I don’t understand all the fuss that Catholic universities and hospitals are raising over providing health care for woman that includes mandatory birth control provisions. Why not let “practicing Catholics” following the teachings of their church to “opt out” for the coverage, while permitting non-Catholics what doctors and women’s groups say is a health benefit?
Companies nationwide provide “opt out” provisions to married couples with health insurances at their places of employment. A husband or wife can “opt out” for coverage at one job, while retaining a family coverage at the other. The employer can offer a financial incentive for the opt out, such as $25 a month, thereby saving what it would normally cost to insure that person.
Under the new health care plan, this could satisfy all parties. Women would ensure that all employers would be required to offer such coverage in their health plans for women. Those who want to follow their consciences could decline the benefit and the hospital or university would be “off the hook” from the Catholic ban against such actions for practicing Catholics, but still be required to offer the coverage for those who follow a different set of beliefs.
Let’s say purchasing birth control on the open market can cost a woman $600 a year. and maybe $300 to an employer to provide it through one of its health plans. Why not pay the person $10 a month to “opt out?” That would only cost $120, and the Catholic hospital and/or university would still end up with a savings of $180, not to mention rendering under Caesar what is Caesar’s, while still “rendering” to God what is God’s — without having to force a Catholic’s version of their God on those following another spiritual path or no religious path at all.
Remember when Catholics were banned from eating meat on Fridays? Did we hear any Bishop complain about a Catholic hospital or university providing meat on Fridays in their respective cafeterias? Would the hospital refrain from serving beef and chicken on Fridays? No, they’d offer a patient a choice whether to eat it or not, to follow church teachings or not observe that ritualistic belief. I’ve heard that the majority of persons treated at Catholic hospitals are non-Catholics. I wonder what the make-up or women working at Catholic universities is? Why should “we the people” discriminate against them just to elevate one religion (my old Catholic teachings) over another?
Remember the first thing that the Bill or Rights demanded of the federal government before forming the United States: The First Amendment prohibited “making any law respecting the establishment of religion,” or ” impeding the free exercise” thereof.
This is more a labor issue than a religious issue. Negotiations and compromise can help frame the discussion for the best interests of all.