Religious Employers Must Provide Health Care Plans That Cover Contraceptives

By Bernie on 22 Feb 2012

It's very simple, let us suppose you work for a paper manufacturer which happens to be the largest company in your town. Then suppose the Jehovah's Witnesses come in and buy the company because they need more paper for their tracts. Now let's further suppose they change to a health care plan that does not allow blood transfusions because it's against their religion.

Should they be allowed to endanger your life because of their religious beliefs? I don't think so. I expect that someone will make the suggestion that if you don't like the health care plan of your employer you can always find another job. Lose your seniority and possibly any vesting in your retirement, move to another city and hope that a religious organization doesn't buy the company or build a hospital in your new town.

Now suppose your town can only support one hospital and a Catholic hospital is already there. As I pointed out in my article Muslim Cabbies and Catholic Hospitals, this will make it financially impossible for a non-faith-based hospital to locate in your town. What's wrong with that, you ask? From my article again:

If a poor, non-Catholic woman who cannot get a helicopter ride to another hospital finds herself in the situation of needing an emergency abortion and is stuck at Mother Cabrini's or St Vincents Charity Hospital she will die. But, you may object, if there were no other hospital in the area, isn't she still better off with at least having some hospital as opposed to none? No. If the Catholic Hospital did not open in her city or town the ambulance would have brought her to the nearest hospital where she would at least have the chance of surviving. And if Catholic Hospitals were forced out of business, at least there would be the opportunity for non-faith-based institutions to open up shop.

If a Catholic Hospital is open for business, it must dispense services according to currently accepted medical practices, not to voo-doo, magic, superstition, or any other non-medical belief.

If a Muslim Hospital is open for business, it must dispense services according to currently accepted medical practices, not to Shariah-compliant edicts from the Ulema.

If a Church of Scientology Hospital is open for business, it must dispense services according to currently accepted medical practices on Earth, not to medical practices used on the Planet Xenu.

This applies as well to all fields of medicine. I do not want a Muslim Pharmacist denying my prescription because it contains alcohol - that is none of his business. If he has a medical reason not to give me my medicine then fine.

I am opposed to government interference in healthcare or any other business in this country; however I certainly want the government to make it illegal for a company or organization to engage in fraud. Pretending to be a hospital while threatening the life of patients by the religious denial of medically-necessary operations and services is fraud.

Religion has no place in medicine.

I do not go to a hospital to mend my soul nor do I go to a church to mend a broken foot. Let us not confuse the two.


a Blog, Should religion stand in the way of common sense when it comes to birth control?

Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.

The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women’s preventive care under President Barack Obama’s health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual “well-woman” physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services.

"These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2013, in most cases. Over time, they are expected to apply to most employer-based insurance plans, as well as coverage purchased individually. Plans that are considered "grandfathered" under the law will not be affected, at least initially. Consumers should check with their health insurance plan administrator.

Sebelius acted after a near-unanimous recommendation last month from a panel of experts convened by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, which advises the government. Panel chairwoman Linda Rosenstock, dean of public health at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that prevention of unintended pregnancies is essential for the psychological, emotional and physical health of women.

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