The federal Department of Health and Human Services ignited a political firestorm in January that’s still smoldering when it declared institutions of the Catholic Church would have to include coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortifacients in their employee insurance policies.
Most Americans initially backed the church in its contention that the HHS requirement, conjured out of the Affordable Care Act, violated the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty by forcing the church to provide drugs and services that run counter to its moral teachings.
So the Obama administration engaged in a sleight-of-hand by declaring a “compromise” in which the insurance companies, not the church institutions, would pay the bill for the drugs, devices and procedures.
This Machiavellian ploy would have impressed even the Medici. The administration knew full well…
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A look at where Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stand on a selection of issues, in brief:
ABORTION and BIRTH CONTROL:
Obama: Supports abortion rights. Health care law requires contraceptives to be available for free for women enrolled in workplace health plans.
Romney: Opposes abortion rights. Previously supported them. Says state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court. Said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.
Obama: Achieved landmark overhaul putting U.S. on path to universal coverage if the Supreme Court upholds the heath care law and its mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance. Under the law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets, small business gets help for offering insurance and Medicaid will expand.
Romney: Promises to work for repeal of the law modeled largely after his universal health care achievement in Massachusetts because he says states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsured. Proposes to guarantee that people who are “continuously covered” for a certain period be protected against losing insurance if they get sick, leave their job and need another policy. Would expand individual tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let savings be used for insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs.
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