Self-Insured Religious Groups Will Still Be Providing Birth Control To The Insured

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Oh dear. This means that the administration still plans to make God-fearing Catholic organizations indulge in accounting tricks that will still result in the same thing: Women insured through those organizations will get free access to contraceptives. How awful.

Let us stop here for a moment to think of all the people in this country who did not want to pay to bomb innocent people in Iraq, who believed with all their hearts that the war was immoral and a crime against God, and yet no one (especially the Republicans in Congress) gave a damn what they thought:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration took another step on Friday to enforce a federal mandate for health insurance coverage of contraceptives, announcing how the new requirement would apply to the many Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies that insure themselves.

In such cases, the administration said, female employees and students will still have access to free coverage of contraceptives.

The coverage will be provided by the companies that review and pay claims — “third-party administrators” — or by “some other independent entity,” it said.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the government would guarantee women access to contraceptives “while accommodating religious liberty interests.”

The new proposal escalates the election-year fight over the administration’s birth control policy.

President Obama had previously announced what he described as an “accommodation” for religiously affiliated organizations that buy commercial insurance but object, for religious reasons, to covering contraceptives and sterilization procedures. In these cases, the White House said, the insurer “will be required to provide contraception coverage to women free of charge.”

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services went a step further and said it would propose a similar requirement for group health plans sponsored by religious organizations that insure themselves.

The new proposal did not mollify Republicans in Congress.


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