UPDATE: The "compromise" is apparently worse than the original plan!
The way it works is this: Insurers will create policy not including contraceptive coverage in the contract for religious organizations that object. Second, the same insurance company must simultaneously offer contraceptive coverage to all employees, and can not charge an additional premium. This provides free contraceptive coverage to women. The reason this works for insurance companies is because offering contraception is cost-neutral; companies realize the tremendous cost benefits of spacing pregnancies, and limiting unintended pregnancies, planned pregnancies and health benefits of contraception.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington talks about a possible "compromise" the Obama Administration is offering. Which isn't a "compromise" at all. The administration isn't giving any ground, in reality, but wants to win the public relations war by being able to say - "we tried to work with them, but they won't budge." Don't buy into the rhetoric or the idea they are "giving" us anything. They want to deprive us of a basic right which comes from God - NOT from the federal government.
Compromising on basic human freedoms is off the table.
Here is more on the story:
WASHINGTON, February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The White House announced today that, instead of forcing religious employers to pay for birth control, it will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women, no matter where they work.
The plan, touted as a concession to freedom of religion and conscience, was immediately denounced by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith. “The so-called new policy is the discredited old policy, dressed up to look like something else,” said Smith. “It remains a serious violation of religious freedom. Only the most naïve or gullible would accept this as a change in policy.”
“The White House Fact Sheet is riddled with doublespeak and contradiction,” Smith continued. “It states, for example, that religious employers ‘will not’ have to pay for abortion pills, sterilization and contraception, but their ‘insurance companies’ will. Who pays for the insurance policy? The religious employer.”
In a statement released today, the White House said, “Under the new policy announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.”
“If a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.”
The birth control rule announced last summer was intended to force virtually all employers to cover sterilizations and contraception, including abortifacient drugs such as ella, a sister drug to RU-486. The religious employer exemption essentially applied only to houses of worship, creating an uproar in the Catholic community as hospitals, schools, and charities would have been forced to pay for the drugs. The furor only grew stronger when the administration announced last month that the concerned religious organizations would be given an extra year to comply.
President Obama reiterated the statement in a press conference this afternoon, saying that “the insurance company, not the hospital, not the charity, will be required to reach out” to women employed by such institutions to offer birth control “without copays, without hassles.”
The new rule is reportedly similar to coverage laws in Hawaii that allow employers with religious objections not to directly pay for contraception, but instead to direct employees on how to conveniently access all such drugs and procedures.
In an email to the Weekly Standard, Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said this week that such an “adjustment” would be not only inadequate, but even worse than the current mandate.
“It would be no improvement to say: ‘Sure, you don’t have to include the coverage, you just have to send all your lay employees and women religious to the local Planned Parenthood clinic,’ he wrote.
Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League also told LifeSiteNews.com that the new rule amounted to a “shell game.” “At the end of the day, religious employers are still required to provide insurance plans that offer free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients in violation of their moral tenets,” he said.