Obama “accommodation”: Insurers must cover contraception at no cost to … anyone?; Update: “Magical thinking,” says LA Times

posted at 1:20 pm on February 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Today, the Obama administration hastily called a press conference to announce a change to its HHS mandate for employers to cover contraception at no cost, including religious organizations whose doctrines oppose contraception and abortifacients.  Instead of religious organizations footing the bill directly, the revised “accommodation” now says that insurers must cover the costs, which changes … nothing:

The revised Obama mandate will make religious groups contract with insurers to offer birth control and the potentially abortion-causing drugs to women at no cost. The revised mandate will have religious employers refer women to their insurance company for coverage that still violates their moral and religious beliefs. Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide coverage at no cost.

Essentially, religious groups will still be mandated to offer plans that cover both birth control and the ella abortion drug

According to Obama administration officials on a conference call this morning, a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge. The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

The birth control and abortion-causing drugs will simply be “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer,” White House officials said.

So these employers will still have to provide the health insurance, and the health insurance must cover the contraception and abortifacients.  The White House apparently wants t pretend that the funds for these outlays will come off of the Unobtanium Tree, where insurers find money to cover all mandates.  This exposes once again a stunning ignorance of risk pools and how costs are passed along to consumers.

Let’s just take this one step at a time.  Where do insurers get money to pay claims?  They collect premiums and co-pays from the insured group or risk pool.  No matter what the Obama administration wants to say now, the money that will cover those contraception costs will come from the religious organizations that must now by law buy that insurance and pay those premiums.  Their religious doctrines have long-standing prohibitions against participating in contraception and abortion, and nothing in this “accommodation” changes the fact that the government is now forcing them to both fund and facilitate access to products and services that offend their practice of religion.

Basically, the Obama administration told religious organizations to stop complaining and get in line.  This “accommodation” only attempts to accommodate Obama’s political standing and nothing more.

Update: The LA Times’ Jon Healy calls this new position “magical thinking”:

Here’s where the magical thinking comes in. The following is from the fact sheet the White House released Friday:

Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services. For example, there was no increase in premiums when contraception was added to the Federal Employees Health Benefit System and required of non-religious employers in Hawaii. One study found that covering contraception lowered premiums by 10 percent or more.

Making everyone in a pool carry coverage whether they need it or not spreads the cost, saving money for those who really do need it and who’d choose to carry it if it were merely optional. But costs faced by the insurer are the same — and when the care is provided with no out-of-pocket costs, the insurer’s costs are likely to go up because more people will use it. Such is likely to be the case with contraception.

Also, let me emphasize one point that this does not address.  The government is forcing religious organizations to both pay for and facilitate activities that violate their religious doctrine.  If anyone thinks that passes muster with the First Amendment, that’s even more magical thinking than this funding shell game.

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Anybody know what happens if the religious institution self insures…?

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

And, yet, news reports are quick to point out all the Catholics who are happy with the head fake… Idiots.

Fallon on February 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Who? Seriously, who? I want to contact them if they are important people in the church.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

According to Obama administration officials on a conference call this morning, a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge. The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

Then who DOES pay for it? The insurance companies? If insurance companies were required to pay for contraceptives for employees of religious institutions, wouldn’t they increase their premiums to such institutions?

Does the Government pay for it? Why should the rest of us be taxed to provide contraceptives to religious organizations that don’t believe in them?

There is one surefire way for a woman to avoid getting pregnant–abstain from sex! So if a woman decides to have sex anyway, shouldn’t SHE pay for contraceptives? Or her husband, if she’s married and doesn’t want children?

Steve Z on February 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

My point is I don’t see how it could cost an insurance company extra money to cover contraception, etc… when the result of not covering it is a higher rate of births. If it doesn’t cost any more to cover those things, why the argument about requiring insurance companies to cover it.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Guess what? There is a high correlation between the Pill and HPV infection/cervical cancer and other STDs. Rather than blaming the Pill itself, I think it’s the moral hazard. Non-monogamous people on The Pill are more likely to feel OK about skipping the condom.

Nothing is free, and everything has trade-offs. Yes, covering hormonal and surgical contraception at this level will require insurance companies to raise their rates. No, it will not be made up for by decreased births.

Sekhmet on February 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

So, Obama assumes that the Catholic Church has no principles. As long as they’re just buying insurance, that provides abortions, intead of being forced to add the coverage to their existing policy, everything is fine????

I’m still looking for proof this guy is smart. Grade transcripts anyone? Oh well, Nancy Pelosi said, we have to pass this bill to know what’s in it. Has anyone read it yet? How much more can Obama tell the insurance companies they have to cover at “no cost”?

bflat879 on February 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Courageous and purposeful, Sister Carol Keehan, 66, is a deeply religious Catholic woman dedicated to carrying out the healing ministry of Jesus Christ on earth. Her leadership of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) has been defined by advocacy for the poor and an unwavering respect for human dignity.

This has got to be some kind of joke. This woman is as “deeply religious” as Nancy Pelosi. She is nothing but a Marxist using religion to push her agenda.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

My point is:
If I run an insurance company, and I have two policies, one that covers contraception and one that doesn’t, I would charge more for the one that doesn’t cover contraceptives because my eventual costs are higher.

The same is true of covering checkups or any other preventative coverage. The end cost is lower by covering those things, so the cost of the premium should be lower as well.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

You would be bankrupt and in federal jail.

Odie1941 on February 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I have a feeling we are missing the forest for the trees.

How far have we come as a country where the president can tell private companies what they can and can’t cover?

Everyone is making a big deal (rightfully so) about how this is an assault on separation of church and state, but how is this also not an assault on free enterprise.

Without so much of a whimper, Obama is now able to tell companies what to sell and how to sell it.

dernst2 on February 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Ding Ding Ding

GeorgieGirl9 on February 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Money isn’t the issue. Religious freedom and the Bill of Rights is. If the First Amendment means nothing, you’ll need to check with this Administration to find out what speech is allowable… but most progressives wish for fascism.

The title of this post was:

Obama “accommodation”: Insurers must cover contraception at no cost to … anyone?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

This entire story truly underscores the need to see King O’Bongo’s education transcripts.

The evidence available so far would indicate that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer at any point in his education experience.

The British have a name for people such as this…

…”thick.”

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

When obama was campaigning in ’08, several things he promised really lit up the Detroit population. The news showed a woman jumping with glee that she no longer needed to worry about paying rent or filling her gas tank.

Same logic applies here. Obama is making promises just to win an election. It doesn’t matter it he never follows through, some people are apparently too stupid to see past entitlement promises, thinking either the “rich” will pay for them all or it’s simply “free”.

It’s disgusting that there are SO many ignorant and stupid people in this country.

/spit

Wolfmoon on February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Bill Donohue, The Catholic League, says it is worse than before…”has this man lost his mind”…it is devious.

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

This entire story truly underscores the need to see King O’Bongo’s education transcripts.

The evidence available so far would indicate that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer at any point in his education experience.

The British have a name for people such as this…

”thick.” daft.

trapeze on February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Odie1941 on February 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Some basic thoughts -

1. Whatever the spin coming out of the White House, what has essentially happened here is amazing and something I don’t think most Americans get – The ACA (Obama Care) has essentially transferred authority to create core Constitutional requirements (like providing for the common defense, aka, the military) from the People (through Congress and the Amendment process) to the Executive. Obama has just mandated that all insurance companies, which are just proxies holding our premium dollars, to provide contraception, abortifacients, etc, at “no cost” to the consumers. That is, Obama has created a core Constitutional right to the Pill!

2. With respect to item #1, no citizen of this country can object to or get out from under the requirement of paying for these items. You either pay for them through your premiums or through the individual mandate “fine/tax”. You’re only escape is to refuse and go to jail for felony tax evasion.

3. The left believes fully in money laundering. That is, they believe that morals are established through a balance sheet and are thus able to be absolved by simply through making transfer payments

powerpickle on February 10, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Unicorns for all!

cmsinaz on February 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Obama, the former ‘professor of constitutional law’ pees on the constitution, at will.

Romney is mighty quiet on topic.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

The title of this post was:

Obama “accommodation”: Insurers must cover contraception at no cost to … anyone?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

You are hopeless. Maybe Obama is right about the uneducated voter.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

The HHS mandate does not require coverage of abortifacients. That probably won’t change conservatives view of the debate, as Catholics oppose contraception of any kind, but we should be honest about the facts. The mandate covers FDA-approved contraceptives. Note that none of those treatments induce the abortion of an implanted egg.

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Just as Nancy stated – Now we’re “finding out what’s in it”

alQemist on February 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Let’s have a Republican state like Alabama just make all abortion doctors have to carry guns on them at all times for protection even if they morally oppose guns…

That will be the fastest way to end this stupid nonsense.

Washington Fancy on February 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Why do Democrats hate babies?

angryed on February 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Obi-wan: These are not the droids you’re looking for…

Storm Trooper: These are not the droids we’re looking for…

Obi-wan: Move along…

Storm Trooper: Move along…

Ltlgeneral64 on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So we will now be planting birth control trees next to the plots that grow government money trees.

tdpwells on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Associated Press…Obama fixes everything.

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

“First they came…” is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text of the quotation is usually presented roughly as follows:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I was Protestant.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

mechkiller_k on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Blow jobs only! Problem solved

Bevan on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

The mandate covers FDA-approved contraceptives. Note that none of those treatments induce the abortion of an implanted egg.

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Yet…

angryed on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Reminds me of the scene from “Clear and Present Danger” starring Harrison Ford. The dialogue went like this:

Jack Ryan: I’m here to rent the Huey.
Helicopter owner: We don’t rent it anymore, but it is for sale.
Jack Ryan: How much?
Helicopter owner: Two million dollars.
Jack Ryan: Uh, my pilot and I will have to take it for a test drive.
Helicopter owner: Of course, you just have to leave a deposit.
Jack Ryan: How much is that?
Helicopter owner: Two million dollars.
Jack Ryan: Umm…

I can see the Catholic hospitals/universities asking how much coverage is with abortion protection and without and getting the same price.

djaymick on February 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Now if only the SCOTUS will rule that Congress exceeded it’s authority under the Commerce Clause of the 10th Amendment by forcing private citizens to buy a product is unconstitutional, this issue will be a moot issue.

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I wouldn’t worry. If the SC doesn’t do it, the citizens will do it themselves. If this is ruled constitutional, then we will be getting a new constitution.

Vashta.Nerada on February 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

This is my favorite passage in the Declaration of Independence:

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Please wake me when this nightmare is over! November 2012 can’t come any too soon!

SPGuy on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Update: The LA Times’ Jon Healy calls this new position “magical thinking”

Joe Biden… Chris Matthews… and now the LA Times?

If That One’s decision to pick a fight on this issue was an attempt to reenergize his base, it seems to have backfired in a very big way.

Mr. Prodigy on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Update: The LA Times’ Jon Healy calls this new position “magical thinking”

We hear a lot about “separation of church and state”. What about separation of INDIVIDUAL and state? Forget for a moment the rights of churches. What about the rights of INDIVIDUALS to not be forced to buy something? Why are the rights of churches any greater than that of individuals?

Paul-Cincy on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

My point is:
If I run an insurance company, and I have two policies, one that covers contraception and one that doesn’t, I would charge more for the one that doesn’t cover contraceptives because my eventual costs are higher.

The same is true of covering checkups or any other preventative coverage. The end cost is lower by covering those things, so the cost of the premium should be lower as well.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

You are falling for the “preventive medicine always saves money” canard.

If I have a company of 25,000 and I have to cover the purchase of condoms for 12,000 people or pay for a few oops pregnancies – you’re saying the cost is the same? Of course it isn’t. You act as though people have oooops pregnancies once ever nine months.

PLUS – you miss the point. You are compelling a religous organization to act opposite their faith. It’s so clearly a violation of the 1st Amendment that you have to be WILLFULLY trying to usurp basic human rights to support it. THere’s no way to spin this to make it innocuous.

Each pregnancy costs at least $20,000, not including continuing care of a new human. That covers a lot of condoms.

Also, religious organizations don’t have faith, people do. And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

If they were forcing Catholics to take birth control pills, I would agree with you.

If they stopped providing insurance, but gave money to employees to purchase health care, and some of that money was used on contraceptives, would that bother you?

Finally, I was raised Catholic, and I don’t know anyone who took the church seriously on birth control. Would you be in favor of the Mormons discriminating against blacks if that was still a part of their religion, or is it OK to ignore church teachings that are obviously wrong?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

So we will now be planting birth control trees next to the plots that grow government money trees.

tdpwells on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

The Fed has printing presses for both of these.

WashJeff on February 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Anybody know what happens if the religious institution self insures…?

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I don’t think it would change anything. My understanding is that Obamacare mandates everyone carry health insurance and that HHS must sign off on the health care policies offered by each insurer. So, no abortions, no contraceptives, no health insurance policy.

txhsmom on February 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The mandate covers FDA-approved contraceptives. Note that none of those treatments induce the abortion of an implanted egg.

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

No, but an abortion does!!

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Apparently contraceptives keep women “healthy”. So being pregnant must be “unhealthy”. Just speaking for myself, I never felt better than when I was pregnant. Dems are weird.

ctmom on February 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Things like this wouldn’t happen if people didn’t vote for intellectually challenged presidential candidates who don’t understand or respect the constitution.

Vashta.Nerada on February 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM – Absolutely!

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM – Wrong view point. It is not about what’s covered. Its about being told what is to be covered. How will you feel when you are told what to eat, where to live and when to die?

red131 on February 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

1. Whatever the spin coming out of the White House, what has essentially happened here is amazing and something I don’t think most Americans get – The ACA (Obama Care) has essentially transferred authority to create core Constitutional requirements (like providing for the common defense, aka, the military) from the People (through Congress and the Amendment process) to the Executive. Obama has just mandated that all insurance companies, which are just proxies holding our premium dollars, to provide contraception, abortifacients, etc, at “no cost” to the consumers. That is, Obama has created a core Constitutional right to the Pill!

This is an excellent point. I would add that the ability to mandate with respect to healthcare is the ability to control the very essence of our humanity. We are no longer individuals–we are numbers, a part of the masses to be controlled through central planning. Welcome to Hell.

guitarman67 on February 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Obama obviously learned nothing from the last time he messed with the church.

Axion on February 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

The Fed has printing presses for both of these.

WashJeff on February 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

The folks who think that Obama gives handouts from his own “stash” would likely easily believe that.

“Wow, look, this pill is paper thin! Is there anything Obama can’t do?”

tdpwells on February 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

The HHS mandate does not require coverage of abortifacients. That probably won’t change conservatives view of the debate, as Catholics oppose contraception of any kind, but we should be honest about the facts. The mandate covers FDA-approved contraceptives. Note that none of those treatments induce the abortion of an implanted egg.
RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

As far as I am aware, that last sentence is true. However, FDA-approved “contraceptives” include measures that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. I am not a Catholic, but I believe that is considered an abortifacient under Catholic Church doctrine. As a devout pro-lifer myself, I consider it such and am morally opposed to it on those grounds.

Either way, I believe the mandate, with or without the “accommodation,” violates religious freedom.

toby11 on February 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I notice you haven’t responded to any of my specific insurance-only/actuarial comments.

I wonder why?

Odie1941 on February 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I’m not comfortable bringing this up, but, has Obama ever had to get by on the sweat of his brow? I mean, worked? He seems so detached from the real world, where there’s a relationship between real effort and goods and services produced, and there’s a finite supply of goods and services. He was a community organizer in South Central Chicago, where I suspect his main objective was to get government funding for that community. What does he know about business, and industry, and how there are no free lunches.

Paul-Cincy on February 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Why uncomfortable? We’ve been saying for years that the Office of the President is the first real job little Bammie has had, excepting perhaps that summer as a teenager in an ice-cream store. That’s why he works from 10am to 3pm including a long lunch break. It’s all so very new to him.

slickwillie2001 on February 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

You’re barking up the wrong tree, and so does everyone that think this has anything to do with contraception. It is the state dictating to a religious group to ignore it’s profound beliefs and provide care that violates its principles.

And don’t leave abortion out of the mix.

And if you lump abortion in with contraception, then you’ve confirmed the worst of what conservatives think.

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I’ve always considered insurance to be voluntary socialism, to me their latest plan here takes it to the next level.

aceinstall on February 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Not to mention what happens when stuff is free. I still remember my grandmother bringing us her free governement cheese. More waste, fraud and abuse.

ctmom on February 10, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Just to make sure the position of the left is crystal clear:

Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy

The products and services covered by the mandate do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases*. “Keeping women healthy” in this context means no more and no less than “Keeping women not pregnant”. In other words, a pregnant woman is not a healthy woman.

*In fact, from an economic standpoint, by lowering the “cost” of sexual activity (thereby increasing the quantity “purchased”), such coverage (holding everything else constant) can be expected to increase the incidence of STDs.

sadarj on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Sorry, but can someone please explain something to me? i really don’t get this…

How is it the president (any president) can just dictate what insurers must offer? Don’t laws need to be passed to do this? Why is this all about how/what obama is willing to compromise on? since when are laws compromisable??

It seems to me if the healthcare law says companies must provide something, then if it’s the law they must provide it. So how is obama able to just change it??

To be clear, I am fully against obama care and this mandate for birth control, I just don’t get how he can just say “oh, well if you’re complaining about it, well then I’ll just have this other person pay for it”? WTF? Since when is that the way the U.S. runs??

And more importantly, why aren’t more people up in arms about the way this is going down? I’m not talking about the birth control mandate, i’m talking about an individual being able to dictate this and make decisions for all (regardless if he’s the president).

jetch on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

No, but an abortion does!!

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The mandate only covers contraception. In fairness, I personally think it should cover abortion, but the Obama administration isn’t as strictly pro-choice as I am.

Yet…

angryed on February 10, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Ed’s post doesn’t say that the mandate will eventually lead to covering abortifacients. It says that the mandate currently does, which is just wrong. Do you agree that Ed’s post should honestly depict what the mandate actually does right now?

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

This won’t cost the insurers a dime. They will just pass along an increased premium to the insured, so the Churches will still be paying for it.

Just like raising taxes on businesses, they just pass it along.

tommer74 on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

The new compromise was just released. You can opt out of the mandate if you simply get the Obama logo tattooed on your right hand or your forehead. If you don’t get the mark of Obama, you’re a terrorist.

SirGawain on February 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

“…those who really need it.” NO ONE NEEDS CONDOMS. Derp.

Aronne on February 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

How do you know this?

darwin on February 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Ok, so you should have insurance to cover your monthly $20 cost for the pill?

You’re going to buy it every month, it;’ll cost you $20 to do so… so you need insurance? And you think getting insurance will save you money on this purchase?

Damn, i need rent insurance.. I’m paying $700/mo in rent… how much can you cut my monthly expenses if I get rent insurance and have them pay it every month?

Anyone want to pay my $700/mo rent if I send them $650/mo in insurance payments? How about $675?

What? No takers? But I’ve been told this is how insurance works… you take a monthly bill with a fixed cost, you “insure” it, and you pay less magically because insurance lowers total costs.

gekkobear on February 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Look at the bright side – we are allowed to complain about this….for now.

Vashta.Nerada on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

If they stopped providing insurance, but gave money to employees to purchase health care, and some of that money was used on contraceptives, would that bother you?

They would have to use the money to pay the fine the govt. would impose. There would be no money for a pay rais to purchase health care.

If some Catholics ignore the teachings of the church that doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church should have to provide the things they preach against.

Again, you are one of those uneducated voters that Obama is after.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

The government is forcing religious organizations to both pay for and facilitate activities that violate their religious doctrine. If anyone thinks that passes muster with the First Amendment, that’s even more magical thinking than this funding shell game.

I have a strong feeling that this issue will not go away as quickly as Obama was planning. Most remarkable to me is the fact that the MSM doesn’t seem to be doing the usual spinning. Either they are outraged or, more likely, the “accomodation” is so transparently awful that even the LA Times can’t defend the idea.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

jetch on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Obamacare was passed, they can make any rules they want now.

tommer74 on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

no cost to anyone??? Ohhh, no need for a budget soooo I guess he can say that. Jarrett and Sebilius and the ol battleaxe are behind this, so he is just limpwristing along wif da girlclub.

jake49 on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Here’s an analogy.

Let’s say that the government has a new school lunch program. All schools – public and private – are required to participate. The menu is defined in Washington, because after all, they know what’s best to feed children. No junk food, of course. Every meal includes both meat and dairy, and lean pork is served twice a week. Meals also include a nice yeasty whole-grain roll year-round.

There are no opt-outs, not even for Jewish schools that keep kosher. (If you don’t know, Kosher law forbids eating pork, serving meat and dairy in the same meal, and during Passover, products made with yeast may not be consumed.)

skydaddy on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Anybody know what happens if the religious institution self insures…?

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 2:11 PM

According to Bill Donohue who was just on FOX News, he said his organization, Catholic League, gets it’s health insurance through Christian Brothers Services, a nonprofit organization that administers cooperative programs in the areas of health/retirement, property/casualty and consulting/technology to church organizations.
Apparently there will be conflicts here too, since Christian Brothers Services is run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order of brothers, an integral part of the Catholic Church. You can be sure this little walk back by Obama hasn’t solved anything yet. I think Obama is handling this issue….well….stupidly.

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Amazing that made it through the allahfilter.

SirGawain on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

BB Begley: I am Catholic and I very much take “seriously” the Church’s teachings on contraception. In fact, I’m betting my eternal soul that the Church is right.

natasha333 on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

It covers the”morning after” oill.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Wow, that’s good- one can further make the argument that the Church is facilitating voodoo rituals, a belief in alien abductions, and the abomination of drinking budweiser products for the same reason you just put forward.

GrassMudHorsey on February 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

we divest of countries that we thing are doing something very immoral. why cannot the church do the same?

nathor on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

A bogus statistic but you make a good point no matter how accidentially it happened.

If American Catholic women have access to contraception now, why is it necessary for the jug-eared bastard to mandate universal coverage?

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Obama is so self-absorbed with his narcissism, he actually thinks that he has the authority to order insurance companies what they must do…he doesn’t. He’s got to stop watching those Hugo Chavez videos.

cajunpatriot on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

the only possessor of inalienable rights is Dear Leader, the self perpetuating autocrat.

stupid peasants.

if this was george w bush using or usurping executive power to exempt religious institutions from offering contraceptives all the lefties would be screaming like stuck pigs about what a nazi woman hating thug he was. king george you know granting himself powers he’s not entitled to in a democracy.

but i guess as long as you use, abuse and over step executive powers to force people to do what liberals want it somehow is democracy not fascism-in magical glittery unicorn logic.

king barry I.

as an aside, it may be a smoldering unconstitutional turd, but at least romenycare unlike obamacare has a religious exemption for individuals. if catholics were so upset in MA about funding abortions and contraceptives why didn’t they avail themselves in droves of the religious exemption to romenycare or at least go to jail or pay the romenycare fine in protest, you know, of the profound violation of their right to freedom of religion? as far as i can tell, all the catholic hospitals around here except all romneycare insurance plans and indeed pushed for the passage of both laws- and romenycare stated in 2006. it took 6 years to notice this was contrary to your church’s teaching? how convenient for you to know throw a collective wet hen because it’s time to pay the price for supporting obama and social justice fascism. how different are you really from flaming godless socialist liberals who think its ok to force others to conform to their beliefs by using the force of government as a cudgel?

the cudgels ok i guess as long as you are exempted from being hit with it.

mittens on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

This makes no sense at all. My insurance premium is not broken out by line item. I pay one amount each pay period, and my employer picks up the rest. Besides, insurance companies only manage insurance pools, and the people who purchase policies pay premiums into those pools; the insurance company’s job is to make sure the pools maintain their solvency by raising or lowering premiums. Insurance companies don’t pay for anything – health care costs are paid out of the insurance pool. So I don’t understand the concept of insurance companies covering contraception at no cost. Will these costs no longer be covered by money from the insurance pool?

TouchdownBuddha on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

By the logic of cost, Obama could mandate abortions of all down syndrome babies.

In the 1930′s, Hitler was promoting his eugenics program, step by step, just like Obama is today.

Freddy on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

You’re not getting it. It doesn’t matter what the people of the church do…they can do whatever they want. The Church has absolute beliefs & teachings pertaining to life & dignity. With that comes 1st amendment protections.

Just because people do not follow Church teachings does not mean the Church is wrong.

tommer74 on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services.

Pause to savor the Brave New World flavor of that official White House statement: Preventing conception is good government policy because getting pregnant and having children is expensive, and expensive is bad.

Socratease on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Irrelevant…Obama’s made-up law didn’t require Catholic women to do anything.

cajunpatriot on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

You guys are being cruel. President Obama never claimed to be an economist (except maybe for the “profits and earnings ratio,” but I digress…hehehe). He did not really understand the program until Valerie Jarrett explained it this way “Barack, it will be free — like a government benefit.” He then understood immediately, being, after all, a pretty quick study.

IndyinVirginny on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Each pregnancy costs at least $20,000, not including continuing care of a new human. That covers a lot of condoms.

Also, religious organizations don’t have faith, people do. And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

If they were forcing Catholics to take birth control pills, I would agree with you.

If they stopped providing insurance, but gave money to employees to purchase health care, and some of that money was used on contraceptives, would that bother you?

Finally, I was raised Catholic, and I don’t know anyone who took the church seriously on birth control. Would you be in favor of the Mormons discriminating against blacks if that was still a part of their religion, or is it OK to ignore church teachings that are obviously wrong?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

So this will end unwanted pregnancies?

Awesome… my high school gave out free condoms… oddly I remember some girls getting pregnant in high school even with condoms being available for free.

How did that happen? You’ve stated quite clearly that you can avoid the cost of these pregnancies in total with additional spending to make contraception free.. how did these girls get pregnant?

Oh… they didn’t use the condoms. So this will offset the costs for women who already buy the pill, and those that don’t probably won’t start taking it daily now… so very little will change. If they wouldn’t pay $20/mo for it, I doubt the cost was the driving issue here.

But at least if you ignore what really happens you can pretend you changed something. But realistically, you’re not going to avoid many if any of those $20,000 children with this… you’re just throwing money at women who already do the right thing.

Good for them I guess; would you like to subsidize any of my regular monthly bills? Cover say $20/mo of my rent/mortgage for the rest of my life?

You can pretend it helps avoid me living on the street eating from dumpsters if pretending something that isn’t real helps you throw money at something… because it seems it does.

gekkobear on February 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

skydaddy on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Mooch is working on this as fast as she can.

Peppa Pig on February 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

toby11 on February 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

The Catholic church recognizes a difference between contraception and abortion (even if it holds that both are morally wrong). The definition of an abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion (i.e. the destruction of the products of conception, from zygote to the moment of birth). That is not covered under the mandate. Even Catholic doctrine has to admit simple semantics.

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Too early to sue because no institution has been forced to implement this or, in the alternative, has been forced to pay a penalty.

But a group of objecting Catholic groups should band together and reject this shell game and threaten a lawsuit. The Obama institution will lose this more convincingly than the individual mandate.

BuckeyeSam on February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

They would have to use the money to pay the fine the govt. would impose. There would be no money for a pay rais to purchase health care.

If some Catholics ignore the teachings of the church that doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church should have to provide the things they preach against.

Again, you are one of those uneducated voters that Obama is after.

I meant that as a hypothetical question, but since it clearly makes you feel better to assume that everyone who disagrees with you is uneducated or an idiot, by all means continue.

Also, not some Catholics ignore that teaching, 98% ignore that teaching. Additionally, lots of Catholic institutions already provide contraceptive coverage, and we didn’t hear a word about it until this week.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Don’t doubt that this is simply a probing action on the part of Bammie and Jarrett to see what they can get away with. The real object here is abortion, and making it a procedure covered by all health insurance policies and done in all hospitals.

slickwillie2001 on February 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

It is now absolutely clear that Obama is lost in a thick fog without a compass or a map. God help us because this dysfunctional government certainly can’t.

rplat on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Each pregnancy costs at least $20,000, not including continuing care of a new human. That covers a lot of condoms.

Also, religious organizations don’t have faith, people do. And 98% of American Catholic women use contraception during their fertile years.

If they were forcing Catholics to take birth control pills, I would agree with you.

If they stopped providing insurance, but gave money to employees to purchase health care, and some of that money was used on contraceptives, would that bother you?

Finally, I was raised Catholic, and I don’t know anyone who took the church seriously on birth control. Would you be in favor of the Mormons discriminating against blacks if that was still a part of their religion, or is it OK to ignore church teachings that are obviously wrong?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I was raised a Catholic too and almost everyone I know takes the Church’s postion very seriously. The one exception that I know of is my brother and his wife who managed to have 5 kids using various different kinds of birth control. So, from my experience, not only did they spend a lot of money for birth control, it didn’t even save them lots of money for labor and delivery costs.

The only way you can count on that is to forcibly tell people how many kids they can have.

Mark my words, that is what will come next, folks.

You think we couldn’t China’s one child policy here? It’s coming. Once the state is providing for your “Health Services” they will tell you which ones you can and can’t have.

And besides, what difference does it make how many people follow a particular doctrine or not? As near as I can tell 100% of human beings over the age of 2 years tell lies but last I heard there was no groundswell of support for removing Thou Shalt Not Lie from the 10 Commandments.

Lily on February 10, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Obama doubles down on stupid … I thought he had come up with a real “accommodation” that would defuse the issue … glad he managed to keep the issue alive, but the problems with the “accommodation” will take more explaining to the average voter.

toby11 on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

You’re not getting it. It doesn’t matter what the people of the church do…they can do whatever they want. The Church has absolute beliefs & teachings pertaining to life & dignity. With that comes 1st amendment protections.

Just because people do not follow Church teachings does not mean the Church is wrong.

tommer74 on February 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

My guess is that the Obamas, creatures of the hard left and grievance mongers and faux Christians at best, are itching to pit Catholics against their church. They’d love to see a storming of the Bastille.

BuckeyeSam on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

It covers the”morning after” oill.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

The morning after pill is not an abortifacient. It prevents an egg from being released for fertilization. It’s contraception, not abortion.

RightOFLeft on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

How is it the president (any president) can just dictate what insurers must offer? Don’t laws need to be passed to do this? Why is this all about how/what obama is willing to compromise on? since when are laws compromisable??

He can because the people we put in place to protect us from dictators (courts, legislators, the press, etc.) are letting him do it. Just like there’s no law that gives Obama the power to issue waivers from No Child Left Behind to states, much less a law allowing him to issue such waivers on condition that the states violating the duly-enacted NCLB law instead follow Obama’s own education rules which he pulled out of his nether regions and have no legislative authority. In olden days, that would be conspiracy to violate federal laws and land them both in prison. Today it gets votes, so it’s OK.

Socratease on February 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

You can be sure this little walk back by Obama hasn’t solved anything yet. I think Obama is handling this issue….well….stupidly.

timberline on February 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Very. He’s stumbled into a hornet’s nest and hasn’t a fungible way out. He stepped into his own arrogance over this, and doesn’t understand how deeply people feel about this. He’s spent too much time in his own world of yesmen. This is a very black and white issue to people of faith who see this as a violation of the First Amendment.

You can use this as a dividing line in our culture. Either you get it or you don’t. And there are a lot more who do than he thought.

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I don’t know, seems to me, all they did was phrase it differently. In the end, it’s still the same thing. It hurts my head to try to sort through Liberal logic.

JennM111 on February 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

You are being tested America, Obama and his are watching.

They test, watch, move forward, test, watch, move forward.

You have not stood up to him yet.

So he will push more, take more, rule more, tax more, spend more, until you fight back, then you will see the nature of this thing you have enabled.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

There are no opt-outs, not even for Jewish schools that keep kosher. (If you don’t know, Kosher law forbids eating pork, serving meat and dairy in the same meal, and during Passover, products made with yeast may not be consumed.)

skydaddy on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Yes, but would the meat be halal? That’s what would really matter. /

tdpwells on February 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I’m okay with this alternative.

I don’t think it will increase costs, as providing contraception is cheaper than paying for the costs of childbirth and the medical costs of the child who would presumably be covered by the parent’s account (this assumes that the woman who has an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t get abortion.)

Mister Mets on February 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

or is it OK to ignore church teachings that are obviously wrong?

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:26 PM

And since our omnipotent Dear Leader has decided that Catholic church teachings on birth control are “obviously wrong,” then he therefore has the right to trample on the First Amendment?

Did you acquire your legal expertise from the same school as the noted constitutional scholar Barry Obama?

It doesn’t matter if 60% or 98% or 100% of Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives. It also doesn’t matter if some Catholics have abortions, or if some of them steal or kill or don’t pay their taxes or eat too much fatty food. There is no purity test for the First Amendment, nor is there any hypocrisy exception.

AZCoyote on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I meant that as a hypothetical question, but since it clearly makes you feel better to assume that everyone who disagrees with you is uneducated or an idiot, by all means continue.

Also, not some Catholics ignore that teaching, 98% ignore that teaching. Additionally, lots of Catholic institutions already provide contraceptive coverage, and we didn’t hear a word about it until this week.

BBegley on February 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Again you missed the point. Give me a link to your statistics. Give me a link to your assertion that “lots” of Catholic Institutions provide contraceptive coverage.

It doesn’t make me feel better that you are an uneducated voter. I feel sad that you are because those that chose to do the work to become aware of the facts, pay for your uneducated vote.

Vince on February 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Comparison Chart of The Abortion Pill and The Morning-After Pill

The Abortion Pill

Brand Name: Mifeprex

Promoted As: Alternative to surgical abortions

When Used: Up to 7th week of pregnancy

How It Works: Keeps progesterone from supporting a pregnancy

Does It Kill a Baby? Always

Side Effects: Cramping, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, but also includes the possibility of heavy bleeding or infection that could lead to hospitalization or even death

The Morning-After Pill

Brand Name: Plan B

Promoted As: Emergency contraception

When Used: Within 72 hours after sex

How It Works: Suppresses ovulation and thins uterine lining to prevent implantation

Does It Kill a Baby? Sometimes

Side Effects: Similar to birth control pills – nausea, headache, abdominal pain, but also more serious concerns such as blood clotting and heart problems that could lead to hospitalization or even death.

This promotes women’s health?

itsspideyman on February 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What people are missing is that EVERYONE is being forced to pay. Even if I’m not employed by a Church etc.. – I’m forced to pay. Where is my ‘choice’ from the pro-choice crowd?

joadard on February 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

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