Bishops Still Hate Obamacare and The Pill, and Everyone Is Surprised

In a decision that likely shocked no one, the Catholic Bishops have rejected the third attempt by the Obama administration to appease their concerns over the birth control benefit in Obamacare saying it didn’t offer enough protections for religiously affiliated businesses and universities that object to providing insurance coverage for contraception.

Instead of working with the administration toward common ground the Bishops also announced they’d continue to fight the benefit in court where so far almost fifty lawsuits challenging the administration are working their way through the federal courts.

At this point the only question that remains is why the Obama administration insists on trying to negotiate or work with the Bishops.

The latest accommodation announced by the administration expanded the definition of religiously affiliated entities so that more nonprofit hospitals, nursing homes and other charities fall under the definition. The expansion matches the definition used by the Internal Revenue System and, so far, the Bishops have not complained about the IRS definition in the decades it has been in existence.

Under the latest proposal, religiously affiliated nonprofit groups that object to providing birth control coverage on religious grounds would not have to pay for it. Instead, women who work for such organizations could get contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies. The institution objecting to the coverage would not pay for the contraceptives. Rather, the costs would be paid by an insurance company, with the possibility that it could recoup the costs through lower health care expenses resulting in part from fewer births. The administration refused to grant an exemption or accommodation to secular businesses owned by people who said they objected to contraceptive coverage on religious grounds.

According to the New York Times, the Bishops believe it is not enough to shield these employers from any financial obligation related to the benefit. Instead, every person should be able to opt out, regardless if their business is religious in nature or is secular and for-profit. “In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage,” Cardinal Dolan said, “we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath. We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”

Shocking, I know.

Nothing short of completely abandoning Obamacare will satisfy the Bishops. They have taken it upon themselves to politick in the name of the church and in doing so have alienated many Catholics and most reasonable-minded people. A person’s religious beliefs do not shield them or enable them to break the law or discriminate, a point the Supreme Court has made abundantly clear. But for now it looks like it’s an issue the Court will re-visit all while women who work for religiously-affiliated hospitals, schools or other charities, find their health care passed around like a political football by a bunch of men.


Related Stories:

Catholic Hospitals Reject Compromise On Birth Control

Nuns Plan Poverty Tour In Response To Vatican Pressure

Pope Says American Nuns Too Focused On Poor, Not Enough On Gay Bashing


Photo: Joshua Lanzarini/flickr


Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

No surprise here. All they want to do is control their flock. I say think for yourself and don't listen to those in authority in that religion.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron3 years ago

Beth, because many Americans in power believe that this country was founded on Christian/Catholic Beliefs (it wasn't, even the few Christian that signed the Declaration of Independance said that it wasn't founded on any one religion or belief system) and that the church, while being tax exempted, should have a say in politics, despit MANY presidents even the first few, saying that it was dangerous for them to mix and despite the fact that that is illegal. As well as the fact that now a days if the president doesn't try and appease the religion of the people in congress he is painted as Anti-American and a Terrorist that is trying to destroy this country from with in.

Beth M.
Beth McHenry3 years ago

Why is America even trying to appease one religion?

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron3 years ago

Sorry was cut short do to personal stuff. People die for power, it matters not what one believes about a higher being or lack of. They will use the peoples belief for power, or they will try to take it away for power.

Obama is trying to make compromises with the Healthcare so both sides are happy, but one side never seems to be happy with anything.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron3 years ago

Mary mentions tens of millions that have been killed in the name of athiesm (or so she claims) but she has not mentioned or even hinted at the roughly 250 MILLION that has been killed since the creation of Christianity, all in the name of their God.

Barbara M.
Barbara M.3 years ago

I operate on logic. That is missing in most of the comments so far. To those who say they have left the church because of the leaders of the church, I ask you, why haven't you left this country when you disagreed with the leaders of this country, Democrats during the Bush era and Republicans during the Obama era. That is the logical conclusion. To those of you who say that our health coverage should not provide an abortion, are you saying that, up to now, when you got pregnant, you were forced to have an abortion against your will? If the Church is doing its job, no one should be having abortions. However, because they aren't doing their job, they are insisting that the government do it for them. And, if I am destitute and am pregnant, will the Church support me if I keep the child? Fat chance!!!

We need some sanity here - we must all use our conscience and face our Maker in the end with whatever decision we make. I can tell my kids to obey the rules, but there is no way I can make them, but I can tell them that they must suffer the consequences if they don't. That is what the Church must do - teach us what is the right thing to do, but allow all of us to use our conscience and suffer the consequences of our decisions.

Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen3 years ago

Mary H. writes, "You continue to misrepresent the issue. Exempting religious organizations and people from this provision would in no way force their employees to comply with their employers' religious beliefs. It would simply not require the employers to pay for it." Mary, are you just dense or maybe you're just unable to understand English. You don't write as though English is a second language for you, but I'm a bit confused as to why you are having such difficulty actually understanding a simple fact. Let's try it one more time, shall we? President Obama made concessions for the religious idiots, thereby insuring that the religious idiots would NOT have to pay, but that their employees would still have access to birth control. Now, if there is a word in that sentence that you are unable to comprehend, please let me know and I'll try and break it down for you word by word by word. Further, the administration has not done anything to violate the first, the second amendment or to any other amendment to the Constitution. If you can't understand facts and all you have is crap you make up or hear on faux news, then maybe this isn't the conversation for you. What do you think Mary?

Mary H.
Mary H.3 years ago

Susan A and Amanda M: Obamacare very much violates the 1st Amendment AND the "Separation of Church and State." The latter is a phrase in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, assuring them that the State would stay OUT of the Church's affairs. Obamacare violates that because it forces churches and religious people to violate their faith.

You continue to misrepresent the issue. Exempting religious organizations and people from this provision would in no way force their employees to comply with their employers' religious beliefs. It would simply not require the employers to pay for it.

Apparently your argument is so thin that you must misrepresent it, because your real argument won't hold water.

Amanda M.
Amanda M.3 years ago

There is no reason why celibate men should have any business butting into reproductive issues, especially where women are concerned! Not to mention it's nobody's business but her own what a woman does with her own body or insurance coverage anyway! You can follow whatever religion you want, but your religious freedom does NOT include the right to force everybody else to lockstep to your religion's dictates, especially where health care is concerned!

Separation of church and state, people!

Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen3 years ago

Mary H., everything you just posted is total BS. You just make up history as you believe it to be. You do not live in reality. Wake up and actually check history; do some research. Communism and atheism have nothing to do with each other except insofar as both are used by governments and/or churches to control the masses. And again, no one said that President Obama should forget the first amendment, not even Sue C. As you said, she said that he should forget the catholic church. That statement in no way implies forgetting the first amendment. President Obama believes in a separation of church and state, just as our Constitution sets out. Do you not believe in the Constitution of the United States Mary. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that you don't. You more than likely just believe in your bible or whatever faux news or some other conservative commentator tells you that you should be thinking on any given day. Pitiful.