Birth Control At Religiously Affiliated Institutions

The Obama administration’s proposed rule on access to birth control for employees at religious institutions appears to preserve women's access to contraception while bending over backward to address religious objections to the prior rules, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

““Birth control is a fact of modern life,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “This proposed rule acknowledges that reality while going out of its way to accommodate religious groups. This should more than satisfy religiously affiliated institutions that have objected to the birth control mandate."

“The rule strikes a balance between guaranteeing access for birth control consistent with a woman's conscience and the objection of some religious providers," Lynn continued. “It aims to ensure that Americans can get access to the birth control they need and want yet shields religiously affiliated institutions from paying for it directly or indirectly.”

https://www.au.org/media/press-releases/americans-united-issues-statement-on-obama-contraceptive-rule


He concludes by noting that "the proposed accommodation goes beyond what the Constitution requires," and that further comment will come after the details are worked out.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:30 PM

9. I wonder if they'll sue.

Watch the churches withdrw their lawsuits and AU, the FFRF and ACLU file their own.

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Response to rug (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:38 PM

10. Not sure I understand.

It sounds like AU is supporting this. Why would they sue?

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:43 PM

12. Oops, I misread that.

I was just reading some articles criticizing it as sacrficing reproductive health care for workers to religious interests. I'll just keep quiet for a while.

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Response to rug (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:45 PM

13. Lol

If I went silent after every time I misunderstood something they would be referring to me as the modern day Calvin Coolidge.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:41 PM

11. That's good news and I stand with them.

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