It’s always in the Fine Print: War on Birth Control EditionPosted: March 17, 2012
Just when I thought the administration might actually stand up for medical science and women for a change, out comes the details on the HHS Insurance coverage including a large loophole for religious employers that want to force their narrow religious views on others. Actually, the loophole is so big you could drive a few tanks through it. Fortunately, it’s not a final draft so we still have time to scream bloody murder about it. Basically, all an offending organization has to do is ‘self insure itself.
That “self insurance” loophole is a huge exemption. Look for any Roman Catholic institutions that aren’t self-insured already to set themselves up that way in short order.
If you wish to take HHS up on their offer to listen to comments on this proposal, page 3 of the pdf has four ways to submit your thoughts. The first is electronically, via http://www.regulations.gov. They say to “follow the instructions under the ‘More Search Options’ tab.” Unfortunately, regulations.gov is down for maintenance today. (You’ll probably need the file code: CMS-9968-ANPRM.)
But wait! There’s more from HHS on contraception. Again from NCR:
News of the changes also came as a separate ruling on student health insurance coverage was announced by the Department of Health and Human Services this afternoon. Under that ruling, health care plans for students would be treated like those of employees of colleges and universities — meaning the colleges will have to provide contraceptive services to students without co-pay.
Religiously affiliated colleges and universities, however, would be shielded from this ruling, according to a statement from the HHS.
Sandra Fluke and her classmates at Georgetown — a Roman Catholic institution — continue to be out of luck, it seems. Unlike the first announcement, this is a “final rule” [pdf] and not a proposal.
This came out on Friday so the chances of it hitting any major news outlet is pretty slim. Rush Limbaugh won’t be able to say take that you sluts until at least Monday. This wasn’t exactly announced in a Rose Garden Presser. If the administration really expects women to support the President’s re-election efforts then they really need to start treating us all with a little more respect. I’m beginning to get the feeling that politicians must think we don’t read or don’t vote.