Monday, February 13, 2012

Health Care Problems (Update)

There's been a minor update with the health care problems I mentioned over a week ago.  To recap, President Obama's new health care plans upset a lot of people, especially when it comes to its stance on abortions and contraceptives.  I could have said a lot more on this topic, but my main problem with the proposed laws is that they overstep the separation between church and state.  I believe that religious organizations, who have a direct, moral opposition to these laws, should not be forced to comply with them.

This is similar to how people who have a direct, moral opposition to war should not be forced to join the army.

Last Friday, the administration decided to tweak the health care laws a little bit, in response to the backlash it has received.  I was hopeful that this would be a step in the right direction.  Sadly, the legal experts have poured over the laws and declared that the changes are merely a minor sleight of hand.  Mostly, they just shift the burden of payment from employers to insurance companies.

...That completely ignores the problem.  I mean, people were upset about the health care plan in general.  The plan is still objectionable, whether the insurance companies or the employers are the ones who pay for it.  The main point of contention was the policy on abortions and contraceptives, and the laws about them have remain completely unchanged.  I consider that to be side-stepping the main issue.

The government should not enact immoral laws.

Further, what about my specific objection that the laws overstep the boundaries between church and state?  Well, let's see...

I have a religious (Catholic) insurance company.  They are forced to pay for the health care procedures which they find morally objectionable.

I have a religious (Catholic) employer.  They have the option of "declaring" they do not offer insurance coverage for the immoral health care procedures...unless someone asks for it, in which case, the employer will have to provide it.  Sounds like there's a disconnect between declaring exemption and actually being exempt.

It looks like both my religious insurance company and religious employer are not exempt from paying for the health procedures which they find morally objectionable.  In other words, they will still be forced to violate their consciences by purchasing a health care plan they object to.  So, despite the minor changes to the laws, the government is still forcing religious organizations to do something that they don't want to do.  The separation between church and state, therefore, remains violated.


Cat said...

I wasn't aware that there are Catholic insurance companies, and I think the same might go for the lawmakers, which is why Catholics were not excluded from the law. The law was to provide women with access to contraceptives, whether or not anyone chooses to use them is completely different. No one is required to use any services covered by any insurance policy. If a package includes coverage for smoking cessation, there's no reason for a nonsmoker who has that package to get upset, just use all of the other services and acknowledge it as a package deal.

Anonymous said...

you mad.

bjordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

With all due respect, you are kind of missing the point Cat. The Catholic Church doesn’t want to be forced to fund part of a health plan they find deplorable, which, for one example, includes providing access to contraceptives. They disagree with women using them and they disagree with providing women with the product(s) or even giving them access to one. It doesn’t matter if that is a right or wrong belief-that is what they believe. The Catholics feel they shouldn’t have to provide access to a service or product they disagree with (regardless of if anybody takes it, they don’t want to be the ones who are forced to offer it.) It would be like if someone was part of a religion that disagreed with gay marriage, but you were forced to buy into a proposal that offered the access and services of a priest for gay weddings. No one is required to use that priest, or participate in the wedding, but if somebody does, you are paying for his services, services you don’t agree with. I can sympathize with the Catholics on this one; this shouldn’t be a FORCED plan. If women want contraceptives, they can go to Planned Parenthood or Walgreens or a hospital or anyplace else that already openly sells/gives them away, but don’t make people who have a long history of opposition to this provide access the product-that is just rubbing salt in the wound.

Kara said...

I absolutely agree. They say that the church or any other religous group won't be paying for it, but the fact is, they will be providing the contraceptives against their beliefs. I think this a important decision. If we force the church and the others to provide this, other debates could come up about what the church will have to do under the law in the future.

Anonymous said...

i completely agree with you. this is why Obama can't be re elected! and alot of people say, "well its okay because most woman use contraceptives anyways." thats not the point. Morality is not democratic, and it is against the Catholic Church. So what if faithful Catholics who are against contraceptives have to provide birth control? They are forced against their religious liberty. Therefore, the constitution has no meaning now.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is an old blog post, but another commenter (in another blog post) previously replied with:

"There's a pretty easy way around this stipulation. These laws apply to any healthcare organization that expects federal financial aid."

There should be a separation of church and state, correct? So, should churches not expect tax exemptions or other federal aid? Because these exemptions, if anything, exemplify that there is no separation.