Morning After Contraception

I’m trying to parse the Bishop’s statement on contraception and it sounds like they’re going to keep fighting, and it also looks like they just found the bold button in Word and decided to take it out for a spin:

These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

On that payment part, reader J sent a link to this report [pdf] from the Guttmacher Institute that adds to the common sense notion that it’s cheaper to prevent pregnancy than pay for childbirth.  Some highlights:

  • “[E]very dollar invested by the government for contraception saves $3.74 in Medicaid expenditures for pregnancy-related care related to births from unintended pregnancies. In total, the services provided at publicly funded family planning clinics resulted in a net savings of $5.1 billion in 2008.  Significantly, these savings do not account for any of the broader health, social or economic benefits to women and families from contraceptive services and supplies, and the ability to time, space and prepare for pregnancies.”
  • “Some studies have looked at cost-savings for private insurers specifically. Notably, the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, reported that it experienced no increase in costs at all after Congress required coverage of contraceptives for federal employees in 1998. A 2000 study by the National Business Group on Health, a membership group for large private- and public-sector employers to address their health policy concerns, estimated that it costs employers 15–17% more to not provide contraceptive coverage in employee health plans than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity. Mercer, the employee benefits consulting firm, conducted a similar analysis that year and also concluded that contraceptive coverage should be cost-saving for employers.”

In other words, the worry about employee premiums going to finance contraception is ass-backwards.  The real question for the Bishops is where they think the money is going to come from to finance the non-coverage of contraception.  Are they going to sell some altar furniture or downsize their rectories?  I have a serious financial concern here.

84 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    A group called “Catholics for Choice” ran an ad in the newspaper today. It belongs in the Hall of Fame of Brutally Effective Infographics:

    http://www.catholicsforchoice......ontrol.asp

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    Why weren’t they concerned twelve years ago when a lot of states did the exact same thing… oh yeah, it was okay when the President was a Rich White Republican Frat Boy who liked to lie his way into a hideous war.

    Never mind.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Jeez, and what are these “moral concerns”, boy-buggering shitstains?

    Fuck the red beanies.

  4. 4
    Cermet says:

    The bishop’s will raise money to pay for increase costs by having priest bid on chances to sexually rape specific alter boys – win/win for that sick church that is rotten to the top with that sicko pope (or is that his holiness the poop better known as that steaming pile of shit.)

  5. 5
    jurassicpork says:

    Meanwhile, the other 99%, April may be the cruelest month according to TS Eliot, but March ain’t shaping up to be so hot, either.

  6. 6
    Maude says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    EEEEWWWW. You do it. Not me.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    @dmsilev:
    That’s awesome. I hope it gets some more attention.

    Just watched the Today Show segment on it this morning to see what the MSM line would be. Showed various snippets of interviews with various people. Not one person in one of the snippets complained that this compromise wasn’t a good compromise. Several folks said it was either a good compromise or a good first step. Then at the end the talking head said the Obama campaign was preparing to deal with this issue all the way to the election.

  8. 8
    Alex S. says:

    Maybe the bishops just want to declare Victory!

  9. 9
    auntie beak says:

    why the F**K are we making arguments in favor of birth control in two thousand FREAKING twelve????? omfg, this is just insane.

  10. 10
    amk says:

    teh bishops got fucked and they know it and hence all the squealing.

  11. 11
    DanielX says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Moral concerns – right. Little late in the day to be raising moral concerns. They didn’t seem to have any moral concerns about serial pedophilia over a period of decades, but bring women (those harlots of Satan) into the picture and they’re on it like white on rice. Fuck the bishops and for that matter the entire College of Cardinals, repeatedly and without lubricant.

  12. 12

    @dmsilev:

    Very, very effective! Love it!

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    All women out of the risk pool! So if I understand this, the circumstances under which contraception won’t be covered include if any employer doesn’t want to cover, any insurer or administrator doesn’t want to pay, or any employee (individual) who doesn’t want premiums taken from his paycheck to go to the pool that’s paying other peoples benefits.

  14. 14
    Boudica says:

    My question is, whenever I hear this issue discussed by talking heads…why is it all men? Shields and Brooks on NPR talking about Bob Casey and Tim Kaine’s viewpoints….seriously?

  15. 15

    “Lack of clear protection”? What, they want a condom for their wallet?

    I’ve been on this planet nearly 4 decades, two of them sexually active, and all of them possessing a uterus. I’m cheesed off by the moralizing of people who theorectically have never been sexually active and factually do not possess uteri.

  16. 16
    Suffern ACE says:

    So the employer who currently offers coverage just needs the plan administrator to create two separate plans, the catholic approved plan and the state approved plan, and never the two shall touch.

  17. 17
    PurpleGirl says:

    There are times when I’m “glad” I’m no longer in the reproduction-possible group of women. I don’t need to worry about access to contraception or the cost of it for myself. I’ve always felt that after making abortion either illegal or almost impossible to access, the conservatives would go after contraception. (I remember when Griswold was decided.)

    What I see as ironic is that when I was in my early/mid-twenties and needed contraception, it was a time when the Roman Catholic church allowed the use of the pill if you “needed it to better regulate your system (i.e. be more regular)” so that you could use either the Church approved rhythm method or other natural planning routine. (I was at the time wildly irregular). I was told this by my very Catholic doctor.

  18. 18
    28 Percent says:

    I have no love for the Beanie Brigade, but given that funding contraception is a clear economic win for insurance and companies buying the insurance, why is this not something that the marketplace would take care of for itself? Sure, there are going to be a few outliers where an obsessed owner actually scrutinizes plans to make sure that female vessels keep right on vesseling, but an employer with that attitude, the lack of contraceptive insurance seems like a warning label for prospective employees who want to work for, you know, sane people.

    The stats keep coming back in this argument about how it makes no economic sense to not offer family planning insurance, about how even most Catholic hospitals already offer it, about how the vast majority of practicing Catholics use birth control… is it really necessary to require people to do what they’re almost universally already doing?

  19. 19
    Constance says:

    No one with a penis should have anything to say about women’s bodies, women’s health. Until they can get pregnant, they shouldn’t get a vote.

    And speaking of pregnant, I’ve had more than one doctor tell me it takes three years for a woman’s body to recover from a pregnancy and that’s if the woman knows how to help her body recover.

  20. 20

    This is reflected in more general insurance issues. Traditionally, insurance providers have been very reluctant to cover preventative care. That should save them money, but they just got rid of that risk by canceling the plans of patients who got sick because of that lack of preventative care. One of the more subtle ways a badly regulated insurance industry was making health care costs skyrocket.

    We needed the ACA so bad.

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    @28 percent – well the goal is to get a bunch of stories in the press making it appear that the president has insulted the bishops and hates Catholics and all religious people. I think, given the way the pundits are framing the debate, that is the goal.

  22. 22
    28 Percent says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: my understanding was that the lack of preventative care coverage wasn’t because they planned on dumping customers (although they definitely do that), it was because the math for them was that the customers would probably change plans before the preventative care became cost-effective. If you’re 50 and don’t have diabetes or hypertension but you also have insurance with a different company from the one that paid for all the wellness exams in your 20’s that helped you stay healthy, where’s the benefit?

    Incidentally, this is one of the key savings factors for single-payer. Since there is only one option and you don’t have to worry about someone leaving before the payer recoups his costs, it suddenly starts making a lot of sense to provide things like wellness exams, vouchers for gym memberships – anything you can think of that keep people from developing the expensive chronic problems that really eat up medical costs.

  23. 23
    c u n d gulag says:

    We’ve heard from the Bishops.

    But not from the Imams.

    Why, oh why, is no one on the right concerned about the Muslim POV on this critical national issue?

    I doubt the Imams will disagree with the Bishops.
    UNITY!

  24. 24
    TMLutas says:

    The mandate is for free coverage on morning after pills, contraception, and sterilization. The protest is whether the state can legislate that Catholics pay for stuff that’s been traditionally subject to conscience clause protection. What other parts of the 1st amendment do you all want to peel back?

  25. 25
    Suffern ACE says:

    Indeed. But what of the hard working employees whos money is taken from their paychecks to pay for prenatal care for the woman who is knocked up and not even married. Or pay for the allergy medication of my domestic partner who is on my plan because it’s a better plan than the one at his workplace? Let’s remember the real victims of the current system.

  26. 26
    jwest says:

    It seems that conservative racism has its limits.

    Had they simply conceded the right of wealthy women to terminate “defectives” and inconvenient children, they could have joined the left and Margret Sanger’s Negro Project. But due to their tendency to want all or nothing, social conservatives are stuck with rising minority populations.

    Apparently, the right isn’t smart enough to embrace Euthanize but Euphemize.

  27. 27

    @28 Percent:
    Those same issues can be addressed with regulations, as the ACA has done. I agree that single payer would be better, but thankfully it’s not an all or nothing issue.

    Any unregulated industry is going to fester with inefficiencies and exploitative, predatory practices. Insurance rode the gravy train too long.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TMLutas:

    Well, we can start with people who toss strawmen into the conversation, like you.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jwest:

    If it was about terminating “defectives”, you wouldn’t be here.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @dmsilev:

    Hopefully, one of the takeaways from this recent mess will be an understanding that the USCCB is irrelevant.

  31. 31
    General Stuck says:

    Nothing but partisan politics by wingnuts in robes. After getting punked by Obama, they are doubling down like the House wingnuts have been doing for over a year now. They can just get punked again and again, pushing something nearly every woman in this country uses, or has used.

  32. 32
    Chyron HR says:

    @jwest:

    If you ask me, we should lynch all the knickers.

    It’s a good thing conservative racism has limits, or who knows what you guys would be saying.

  33. 33
    HRA says:

    “serious moral concerns”

    Really? How about dooming someone to death? Then they wonder why their membership keeps on leaving the church.

    Also, an insurance policy has the ability to give certain “faithful” serious moral concerns? It’s not unbelievable to those of us who have slid from this church to hear or read this kind of rhetoric from the church.

    Sorry if someone has already focused on this above. I got too irritated at the point of serious moral concerns in the thread.

  34. 34
    28 Percent says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: absolutely, regulations can put all of the insurers on the same playing field, but there’s still no cost incentive to do any more than the minimum the regulations require, and since the real payoff is still coming when these customers are moving off of private insurance and onto Medicare, each new regulation isn’t going to be an easy sell, politically.

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    @General Stuck:

    Rookbama takes bishop, checkmate.

  36. 36
    gelfling545 says:

    @PurpleGirl: Ah, hes. The “natural family planning”. My (Catholic) ob/gyn told me in the 70s the the “natural” method is a pregnancy every 2 years and if I didn’t want that I’d better take the pill. As I recall, he laughed at the “natural” idea. Pretty much every Catholic woman I knew had “irregular periods” at that point.

  37. 37
    Anya says:

    @dmsilev: Very effective graphic. The child rape enablers’ stand on the pill might be the last straw for a lot of catholics. But they might have been lulled into a sense of security by their media stenographers and that’s why they seem to be hitching their wagons to the crazy 27%.

  38. 38
    bemused senior says:

    I think the only further compromise should be to require the insurance companies to offer employers two policies: one priced strictly based on not offering free contraception and one offering free contraception. Employers choosing the one without contraception would be required to refund the price difference to the employee explicitly in their paycheck. Based on the Guttmacher statistics, this would seem likely to pay for contraception and sock the bishops with a big bill.

  39. 39
    Nutella says:

    @TMLutas:

    The protest is whether the state can legislate that Catholics pay for stuff that’s been traditionally subject to conscience clause protection.

    Catholics pay for stuff like invasions of Iraq and capital punishment when they pay their taxes. Both of those are sinful and immoral according to the Church yet somehow not one bishop has complained that Catholics should be relieved from paying for those sins. It’s only when they get to exercise their misogyny that they pretend to have a moral objection to something. They are lying about their moral objections and so are you. The objection to birth control is misogyny and nothing else.

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    @tmlutas – well tm, if you’d actually read your insurance plan, there is a 90 percent chance you have that coverage already.

  41. 41
    28 Percent says:

    @Suffern ACE: on the plus side, Obama’s reaction so far seems to be pretty much to play for time and let these guys do themselves in. There really isn’t a downside for us to a presidential election debate that gets reduced to the question of whether the “religious freedom” of some old men (who are most closely associated in the public mind with child rape) extends to banning contraception (which in the public mind is practically the definition of responsible behavior). The best thing that can possibly happen for Obama – apart from creating a million new jobs every month from now til November – is to have this fight stretch out all summer.

  42. 42
    Trakker says:

    Moral Concerns? I am so Fcking FED UP with the Fcking Catholic church. How DARE these silly men lecture anyone about morality??!! Why does anyone even listen to what they say anymore? After more than a century of pedophilia and cruelty to children, the most vulnerable among us, why would any sane human being still be a member of this “religion”?

    I just lost it when I read this (and probably damaged my marriage to my Catholic wife). Being an America I’m used to insanity being revered and treated as rational, but MFG, these people get tax breaks for teaching mythology, can’t they show some restraint and respect for the many non-believers who must pay more in taxes to cover the revenue these entitled purveyors of “(im)morality” are exempt from paying? Excuse me if this atheist decides he’s just fed up and has created a cross of his own making using his two upraised middle fingers. Moral, my ass!

  43. 43
    mellowjohn says:

    to steal a line from the terminator:

    Listen, and understand. Those bishops are out there. They won’t be bargained with. They won’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are pregnant.

  44. 44
    smintheus says:

    These bishops are Vatican appointed, so they speak for the Vatican more than for the American people who had no say in their elevation.

  45. 45
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @28 Percent: Because the market has failed to take care of a lot of things, in particular the rights of people not to be treated like slaves or incubators.

  46. 46
    lizzy says:

    You only have to read as far as the phrase “key stakeholders” in their statement to know that the bishops won’t be satisfied. As guardians of a sexist religious doctrine and as managers of a nationwide heathcare and social services enterprise, they have a special interest in controlling the terms of the ACA. The same is true for other conservative denominations who run large hospitals and charitable organizations. This issue is going to drag on as long as Obama attempts to compromise with people who (a) would deny women’s rights and (b) have a significant financial interest in the healthcare industry.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    For that matter, where do the Rabbis come down on this critical issue? Let’s check in with some Buddhist monks and Brahmans while we’re at it? I mean, let’s pile on the “moral concern” from as many quarters as possible!

    Surely we can find some Aztec priest to toss a still beating heart into the discussion!

  48. 48
    Emma says:

    @lizzy: Oh be quiet already. WE WON. There was no compromise. To a large number of independent voters who believed that Bishops’ concerns were about religious freedom, they have been revealed as frauds who are out to control a woman’s uterus. AND women’s health issues have been placed front and center in the national agenda.

    I know, I know. He should have smote the Bishops with rhetoric even if he lost the fight.

    Sigh.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Nutella:

    In fact, Raymond Hunthausen, the Archbishop of Seattle made a point of publically withholding half his income taxes in protest of nuclear weapons. As a result Ratzi the Nazi himself was involved with essentially rebuking Hunthausen for doing so.

    That tells you more than enough about the “moral concerns” of the Vatican.

  50. 50
    sloegin says:

    But hey, contraception stops all those potential babiez from popping out and being converted to the mother church.

    Which means less troopz for Ragnarok or sumthin… so there’s that.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Emma:

    AND women’s health issues have been placed front and center in the national agenda.

    To be discussed by men. This was what struck me as so disgustingly condescending throughout this past week. From Dolan and the USCCB to Biden to Matthews to O’Donnell to Shields to Brooks to Dionne to Douthat, and on and on, the discussion was driven by men. Who the fuck cares what they think? And yeah, once in a while they’d have an icky girl on for a few minutes of remote video (never sitting across from them) to talk about the icky girl perspective on icky girl stuff, but really, WTF?

    And I say all this as a dude. It made me sick. The whole TV is like that. The only strong woman running her own show is Rachel, and a) she pretty much took herself out of the game, I don’t know whether she was instructed or cowed into not blasting Tweety or LO’D, and b) she’s not a breeder anyway. No disrespect intended to her, but where were/are the women talking heads who have borne or could bear children? So yes, women’s health issues are front and center, but women discussing them are on the sidelines in the national discourse.

  52. 52
    Suffern ACE says:

    @izzy – yes. It seems that there is a broad expansion of who those key stakeholders are. So what they’ve done (and I’ll give them credit for this ruse) is create the controversy as if it is over hospitals and universities, when it is actually about the insurance coverage you have with your current employer. Also, while it is very likely you are covered through your current employer, there are those people out there who currently have no insurance coverage who pay for these things out of pocket if they can afford them. Those people will have to buy insurance and continue to pay for them out of pocket or the bishops aren’t budging. It is not sufficient that an individual doesn’t use contraceptives. The offer of the coverage needs to be removed. But Omg! Catholic hospitals under attack.

  53. 53
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    And we forgot Shamans!

    Btw – nice heart line!

  54. 54
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @lizzy: Please tell me what he compromised.

  55. 55

    The day has not arrived when I will put any truck in the moralizations of a cabal of child-molesters.

  56. 56
    jp7505a says:

    I think the bishops are correct to continue to protest. In fact they do not go far enough. As long as there is one factory making any kind of contraceptive a bishop may come in contact with some of the air that ws in the factory or the water used by the factory. This would make him an accomplise to the intrinsically evil act. An we certainly would not want that now would we!

  57. 57
    Jennifer says:

    I suggest another compromise to the compromise:

    Since these guys are het up that they’re still be “paying for” contraception that isn’t covered under the insurance plans they’ll offer women, let’s back up, and allow them to offer plans that truly do not cover contraception. In addition, let’s allow them to pay the extra cost of those plans, since as pointed out above, contraception saves money. Let’s make a rule that this portion of the coverage must be paid out of the company or organization’s profits, not out of employee wages. Then, keep the regulation that insurers have to provide no-cost contraception to all women who are (un)covered by this more-expensive insurance that the Catholics want to force on them.

    Once the Catholic institutions are paying the additional costs of less coverage, they can no longer argue that they’re “still paying for” contraception; women will still get the coverage at no cost like they do under the current compromise, and the insurers will get to pocket a little extra scratch for the trouble they have to go to in “reaching out” to women whose employers insist on paying more for health coverage that covers less.

    Win-win-win!

  58. 58
    28 Percent says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Historically, without doubt. But don’t the numbers right now indicate that access to contraception, at least for people who are covered on group health plans, isn’t a widespread problem? I’m a lot more worried about getting inexpensive access to the pill to people who don’t have the advantage of employer-subsidized health insurance and the good-paying jobs that that insurance generally comes with.

    I look at this and see, from a political perspective this is a great fight to have and the bishops were as dumb as a bag of hammers to have started it. But from a policy point of view, the market rewards are so strong and it’s already so common, adding this regulation doesn’t seem like it would really represent a significant change in availability.

  59. 59
    shortstop says:

    I wish the Catholics for Choice graphic included plenty of (or even some) male figures on the left. This isn’t about Catholic women disagreeing with the bishops. This is about American Catholic laypeople disagreeing with the bishops.

    Burns: the USCCB is irrelevant to what? To what the American flock decides on its own to do about birth control, certainly. To the national political arena, not yet. To the policy positions/political maneuverings of your church, absolutely not. As you huffily pointed out the other night, your church is not a democracy. This is your LEADERSHIP, and although they’ve fortunately lost this round, you don’t get to pretend that they’re bit players in directions the American RC church will take. This is a critical part of the package you’ve elected to tie yourself to.

  60. 60
    Emma says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Of course it was! As a woman old enough to have fought a lot of this battles in her younger years, do you think I was happy about it? But the fact is, one goes with the political environment one has, not the one we want. We push towards the one we want and we don’t stop pushing. And exposing the goddamned bishops to the low-info voters is a big deal. I know that from recent (yesterday) experience.

  61. 61
    Xjmueller says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Sad but true I did see Sen Boxer on tv addressing some meeting, but otherwise zilch.

  62. 62
    The Golux says:

    The most important thing to remember about the whole clusterfuffle is, when the Catholic church complains about being forced to buy insurance that covers contraception, it’s not their fecking money. The money that buys the coverage is part of their employees’ compensation. Just as they can’t dictate how their employees spend their take-home pay, they can’t impose their antediluvian “teachings” about folks getting their freak on via watering down coverage that the employees pay for.

    (I hope I’m doing my part to capture the spirit of the post.)

  63. 63
    Suffern ACE says:

    @28 percent – if your’re worried about access to coverage for the uninsured, imagine how that’s keeping the bishops up at night.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I’m sure pretty much to the extent that damage control on pedophile priests (and the legal liabilities created by their actions) keep them up at night.

  65. 65
    lizzy says:

    @Emma: I hope you’re right that we won, and for now it looks OK. But there are still a lot of factors at play around this issue. From what I read, leaders on the Catholic left who are genuine allies of the president were also unhappy about the original rule; so the administration came up with this work-around that addressed their concerns and, it can only be hoped, cut the rhetorical ground out from under the Conference of Bishops. Still, the very well connected, prominent, media-saavy bishops could manage to seize the conversation again; based on the statement, it looks like they’re keeping their options open. And there are many conservatives across denominations who’d be happy to echo their rhetoric. The insurance industry (another “key stakeholder”) hasn’t weighed in yet, either, and they’re sure to have something to say about cost of coverage. As I said, I’d like to agree with you (despite your snottiness — “Oh be quiet already.”? You’re kidding, right?). But long experience as a woman and a feminist makes me wonder if this “controversy” will be easily resolved.

  66. 66
    Suffern ACE says:

    On the issue of insurers – I know the Knights of Columbus offers life insurance, and just like all good Lutherans were supposed to have a policy with Lutheran Brotherhood or Aid Association for Lutherans, that doesn’t surprise me. But is there an equivalent in the health insurance space?

  67. 67
    jefft452 says:

    @The Golux:
    second!

  68. 68
    geg6 says:

    @TMLutas:

    Hmmmm. Well, I’m an atheist and I pay into the $3B given to various Catholic charities and hospitals and such and I object to any of my money going to the child rapists/slave labor camp capos/woman hating pieces of shit that make up the American Catholic Church. When do I get MY conscience clause, asshole?

  69. 69
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I will say that while watching Up wi Chris Hayes last weekend I was struck by the fact that his entire panel at that point was made up entirely by women. Iat this point, I think his show is better than Rachel’s. By an order of magnitude.

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    @sloegin:

    Which means less troopz young boys for Ragnarok or sumthin to rape… so there’s that.

    Fixt.

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WaterGirl: Interesting, thanks. Unfortunately his show doesn’t fit my schedule.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Gotta love TiVo and DVR in general.

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @WaterGirl: If I had that technology I might use it.

  74. 74
    Emma says:

    @lizzy: If you have long experience, you know it won’t. It won’t because the Church leaders have a vested interest — indeed, an overriding necessity — of keeping American catholics cowed and bringing in the cash. It’s not going to be over as long as the Catholic Church casts such a long shadow over the American elite. We won a battle, and he war is ongoing. What else is new?

    (edit) And no offence, but WHICH media-savvy bishops? They all come across as nasty old men.

  75. 75
    Arclite says:

    There’s an elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge: overpopulation. We are several times over what this world can support, and reducing population should be a goal every country should strive for, even with the problems it creates.

  76. 76
    lizzy says:

    @Emma: True that…they do come across as nasty, but that doesn’t make them stupid or naive. Bishop Egan apparently had his response to the administration ready to broadcast even before the president called him to tell him what he (Obama) had decided.

  77. 77
    lizzy says:

    @lizzy: Oop! Edit: Bishop Dolan (not Egan) got that informational phone call from the president.

  78. 78
    Gin & Tonic says:

    WSJ is reporting that the USCCB is now on record as opposing the Friday solution. Personally, I think their legs were cut out from under them, and most of the opposition was won over and said so earlier on Friday. I’m thinking most of their support is gone and now they look even more out of touch. The meme will now be (I hope, anyway) hey, you bitched and moaned, Obama compromised, now shut up.

  79. 79
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Have Quinn, Parker, Roberts, Gerson, O’Donnell, Brooks, Halperin, Tweety, Russert II, the Ghost of Russert, Tweety’s Crabby Uncle, the Ghost of Russert’s Crabby Uncle and the Mustache agreed to it yet? Since this was the most anti-Catholic decree since 1879, it would be a shame to think that they would abandon the bishops so soon.

  80. 80
    Scott says:

    @The Golux: This is where this is going: “secular non-profit employers”. This is going far beyond contraception. They are claiming the right to control the employees through the insurance plans. What’s next company owned homes and stores? This argument tells me we need to get well beyond employer-based health insurance. The ones who are a threat to liberty are this religious organizations and corporations.

  81. 81
    PTirebiter says:

    Nothing but partisan politics by wingnuts in robes

    And that’s why I don’t think anyone should get bogged down feeding the “controversy” with additional arguments. They are unnecessary, futile, and sound defensive. They are operating in the secular world by choice. In that sphere, it’s about providing equal access to healthcare. Until SCOTUS says otherwise, the Church’s conscience simply isn’t an issue here.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    This is what I was trying to get at before. The church didn’t make a cost argument, so while the cost response is helpful to those that aren’t swayed by the moral argument, it doesn’t change the debate at all – you’re preaching to the choir. When the church shift to a cost argument, then you know they’ve lost because we’ll destroy them on that front.

    Before, the church could object to contraception because their spending was directly tied to the contraception rider. But the policy change that Obama proposed puts ALL health coverage in the same cost pot, so the churches objection to contraception could now extend to ANY health matter by ANY employer that their dollars might touch. So we’re now well into Rachel’s Amish bus driver territory. Here are some of the situations the church is now inviting:

    1) If the owner of the company you work for is a Jehovahs Witness, he can refuse to pay for any invasive medicine or blood transfusion, because his health care dollars might touch those procedures.
    2) If you work for a drug company, they could object to payment for any drugs from any competing drug maker because their health care dollars might touch those other drugs. Corporations have as much obligation to their own interests as individuals do.

    Morally, the church’s position, taken just to the degree that they request, would lead to outcomes such as these, and these are unjust and unfair outcomes. Allowing the employer to have any influence on what treatment will and won’t be paid for is going to influence what treatment is given.

  83. 83

    […] the new contraception plan is a misguided concern about costs. In truth, providing comprehensive contraception care costs less:“[E]very dollar invested by the government for contraception saves $3.74 in Medicaid expenditures […]

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Arclite:

    The overpopulation problem will get solved, eventually.

    We may not care much for the way it’s solved (through famine, starvation, war, and disease) very much, but it will be solved.

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