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Shell Game - false Accommodation


RYAN HAGGERTY & S. JONES

Source:
Chicago Tribune
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/11/2012

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ABSTRACTCatholic leaders in Illinois express concern about national health care mandate - Chicago Tribune Home → Collections → Health Insurance Illinois Catholic groups still worried about revised insurance mandate Changes to contraception requirement 'a shell game,' says director of church's hospital association (Science Photo Library) February 11, 2012 | By Ryan Haggerty and Sandra M. Jones, Chicago Tribune reporters Officials at two major Roman Catholic policy groups expressed fears Friday that President Barack Obama's revised health insurance mandate still poses a moral quandary because it could override an exemption in Illinois law that allows Catholic institutions to avoid offering birth control to their employees. "It forces us back into a position that we find untenable," said Patrick Cacchione, executive director of the Illinois Catholic Health Association. "We're not going to pay or provide or participate in something that we think is immoral." Since 2003, Illinois law has required insurance companies to include contraceptive coverage in policies sold to Illinois companies. However, an exemption allows self-insured employers — which includes most major Catholic institutions — to offer insurance that does not cover contraceptives. State officials are reviewing the revised federal mandate and are also unsure how it will affect the state's law and its exemption for self-insured employers, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Insurance said. Under a revised mandate issued by the administration Friday, employees at Catholic and other religious hospitals, charities and universities would have access to free contraception through their insurance companies. Obama had earlier pitched a plan that would have required employers to offer health insurance that covered birth control at no cost. Cacchione, whose organization represents the state's Catholic health facilities, called the changes to the mandate "a shell game" and said Obama seemed more intent on addressing the political controversy than the ethical questions raised by the mandate's opponents. "It might mitigate his political problem, but it certainly doesn't solve our concern," he said. Cardinal Francis George was in Rome and not available for comment on Friday. George wrote a letter early this week in reference to Obama's original proposal, saying "We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law." George asked that the letter be read at all Masses this weekend. The Chicago Archdiocese on Friday r.......