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Tuesday, February 20, 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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  • clifc

    There's so much that so many are ignorant about in this fracus. You said the military can't force a conscientious objector to kill – and that's right but you left out the part that that's not a civil right but a dispensation granted by Congress. So by an act of Congress we let a bunch of guys off the hook when the Nazis were trying to take over the world, but we can't do the same for someone trying to exercise an actual civil right? It's not like setting up an alternative payment mechanism would be so very very taxing on the wizards of Washington. Why is it like they just wanted to pick a fight.

  • I was raised as a Catholic….or perhaps lowered. 🙂 Whatever. But seriously: I strongly disagree with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops statement, which denounces President Barack Obama's attempts at compromise as "needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions". On the contrary, the Bishops comments are themselves a needless religious intrusion upon the proper and legitimate functions of government…functions that serve to promote women's rights, equality, and fairness for ALL. No one is coming into our Churches and trying to tell parishioners what to believe. BUT If the Bishops want to start businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no "faith" at all- THEN they must play by the rules. Just because a religious group in America claims to believe something, we cannot excuse them from obeying the law in the PUBLIC arena, based on that belief. They can legally attempt to change the law, not to deny it outright. And if they want to plunge overtly into politics from the pulpit, then they should give up their tax-exempt status. Did I miss something, or when it comes to the "sanctity of life", is every single righteous Catholic still a card carrying conscientious objector, refusing to take up arms, totally against the death penalty, and against contraception in all its forms? Oh well, hypocrisy is at the heart of politics, and politics masquerading as religion even more so. This country is an invigorating mixture of all the diversity that life has to offer, drawing its strength FROM that diversity. We need to work together to preserve, enrich, and strengthen this unique experiment – NOT to tear it down with poisonous, paralyzing, and un-Christian demonization of each other.

    • You had me at BUT, then lost me at "Oh, well…" What I find so interesting is a bishop, who is part of the Catholic Church, and which operated by its own cannons and governance can try to argue against another government "intruding" Intruding is what the Catholic church has, for centuries been doing all over this planet to a tapestry of cultures, and with historically devastating results.. They've raised it to as fine an art as any orthodoxy can. And they have the audacity to object to governmental intrusion on religious grounds? If that's not the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is. It gives one a wonderful laugh to read it. Thank you.

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