The White House responds to the Sebelius Rule Uproar

Some of the clarifications being offered:

  • Churches are exempt from the new rules: Churches and other houses of worship will be exempt from the requirement to offer insurance that covers contraception.
  • No individual health care provider will be forced to prescribe contraception: The President and this Administration have previously and continue to express strong support for existing conscience protections.  For example, no Catholic doctor is forced to write a prescription for contraception.
  •  No individual will be forced to buy or use contraception: This rule only applies to what insurance companies cover.  Under this policy, women who want contraception will have access to it through their insurance without paying a co-pay or deductible.   But no one will be forced to buy or use contraception.
  • Drugs that cause abortion are not covered by this policy:  Drugs like RU486 are not covered by this policy, and nothing about this policy changes the President’s firm commitment to maintaining strict limitations on Federal funding for abortions. No Federal tax dollars are used for elective abortions.
  • Over half of Americans already live in the 28 States that require insurance companies cover contraception: Several of these States like North Carolina, New York, and California have identical religious employer exemptions.  Some States like Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemption at all.
  • Contraception is used by most women: According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, most women, including 98 percent of Catholic women, have used contraception.
  • Contraception coverage reduces costs: While the monthly cost of contraception for women ranges from $30 to $50, insurers and experts agree that savings more than offset the cost.  The National Business Group on Health estimated that it would cost employers 15 to 17 percent more not to provide contraceptive coverage than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of potentially unintended and unhealthy pregnancy and indirect costs such as employee absence and reduced productivity.

Health Reform, Preventive Services, and Religious Institutions | The White House.

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5 Replies to “The White House responds to the Sebelius Rule Uproar”

  1. The problem here Joel is that Catholic affiliated institutions will be required to provide contraception in the policies they offer. It may be that there are states that require insurance companies to provide it, but that does not mean that Catholic affiliated organizations have to include it in their plans. In addition, KS’s “magnanimous” attempt to give Catholics one year to figure out how to do this reveals that they intend to force Catholic affiliated employers to provide what they previously have not had to do. These clarifications are nothing other than a sidestep and a shuffle to cloud what is actually happening.

    1. Dr. Bevere, I’m not in favor of the rule as I think it sets a bad precedent, as I noted yesterday, but the hoopla around this decision is a little too loud.

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