Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) pushed back against conservative criticism of new White House rules which would require religious organizations to provide insurance coverage for birth control, calling the attacks “too much hyperventilating.”
“This is not about abortion,” said O’Malley during an interview on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday. “It’s about covering contraception as part of the healthcare coverage, mandatory basic coverage.”
The Health and Human Services Department said last month that insurance policies must cover contraception without charging a copay. The rule offers exemption to employers with a primarily religious mission or nature, such as churches. Critics however say that institutions like Catholic universities and hospitals are not covered by the exemption.
O’Malley, who said he was a Catholic, stressed that the decision was similar to rules already in place in much of the country. “28 states already require this and in Europe,” he added.
The governor said this was not a case of government dictating to religous organizations.
“Well there is an exemption for churches themselves,” he said. “An exemption does not necessarily extend to institutions like hospitals, to universities that employ people of all faiths.”
I can’t be the only woman in this country who is sick to death of how every discussion of women and health care, every single one, revolves exclusively around reproductive issues.
One really, really starts to wonder if we are capable of discussing health care in this country at all. Abortion, death panels, abortion, broccoli. People will know more about this exemption than they will about the whole rest of the regulatory framework that applies to large businesses.
It’s such a joy this noted conservative intellectual stayed in the race, isn’t it? He adds so much depth and nuance:
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has also attacked the decision, saying in a speech to supporters following Saturday’s Nevada caucuses that the Obama administration had “declared war on religious freedom in this country.”
“This is a decision so totally outrageous, an illustration of such radical secular ideology,” Gingrich said.