Health insurance compromise offered by Obama over controversial birth control coverage
Religious groups continue their objections regarding this element of the Affordable Care Act.
Among the largest objections voiced about the healthcare reforms that have been – and that are currently being – implemented across the country has arisen from religious organizations that do not feel that they should be obligated to pay for birth control for their workers through their employee sponsored health insurance plans.
Friday, President Obama put forth a compromise regarding coverage for contraception.
This most recent proposal focuses on a regulation that would have two primary elements. The first is that the definition of a religious organization would be widened. Groups within those boundaries are already exempt from the requirement to cover birth control through their health insurance. This new definition would mean that faith based community service organizations such as food pantries would not be required to provide this coverage to their workers.
The second tenant focuses on the health insurance for the individual employees.
In that part of the proposal, religious employers would have the ability to give their female workers the opportunity to obtain birth control coverage through a third party health insurance company. Those organizations would not be required to pay for the coverage because the insurer would receive its payments from an entity owned by the government.
However, religious groups – such as the Catholic Health Association – are not satisfied by this latest proposal to compromise on the issue. Those, groups, which have already been objecting to the healthcare reforms for many years, claim that by requiring faith based companies to provide coverage for the cost of birth control is a breach of their religious liberties.
That said, the compromise is still in its proposal state and this new contraception plan for health insurance coverage has not yet been solidly set into the law.
Before official objections are raised, some religious leaders have stated that they will more thoroughly investigate the details of the new health insurance contraception coverage proposal. Among them was the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Others have already said that they’re seeing issues with forcing religious owners of secular businesses being forced to provide this coverage.