The HHS “Accommodation”: Lie to Me

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So the Obama Administration released a proposed compromise today on the recent contentious HHS rule and there was good news: The Administration is now saying that Catholic institutions will not need to pay for abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception for their employees. The bad news is that the good news is a lie.  Catholic institutions will still be paying for these things, but health insurance companies will be instructed to tell Catholic institutions that they are free.

It’s possible that this will provide the Administration with enough cover to defuse the issue; it is clever in its own way. “Obama Administration requires Church to pay for abortifacients” is a straight forward story that even a reporter can understand. “Obama Administration uses accounting gimmick to force Church to pay for abortifacients, while assuring them they are free” is harder to explain. A little misdirection can go a long way with a sympathetic press. But, for Catholics, I think the takeaway is clear enough: this is no compromise at all. The Obama Administration has decided to double down on the mandate, and Catholics can no longer expect him to deal in good faith with Catholic institutions and their leaders.

Update: This post is probably superfluous here, but I’ll leave it up. See also Paul and Tito’s earlier takes.

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  1. John Henry, I have occasionally had clients who wish to lie in court. I explain to them that I can be no party to perjury. I also tell them usually that their lies are so feeble that it is an insult to the intelligence of the judge and jury. That is precisely my reaction to the compromise con that you correctly designate as a lie plain and simple. What has always struck me about Obama and his administration is the utter contempt they so often manifest for anyone who is not in lockstep with their administration. This contempt is shown not only to critics on the right but also critics on the left. Trying to sell this utterly transparent fraud is yet another manifestation of this treatment of critics as if they were children or sheep.

  2. Just say free contraception. They’ll both vote for me and look for work at religious institutions. Win win. Poll #’s can only rise.

    Profit to pharm co. and ins. co. comes with cost to consumer one way or another. Details to follow or not.

    It’ll be the garden of eden for them all, again. The women (unmentioned young girls,too) into “preventing babies’ sort of health can be Eve, and the apple can be the generalized ‘contraception’ word, and we the executive branch can be the snake aka you know who. Is that biblical enough you Church people? We who are mindful of religious liberty are here to accommodate you. Your employees get free contraception.
    And this is not a political football.

  3. How stupid Obama thinks we are. Well, con men always have contempt for their marks, particularly when they have successfully gulled them in the past.

  4. What we need is the Bishops to come out with a letter to be read at the pulpit, letting the parishioners know that the latest attempt of president Obama is not compromises at all.

    They should also state a reminder of the teaching of the Church on contraception.

    …and they should do it now!

    Come on Bishops, you need to be public as much as possible on this.
    Lead from the front.


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