On Friday morning, the Obama administration responded to the furor raised by the mandate that all Catholic related institutions will have to fund healthcare plans that cover contraception, sterilization, and plan-B abortion pills. This from the USA Today:
President Obama announced a plan today that attempts to accommodate certain religious employers opposed to a rule that would require them to provide access to birth control for women free of charge.
Obama announced that the rule would be tweaked so that in cases where non-profit religious organizations have objections, insurance companies would be required to reach out to employees and offer the coverage directly. . . .
"Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive service no matter where they work," Obama said. "That core principle remains. . . .
The change, loosely based on a regulation in effect in Hawaii, still leaves some unanswered questions. How will women be referred to insurers if they don't think of it themselves? Will the cost of contraceptives get added to premiums? And will other employers -- say, a strict Catholic who owns a restaurant -- be allowed the same exemption as hospitals, schools and charities? . . .
Contrary to the belief of apparently every leftie in the world, there really is no such thing as a free lunch. Just because contraception is free to women does not mean that it is free to the insurance companies. The insurers have to collect the money to pay for the free benefit from somewhere, and that somewhere is from all the people in the risk pool covered by the particular insurance policy. So in other words, what Obama is offering as a resolution of this issue is nothing more than pure smoke and mirrors - an accounting gimmick. If Catholic institutions have to purchase insurance and that insurance has to cover free contraception, steralization and Plan B abortion pills, than the Catholic Church will be funding it in reality, if not in the Obama directed accounting columns.
So why would Obama and the left possibly think that this smoke and mirrors will work to soothe the Catholic beast? Well, the left uses these kind of accounting tricks all of the time. Planned Parenthood is the premier example. Planned Parenthood receives tens of millions of our tax dollars annually with the proviso that none of those funds can be used to fund abortions. And yet, in 2009 alone, Planned Parenthood executed 332,278 abortions. How does the left get away with this? Through accounting of course. On paper, our tax dollars go to fund PP's overhead and all the other activities, while PP accounts show only other funds being used to fund the abortions. In reality, our tax funds are what allow PP to fund all of its activities, including abortion. It is intellectually dishonest to its core. Update: It would seem that our nation's Catholic Bishops share the same reservations noted above and more with Obama's latest proposal.