Last week, the Obama administration offered solutions to two self-inflicted wounds.
When the administration decided that all employers, Catholic or otherwise, offer free birth control to all of their employees, Catholic Church affiliated organizations, among others, protested, as birth control violates Catholic doctrine. Here is the administration’s solution.
Let’s say, ”Catholic Hospital” is self-insured, meaning that there is no insurance company paying the claims out of premiums, the hospital itself pays all of the claims itself. Typically, self-insureds hire an insurance company solely to administer the payment of those claims, and pay a fee to the insurance company to do so. According to the administration,
…administrators [i.e., the insurance company who is administrating the claims for Catholic Hospital] of self-insured plans would be required to cover the cost of providing contraception and recoup the money through revenue they get from sources other than the religious employer.
And, exactly, who would those “sources” be?
The other option,
would be a proposal for the federal government to require or incentivize private multi-state insurance companies to provide free contraception coverage to workers at religious institutions.
And, where would that money come from?
All of this is pretty silly, as Catholic institutions already cover contraceptives needed for medical conditions, but not those needed for birth control. So, why did the administration go there?
As to abortions, a bit of background is necessary. To secure enough support in the House to pass Obamacare, the President agreed to sign an executive order providing that no federal funds would be used to pay for abortions. This agreement was necessary because Obamacare not only covers abortions, but provides subsidies to people (as I recall, families making less that $80,000 per year) to help offset the cost of the mandated insurance.
HHS has now issued a “pre-regulation” regulation presumably to codify the agreement. You can read the full document here, it’s only one page long, and I urge you to do so.
First, let me quote a portion of the pre-regulation regulation:
In the case of an enrollee [in a group plan] whose premium for coverage under the plan is paid through employee payroll deposit, the separate payments required under this subparagraph shall each be paid by a separate deposit.
Does this mean that an employee of the few group insurance policies left after Obamacare is fully implemented will be able to decline that “separate payment”? In other words, can an employee who is 62 years old with a spouse who is 61 refuse to have the “abortion payment” deducted from his or her paycheck because the need for abortion is not exactly in their future?
Planned Parenthood is everywhere and provides free abortions.
Why did the administration step into this either?