Why the White House “Accommodations” are Insufficient UPDATE: Catholic Hospitals, Schools, etc. Still Not Exempted

This story is still breaking. Scroll down for updates.

News broke this morning that the White House would offer an “accommodation” (to avoid the appearance of caving to Catholics through “compromise”) to the Catholic community over their concern about the HHS Contraception Mandate.

There are currently two different theories surfacing regarding this “accommodation”.

  1. Current news reports indicate unofficially that the plan will be based off the system in Hawaii, which requires Catholic organizations to inform employees of locations where they may receive contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients.
  2. CatholicVote is reporting on the following on their Facebook wall:

    Breaking: They made it worse! Obama administration saying Church groups do not have to pay for immoral activities — insurance companies will PAY! But Church will still have to pay into these insurance plans. A phony segregation of funds. WE WILL NOT COMPLY!

In either case, the “accommodation” is insufficient for the Catholic Church for the following reasons:

  • If the Hawaii plan is used, the accommodation still requires Catholic institutions to act as conduits of contraception information, without which is it unclear whether those employees would have such information access. This is material cooperation in grave evil.
  • If CatholicVote is correct, then insurance companies will fund these immoral activities and simply pass the costs on to employees. Same thing, different wording.
  • The accommodation would still result in grave scandal. Would Catholic employee lounges put up posters that summarize Humanae Vitaeand then say at the bottom: “in spite of Catholic teaching, do you want access to contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients? If so, speak with our human resources department about your options!”
  • Catholic insurance companies will still be required to cover these immoral activities, even if the employers they cover will not be required to do so directly.
  • The contraception mandate has exposed a serious flaw (as if there weren’t enough) in Obamacare: if the executive branch has the kind of authority to change these things without Congress, either to implement the mandate or to offer an “accommodation,” then the executive branch can impose even stricter mandates at any time.
  • Catholic employers who are not affiliated with the Church in their business would still be required to violate their consciences and pay for contraceptives for employees.

That Barack Obama is so utterly clueless about the objections of the Catholic bishops is astounding on the surface, but not when you consider the nominal Catholics he surrounds himself with. He also appears to be utterly clueless that his “accommodations” are not substantially different in any way. Nevertheless, it is clear that Catholics have united in an astonishing way. In just over a week, nearly 29,000 people have signed the petition to halt the HHS Contraception mandate. Over 3700 people have joined Truth & Charity’s page, Stand with the US Bishops against the HHS. Let’s work together to continue opposing this “accommodation.”

Keep following us for updates as the White House releases an official statement.

Update 11:28 EST

Fox News is confirming the theory put forth by CatholicVote.

The accommodation is, readers, a wolf poorly disguised in a sheep’s clothing. Insurance companies will now pay for the contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients. This is worse than before. The previous mandate required employers to cover these immoral things without cost to employees. Now, costs will be passed on to employers and employees.

Furthermore, Catholic insurance companies will be forced to pay for these services or be fined/shut down.

Continue to fight this mandate! They’ve only dug themselves a deeper hole with a change of wording!

Update 12:09 EST

The White House will be holding a press conference at 12:15 EST.

Update 12:15 EST

Here is a live posting of our observations and objections from the press conference:

Obama is starting with this jocular attitude on a serious issue.

Now he’s claiming that it will save lives and that preventive care should include contraception to reduce the risk of cancers. What, is he kidding?! The Pill causes TONS of health problems.

Obama is trying to make this about helping women. Obama, women don’t want their religious views or their churches violated.

Obama actually said that religious liberty is important? Now he’s trying to talk about how he’s rubbed elbows with the Catholic Church. Schmoozing.

Catholics have a religious objection? Duh. Obama is claiming the moral high ground above 8 states that had worse mandates, and is claiming FALSELY that Catholic Churches were exempt under his mandate.

Obama is blaming the issue on cynical politics. He just doesn’t get it.

“Women will still have access to free preventive care, including contraceptives, no matter where they work…” blah, blah, blah…the insurance company, not the hospital, will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptives. Contraception is not preventive care! Pregnancy is NOT a disease!

Obama is saying that employers will not have to pay, but he doesn’t realize how economics works (go figure). The costs of these “services” will be passed on to consumers, both employers AND employees.

No, Mr. Obama, religious liberty will not be protected. What about the Catholic insurance companies? What about the fact that costs will be passed on to employers and employees? This is a FIG LEAF and an accounting gimmick.

Okay, that’s the whole thing. They cut off a reporter who tried to ask a question about Cardinal-designate Dolan.

Okay, so, to recap, this “accommodation” fails miserably and is worse than the first!

Update 12:25 EST
  • Insurance companies will fund these immoral activities and simply pass the costs on to employers. Same thing, different wording. No, this is worse than before. Insurance companies will pass the costs on to employers and employees, whereas before, only employers would pay the costs.
  • The accommodation will still result in grave scandal. Will Catholic employee lounges put up posters that summarize Humanae Vitaeand then say at the bottom: “in spite of Catholic teaching, do you want access to contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients? If so, speak with our human resources department about your options for receiving these services free of charge from the insurance provider!”
  • Catholic insurance companies will still be required to cover these immoral activities, even if the employers they cover will not be required to do so directly.
  • Pregnancy is not a disease, therefore, contraception is not preventive care.
  • The contraception mandate has exposed a serious flaw (as if there weren’t enough) in Obamacare: if the executive branch has the kind of authority to change these things without Congress, either to implement the mandate or to offer an “accommodation,” then the executive branch can impose even stricter mandates at any time.
  • Catholic employers who are not affiliated with the Church in their business would still be required to violate their consciences and pay for contraceptives for employees.

Am I missing anything?

Update 1:12 EST

It is now clear that the Catholic Health Association was more concerned for the wording of this gravely evil mandate than the mandate itself. We can no longer count on the support of otherwise Obama-supporting individuals.

Update 2:17 EST

Is the administration trying to pull a fast one on us? With all the hand-wringing over today’s “Accommodation,” I think we lost focus on what the issue really is: For an establishment to qualify as a religious organization, it “primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.” The narrow definition still stands – Catholic hospitals, schools, charities, etc. still will not qualify as religious organizations. The fight continues.

3 Comments

  1. I think you covered the objections very well. Thank you very much. I think any compromise, exemption, waiver falls far short of what is needed, which is a total rescinding of the mandate. While the Bishops speak for the Roman Catholic Church specifically, they still speak the truth, which is that this mandate violates the First Amendment which applies not only to religious institutions, but to every individual, and to allow it to stand in any form sets an extremely dangerous precedent.

  2. The hierarchy now should have the motivation to begin a massive education campaign about our government, its fundamental lack of honesty, and the real, life issues that are at stake. Not a moment to be lost! Part of their mission is civic education, and part is better catechesis–so that Catholics know where THEIR Church stands and hear the challenge to be faithful.

  3. What diseases do oral contraceptives prevent? None that I know of. COndoms don’t need a prescription adn wopuldn’t be covered anyway

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