Friday, February 17, 2012

ObamaCare Stakes Ground in War on Christianity

The Obama administration's re-election scheme pits virtually all Christians against the sexual revolutionary forces of the feminists, homosexualists, and the religious left. The president's side believes most Americans are hedonistic, and thus will join with them, against the Christians.

For background, read Obama Feeds Catholics 'A Bunch of Bull,' Says Santorum and also read The Pope, and Obama's War on Christianity as well as Bishops Say Obama Destroying Societal Norm

UPDATE 4/14/12 - Bishops Throw Down Gauntlet: Obama War on Christianity

UPDATE 2/28/12: Cardinal says ObamaCare will force Catholic hospitals to close within two years

-- From "Contraceptives, religious freedom: Are we in a new culture war?" by Brianna Keilar and Eric Marrapodi, CNN 2/17/12

Welcome to the culture wars 2.0, where the front lines now are religious freedom and contraceptives. Abortion? Gay marriage? Those are so last year.

The White House seems to have assuaged the concerns of liberal and moderate religious voices, particularly Catholics, who complained that the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptive coverage violated religious freedom of conscience. The policy now includes a wide exemption for religious groups; requires insurance companies, instead of religious employers, to foot the bill; and still includes a year to hammer out the details.

But now, the issue is firmly entrenched in a political battle on Capitol Hill [where] Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University, testified: "The administration impedes religious liberty by unilaterally redefining what it means to be religious."

Craig Mitchell, an associate professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the HHS policy, "... is not just wrong for religious conservatives, it's wrong for all Americans."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Catholic Democrat to Bishop and Faith Leaders Testifying About Contraceptive Mandate: ‘This is a Shameful Exercise!’" by Penny Starr, 2/16/12

Under this [White House mandated] solution, all health-insurance plans in the United States would be forced by the government to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients free of charge. But, as Obama described it, if a woman works for a religious hospital or charity that objects to these services, the insurance company -- not the employer -- would pay to provide the services to the woman free of charge.

Late on Friday, the Catholic bishops responded, saying that this “solution” was “unacceptable.”

“It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Dolan: Obama says he's not anti-religious, but he's getting harder to believe" by The Associated Press 2/14/12

The top U.S. Catholic bishop vowed legislative and court challenges Tuesday to a compromise by President Barack Obama to his healthcare mandate that now exempts religiously affiliated institutions from paying directly for birth control for their workers, instead making insurance companies responsible.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he trusted Obama wasn't anti-religious and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the mandate.

"Does the federal government have the right to tell a religious individual or a religious entity how to define yourself?" Dolan asked. "This is what gives us greater chill."

Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said the main concern is that the so-called "choking mandates" remain. In addition many Catholic entities are self-insured. It remains unclear how they would get around the mandate to provide services that they consider morally illicit.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Insurers See Costs in Obama Birth Control Rule" by Reuters 2/17/12

The Obama administration maintains that its plan to have health insurers pay for birth control offered to employees of religious groups won't end up costing the industry. But insurers aren't so confident.

The administration has said insurers should ultimately make up any initial costs by avoiding expenses associated with unintended pregnancies. But a new survey of 15 large health plans shows they are dubious of such savings.

Asked what impact the requirement will have on their costs in the year to two years after it goes into effect, 40 percent of the participants said they expect the requirement will increase costs through higher pharmacy expenses.

Of the health plans, 20 percent said costs would even out because they already budget for contraception in the premium, 6.7 percent said it would drive up pharmacy costs but decrease medical costs, while 33.3 percent weren't sure. None said it would lead to net savings.

But insurers may still seek ways to pass through such costs, either by increasing premiums to the same [religious] employers or to other corporate clients.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Obama's War on Christianity: Sen. Rubio Fires Back