The solution sounds quite simple – no Catholic organization will be forced to cover contraception in health insurance plans. Instead, the insurance company must transact directly with individuals who require such coverage, and provide it for free. It’s basically a rider. And the zero cost comes from the fact that it is actually cheaper for insurance companies to cover contraception than pregnancy (a whole other story…).
The fact that Sr. Carol Keehan is happy makes me happy too. Of course, I see some on the right are not placated. They claim that this is simply an accounting fudge. They seem to misunderstand how insurance works. The United States is dominated by a small number of large insurance companies. Money is fungible. Even if insurance companies are not providing contraception to your employees, they are providing it to most others – out of a general pot of money. And that pot all-too-often pays for abortion too, for that matter – something that people didn’t seem all that concerned about during the fights surrounding abortion coverage and the Affordable Care Act. It’s logically no different from paying a dedicated tax into a health fund that pays for healthcare for all – including contraception. Remember – the principle here is supposed to be religious liberty, not an indirect funding of contraception by dealing with insurance companies.
I realize of course, that Obama Derangement Syndrone comes in a particularly viral strain. I don’t expect these people to be placated. And I am still stunned by the sheer stupidity and blindness of the Obama administration – did they really not see such a backlash coming? No, I fear that they are trapped in a bubble. A bubble of secularism tinged by Protestantism, where religion is a clearly private matter with clearly defined boundaries. They simply do not understand the Catholic mission and the way this mission permeates the entire world.I am also concerned by questions people are not asking:
- Why has nobody complained about similar mandates at the state level? American constitutionalists can come up with some cock-and-bull federal vs. state distinction, but that doesn’t address the underlying moral issue. Think of Romney attacking Obama when he did the same thing in Massachusetts!
- Why is nobody talking about the attacks on religious liberty in Alabama and other places by state governments that are seeking to criminalize core aspects of the Catholic mission when it comes to dealing with immigrants? Remember, most of the major Republican candidates support these state laws and oppose federal attempts to overturn them – does that mean they are anti-Catholic too?
- And why is nobody calling for selective conscientious objection in the armed forces – the right to opt of or particular wars or particular military procedures? This too is regarded as a religious freedom issue in Catholic teaching.
We said all along that this was not about contraception, but religious freedom. We all agree on that – right and left. But in that case, why are we ignoring these other areas?