WASHINGTON — Health-insurance plans must provide birth control and surgical sterilization as “preventive care” for women, with no co-pays, according to a directive issued Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, pro-life groups and religious-freedom advocates immediately criticized the Aug. 1 decision, expressing alarm about its narrow exemptions for religious groups, and calling on supporters to back a bill before Congress that would strengthen exemptions for employers who oppose surgical sterilizations and contraception.
“Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a ‘religious’ exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social-service agencies and health-care providers,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. [Source]
Plus of course there is no religious exemption for the individual Catholic who objects to this. With this directive being issued this will pretty much wipe out any health insurance plans that doesn’t yet have this paid for as an option. So much for people being able to shop around for a plan that suit their needs.
As a military retiree in the Tricare system it doesn’t change anything for me since unfortunately the military was already providing pretty much any form of birth control to active duty members along with surgical sterilization’s. Amazing what the taxpayer gets a bill for.
Iv’e seen headlines about “free” contraceptives showing once again the economic ignorance of many. Do people really think that plans that don’t yet pay for this are just going to absorb the coverage? No once again the Obama administration is finding more ways to mandate coverage and force increases to health care costs. If I was a cynic I would think they were doing this on purpose to make people more open to socialist medicine – oh wait I am a cynic.
Though it is a rather safe political move since while some conservatives will object on big government grounds, there is not much actual opposition to contraception and sterilization. Of course even among Catholics that is unfortunately accurate.
Good thing that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is a Catholic – oh wait.