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Monday, May 21, 2018

Columns

Compromise is still ill-conceived


The insurance companies love it for the money it will save. Women’s rights advocates love it for the assistance it will give. And the Republican Party hates it for the political maelstrom it’s left in its wake.

Last Friday, President Barack Obama has amended his contraception coverage policy to try and appease the ire of Catholic Church officials and religious conservatives. Three weeks prior, the government announced that religious organizations must cover contraceptive care under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Now, the policy grants leeway to such groups by allowing the employee to go directly to the organization’s insurance provider charged with providing contraceptive care. At the same time, the debacle has still achieved the goal of painting the GOP as cackling villains who plot against equal health care opportunities for women and the poor under the mask of religious liberty.

The shift in policy allowing the employee to go around their employer and straight to the insurance company is only going to be a round-about way of forcing an institution whose core beliefs are at odds with contraception to, in fact, pay for that very contraception. The costs passed off by the group at first are just going to come back around once the premiums set in.

I understand that 99 percent of women in the country have used contraception. I am fine with and highly encourage the use of contraception. It is a common sense solution to the sexuality in our nation, and we should always encourage from a grassroot level the use of protection, whether that be for ourselves or for those we meet up with in the dark corner of a frat house on a lonely Saturday night.

The issue is that it is not the government’s authority to force a religious institution to act against its values. The military cannot force a conscientious objector to kill. The government should not be able to force the Catholic Church to violate its ethics either.

The issue also affects universities, hospitals and charity groups who may also object to the use of contraception. While there is no co-pay or premiums for the employees seeking them, their employers- — the costs being passed back down to them — are still being forced to pay for something to which they morally object.

In the end it’s just another game of Capitol Hill politics. One might even be so inclined to think that the president had planned this all along. After all, he’s an Ivy Leaguer. He had to have seen the political firestorm this would bring up, and if he didn’t, then he had to have had aides who could see it. Obama knew there was no way the GOP could let this slip by without taking a nip. Some idiots at CPAC have even suggested calling his policy an “abortion mandate” to make it sound worse than it is as opposed to actually sitting down and dissecting the issue by constitutionality. John Boehner has already promised to veto this policy once it hits Congress.

Just one question: If the government can make my employer pay for preventative care for me, what happens when my employer decides that I’m just too expensive to cover?

James Wang is a history freshman and may be reached at [email protected]

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