Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Catholics & ObamaCare

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

The kerfluffle between the Catholic Church and its Bishops and President Obama over his attempt to make Catholic organizations pay for birth control and certain forms of abortion in direct confrontation to their beliefs has more miles ahead of it before it has been resolved.

The President recognized that he had stepped in it big time and made a hasty announcement that he said resolved the issue.  He decreed that insurance companies would pay for the drugs and the Catholic organizations wouldn't have to pay, thus keeping them happy and letting their employees have birth control and drug-induced abortions.

There is another problem that the President apparently didn't know about and has yet to deal with:  Many, likely most, of the large Catholic organizations are in self-funded health plans that do not use insurance companies but instead rely on third party administrators for their claims paying services.  These plans are known as ERISA plans since they are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  The Catholic organizations that use these plans are the funding source; there is no insurance company gobetween such as the President assumed and insinuated.  ObamaCare does not apply to ERISA plans.

So the magical solution that enabled the President to have his cake and eat it too isn't available to him.  He has not taken the Catholic institutions out of the equation; they are still there in the dead center and they are still supposed to violate their own teachings to enable the President to take his bows.

I suspect that soon-to-be Cardinal Dolan will have much more to say about this whole issue upon his return from Rome.  I doubt seriously that President Obama will want to engage in a one-on-one debate with the Cardinal on this issue and that leaves him in the awkward position of having to find some common ground where it seems none exists.

I also wonder what, if anything, the U.S. Supreme Court might have to say about this kerfluffle when it renders its decision on ObamaCare in late-June as is expected.

Maybe, just maybe, the President has finally stepped in something he can't get off his shoes, and this something will have a stink to it well into the prime time of election season.

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