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USCCB proposes resolution in HHS mandate cases

September 12, 2016

Responding to a request from the Obama administration, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of General Counsel filed comments with the Department of Health and Human Services calling for an “amicable resolution” to HHS mandate cases.

The comments follow a May Supreme Court decision in which the justices called upon the parties to attempt to find a resolution.

Continuing to object to “mandated involvement in coverage of abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization, on pain of crushing fines,” the USCCB proposed that such coverage be “truly independent of petitioners [such as the Little Sisters of the Poor] and their plans—i.e., provided through a separate policy, with a separate enrollment process, a separate insurance card, and a separate payment source, and offered to individuals through a separate communication."

“For this system to work, however, it must be the case that no further involvement of objecting employers is required,” the USCCB continued, as it renewed its criticism of mandatory contraceptive coverage:

The intended effect of contraceptives is to take a perfectly healthy human reproductive system and render it temporarily or permanently infertile.  As a matter of sound health care policy and practice, this is entirely backwards, as the goal of medicine, properly understood, is to cure or prevent health problems. Contraceptives not only fail to cure or prevent health problems, they actually cause such problems.  Indeed, today there is a virtual cottage industry of litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers involving injuries resulting from contraceptive use.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 13, 2016 1:34 PM ET USA

    "The USCCB proposed that such coverage be 'truly independent of petitioners...and their plans—i.e., provided through a separate policy, with a separate enrollment process, a separate insurance card, and a separate payment source, and offered to individuals through a separate communication.'" Given that my employer-sponsored health care ended in June, I had to find a suitable and moral replacement. I found 3, and all of them satisfy the USCCB's proposal. The family plan I chose costs $449/month.