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The Accomodating Compromise Isn't

So the bottom line, religious institutions must still buy plans that cover contraception, abortafacients, and sterilization, but the insurance companies must pay for it.

Bottom line, they still cannot buy a plan without it.

Nothing changes. Compromise in the Obama generation.

The President chastised those who objected to this abridgement of a fundamental God give freedom for making it a political football. He is arrogant beyond words. Disgusting.

This "accommodation" isn't. It is a political ploy, nothing more.

The Bishops better not fall for this. We must fight Obamacare until the bitter end. They do not have the right to mandate what we can buy and cover. Religious liberty is not something to be accommodated, it is something to be defended at all costs.

Yuval Levin rightly says "no diff"...

The problem that opponents of the original rule have had is that it effectively requires religious employers to purchase a product (an insurance policy) that provides their employers with free access to contraceptive and abortifacient drugs that they would not have otherwise had, and thus requires those employers to purchase a product that violates their religious convictions. The new rule does exactly the same thing.

Rep Chris Smith says...
“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 na├»ve 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,” he said. “Today’s announcement is a political manipulation designed to get Obama past his own self-made controversy and past the next election.


The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty responds:
“This is a false ‘compromise’ designed to protect the President’s re-election chances, not to protect the right of conscience,” says Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund. “Hundreds, if not thousands, of religious institutions are still left out in the cold and will be forced to violate their religious convictions.”

According to a White House statement, some religious employers will no longer be required to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs; coverage for those services will instead be provided for free directly by insurance companies. However, at least three problems remain. First, hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations self insure, meaning that they will still be forced to pay for these services in violation of their religious beliefs. Second, it is unclear which religious organizations are permitted to claim the new exemption, and whether it will extend to for-profit organizations, individuals, or non-denominational organizations. Third, money is fungible, and many religious organizations may still object to being forced to pay money to an insurance company which will turn around and provide contraception to its employees for free.

“It is especially telling that the details of this supposed ‘compromise’ will likely not be announced until after the election,” said Smith. “Religious freedom is not a political football to be kicked around in an election-year. Rather than providing full protection for the right of conscience, the administration has made a cynical political play that is the antithesis of ‘hope and change.’”

More: Mary Ann Glendon et al on the fakery:
Today the Obama administration has offered what it has styled as an “accommodation” for religious institutions in the dispute over the HHS mandate for coverage (without cost sharing) of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception. The administration will now require that all insurance plans cover (“cost free”) these same products and services. Once a religiously-affiliated (or believing individual) employer purchases insurance (as it must, by law), the insurance company will then contact the insured employees to advise them that the terms of the policy include coverage for these objectionable things.

This so-called “accommodation” changes nothing of moral substance and fails to remove the assault on religious liberty and the rights of conscience which gave rise to the controversy. It is certainly no compromise. The reason for the original bipartisan uproar was the administration’s insistence that religious employers, be they institutions or individuals, provide insurance that covered services they regard as gravely immoral and unjust. Under the new rule, the government still coerces religious institutions and individuals to purchase insurance policies that include the very same services.

It is no answer to respond that the religious employers are not “paying” for this aspect of the insurance coverage. For one thing, it is unrealistic to suggest that insurance companies will not pass the costs of these additional services on to the purchasers. More importantly, abortion-drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives are a necessary feature of the policy purchased by the religious institution or believing individual. They will only be made available to those who are insured under such policy, by virtue of the terms of the policy.

It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying “five day after pill” pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer. It does not matter who explains the terms of the policy purchased by the religiously affiliated or observant employer. What matters is what services the policy covers.

The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept as assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick.

Finally, it bears noting that by sustaining the original narrow exemptions for churches, auxiliaries, and religious orders, the administration has effectively admitted that the new policy (like the old one) amounts to a grave infringement on religious liberty. The administration still fails to understand that institutions that employ and serve others of different or no faith are still engaged in a religious mission and, as such, enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

Signed:

John Garvey

President, The Catholic University of America

Mary Ann Glendon

Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University

Robert P. George

McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University

O. Carter Snead

Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame

Yuval Levin

Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

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26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's face it.

It's OBEY OBAMA or OBEY GOD!

And if you obey God, you will be severely punished by the Government up to and including the loss of the Rights guaranteed by the Constitition.

This is pure fantasy of not co-mingling moneys: whether Komen donations to Planned Parenthood for only Breast Examinations, or today's "compromise".

Anonymous said...

Obama is really, really, really hoping that no one reads "Nineteen Eighty Four" anymore . . .

Adrienne said...

This reminds me of the "Sharia compliant" loans some banks are handing out. Muslims can't pay interest so the bank simply figure out the amount of interest, tack it unto the loan, and the Muslim feels all smug because he didn't pay interest. Huh??

Anonymous said...

New lipstick - same pig.

Anonymous said...

And good old Sr. Carol and the fine, fine folks at the Catholic Hospital Assn. have that Chris Matthews leg tingle again. Where's Bart Stupak? Then Barry can get the whole band back together.

Sand Mama said...

So how is it that these services are going to be "free"? Someone- the institution who pays for the insurance- is still being forced to buy something they don't want and that is against their beliefs.

Obama over-reached in this attack on religious freedom. But since they did it in wake of Hosanna-Tabor, one can only deduce that this is a calculated process of attacks against religion to see how much will be tolerated and what damage they can do.

The best Catholics can do is to avoid being seduced by him again and vote for ANYONE else (pref. Rick Santorum?)

ProudHillbilly said...

A tyranny always has to replace God-focused religions with worship of the state in order to consolidate power and facilitate the removal of opposition.

Used to post said...

This is "Religion Control".

Looks a lot like Gun Control.

1st Amendment: Oh you can have religion, but you must register and pass a government Catholic test.

2nd Amendment: Oh you can have guns, but first you must register, pass government tests. Oh and you can't have them, here, here and here. And you can't do this, that and the other thing.

So I guess we know what is next: We cede to this insanity, and register like good little "Government Approved Christians", then they will start taking more and more of our rights away as they have with the 2nd Amendment.

You can be a "Government Approved Catholic" but just not:
1. Outside your Church
2. In public
3. At work

Then we will be told that "Government Approved Catholics" must follow the "US Department of Religious Toleration's" guidelines for "Protected Catholic Speech". Only it won't be protected if you:
1. Say this thing
2. Say that thing
3. Say this other thing

Violation of the USRT Guidelines will mean that you will be an "Unapproved Christian". You will guilty of forming an "Unapproved Cult" and subject to prison for "Religious Intolerance" or "Offenses Against a Certified Religious Group".

I wish this was hyperbole.
Over. My. Dead. Body.

Anonymous said...

Anyone check out the USCCB statement on this yet? It's more diplomatic vagueness, where the Bishops say they are "Pleased" but have "Concerns".

This is exactly like what happened with the initial passing of PPACA. The USCCB and the Bishops taking the President at his word, talking about "dialogue" and "opportunities", giving the President cover to spin their actual "Concerns" that we knew he wasn't going to resolve in our favor.

At what point does Political Science 101 need to become a required course in Seminary?

Matthew A. Siekierski said...

Insurance companies aren't going to eat the cost of the "free" services. They'll raise rates. Heck, if they're creative, they'll figure out a way to charge the "exemption" policies some sort of a special requirements fee that matches the cost of providing the contraceptive/abortion/sterilization coverage.

I mean, it's basically the same shell game as what Obama has done.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but see this as a chess move by the O-bomb. He wants all of this reaction so he can further his case for a single payer system.

Fred said...

This issue also shines the light on Obama's violation of the 'rules' by which regulations get implemented.

No required advance posting, No required comment period.

Just a simple decree by our Dictator-in-Chief.

This tyrant and his court must be impeached and removed.

Unknown said...

You know if the President can make a change like this before the election what makes the Bishops think he won't reverse course if he should happen to win a second term. It is quite obvious that he will do and say whatever is needed to stay in power and lie to the people. I for one am not fooled and encourage all to fight this. Lets not forget his so called executive order when the health care bill passed in the darkness of night.

Mr. H. said...

The Church has been absolutely right in its opposition to contraception.

For those who wish to learn why the Church is correct on this issue, an excellent commentary and further resource links can be found here:

http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-catholic-church-opposes.html

Mary De Voe said...

How beautifully written are the posts of our warriors for the TRUTH.

Mary De Voe said...

Obama does not have sovereign authority to make laws for his constituents. Not even “a get to heaven free pass” that he authorized for those born alive babies in Chicago. Obama swindles Congress, the voice of the people and cheats his constituents out of the will of the people. Congress makes laws. Obama, Sebelius, Pelosi need to be rebuked and exorcised.

Anonymous said...

My, my. If it isn't Barack H(Henry) Obama VIII. "Move over, Your Holiness. I'm the one calling the shots here, now. Take your morals, values, and teachings with you! I don't want my daughters to be 'punished' with a bay-buh."

Liz said...

If he does this when he's still facing re-election who's to say he won't insist on a: the Church officiating at same sex marriages, b: defining any sermon condemning homosexual sexual practice as hate speech, or c: insisting that under certain circumstances the sanctity of the confessional must be breached. Of course any and all of the above would probably be headed for the SCOTUS, however, in light of past judgements who could guarantee what they would do. I'm so tired of him dragging out his "Christian faith" when he's really being anti-Catholic. I know, I know, he's been a member of a UCC congregation. BTDT myself before I converted. However, most of the UCC while disagreeing vehemently with the Catholic Church on virtually every issue wouldn't be so arrogant as to insist that the Catholic Church be just like them. They're more than happy to welcome disgruntled Catholics into their congregations, or at least into their ecumenical women's prayer breakfasts, etc. and let the rest of us "misguided fools" go on our way in peace.

Anonymous said...

Most of the large affected entities are self insured. That means that an insurer (say CIGNA for example) issues certificates and cards, administers the program and claims but claims are paid out of the employer "pot" the insurer assumes no risk on small claims under a certain dollar amount, e.g., 100,000. There is no insurer to "eat" the cost of these "services". The Bishops can not "cave" to this compromise. Obama is trading on the ignorance of the public. The effect is exactly the same.

Rick said...

On the side, Obama can make a real exemption if he wanted to. Check out his treat to his muslim brothers. http://www.standupamericanow.org/articles/2012/02/appeasing-islam-has-become-a-us-infatuation-sharia-exempts-muslims-from-obamacare

Anonymous said...

Obama says one thing and does another.

"Despite what President Obama said at his White House press conference, the actual regulations make permanent the “interim final regulations” issued August 3, 2011 — the ones that sparked the furor in the first place.
...The bottom line is this: “Accordingly, the amendment to the interim final rule with comment period amending 45 CFR 147.130(a)(1)(iv) which was published in the Federal Register at 76 FR 46621-46626 on August 3, 2011, is adopted as a final rule without change.” [Emphasis added.]
Translation: The Obama administration Friday afternoon (February 10) put into federal law the very regulation that drew objections from almost 200 Catholic bishops, some 50 religiously affiliated colleges and universities, 65 North American bishops of Orthodox churches, numerous other Jewish, Evangelical and Lutheran leaders, and even some liberals — and without changing so much as a comma."

Nothing but squid-ink
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/290859/nothing-squid-ink-ed-haislmaier

KM

linda said...

It is a short walk from "free" contraception and abortion to FORCED contraception! Do not for one minute think it cannot happen here. Our president and judges,etc. are ruling against the will of the people. But they are fast corrupting the youth to their mindset.

BETTER VOTE THEM OUT!

Anonymous said...

It feels like Obama and the administration has slapped us in the face. The flock needs to smarten up...

Anonymous said...

Please, God, give our Bishops a collective backbone.

Mary De Voe said...

A priest does not have to testify to anything he has not witnessed to by taking the Fifth Amendment to not incriminate himself. "...my power and your need...I absolve you" means that the priest in confession may not have any idea about what the confession is about but that the penitent is sorry for his sins. EVERYTHING without two witnesses is hearsay in a court of law. Even if the penitent was to go to the police, the police have to investigate his confession and prove his guilt in court. The Rule of Law. If Obama enshrines ignorance in our constitution...let's not let him. Receiving and possession of stolen property is a crime in itself. Obamacare is extortion and theft by deception. Contraception, sterilization and abortaficients are going to be paid for with extorted money and the recipients are going to be criminals. Obama is a man using the office of the President of the USA to change our founding principles without two-thirds of the states ratifying the change. A man without a kingdom.

Mary De Voe said...

@Anonymous 12:07 Congress makes laws and regulations according to the will of the people. Obamacare is unAmerican. Extortion. There can be no religious test for anyone to hold public office, dogcatcher, citizen, priest, Supreme Sovereign Being. The Supreme Sovereign Being cannot come into the public square because the Supreme Court has decided that God is religious. God believes in God and therefore has been ostracized from our nation, prohibiting even the atheist to change his mind, a prerogative of man. The right to choose God is verboten.

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