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Kevin ClarkeJuly 20, 2011

The USCCB is not happy with a new report from the Institute of Medicine. Among other new health care services, the report, "Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gap," recommends that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate coverage of surgical sterilization and all FDA-approved birth control in private health insurance plans nationwide.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a USCCB statement: "I strongly oppose the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation today that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate coverage of three particular practices in almost all private health plans: surgical sterilization; all FDA-approved birth control (including the IUD, 'morning-after' pills, and the abortion-inducing drug Ella); and “education and counseling” promoting these among all 'women of reproductive capacity.'"

Cardinal DiNardo said, "Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible. The IOM report claims it would have good reason to recommend mandatory coverage for surgical abortions as well, if such a mandate were not prevented by law. But most Americans surely see that abortion is not healthy or therapeutic for unborn children, and has physical and mental health risks for women which can be extremely serious. I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children."

Dinardo worried that if the HHS implements the report's recommendations, "these controversial practices will be mandated for all insurance plans—public and private—without co-pay from anyone receiving them. The considerable cost of these practices will be paid by all who participate in health coverage, employers and employees alike, including those who conscientiously object to Planned Parenthood’s agenda."

The cardinal was also concerned that the new recommendations would not be accompanied by "sufficient legal protection for rights of conscience." If that proves to be the case, he said, "such a mandate would force all men, women and children to carry health coverage that violates the deeply-held moral and religious convictions of many." He said, "This new threat to conscience makes it especially critical for Congress to pass the 'Respect for Rights of Conscience Act' introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Dan Boren (HR 1179)."

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Tom Maher
12 years 7 months ago
Beth (#4)
An idea is not made valid or invalid by the gender of its author but on the merits of the idea itself.   

On the merits the decison to expand what must be covered is done in disregard to the soaring cost of health care and health care insurace premiums.  The governemnt is making essential cost that everyone is now mandated without choice or consent and making these cost even more expensive and even less affordable.  The attempt to further mandate more and more non-medical services as health care that must be paid as part of everyone's insuranace premiums is consequentcial, abusive and is widely crticized.

Like most other economic trends of the Obama admistration the cost of health care insurance p?r?e?i?m?i?u?m?s? ?a?r?e? ????????????s?o?a?r?i?n?g? ??o?u?t?-?o?f?-?c?o?n?t?r?o?l??.? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Tom Maher
12 years 7 months ago
Power corrupts because power is abused.  The new 2,700 page health care law gives the federal government the power to abuse the American public by re-defining  what health care is in America. The Health care law politicizes health care to the political whims of the goverment bureaucrat. The public with norecourse is then obliged to pay ever-higher medical insurance premiums on non-essencial or exotic services that the public has no choice or control over. These political decisions make health care premiums even more expensive, defeating the stated goal of the health care reform law to make health insurance more affordable to the public in favor of more rigid and absolute political control over what health care is by the govenment.  The public serves and and is mandated to pay for the political requirements decided on by government bureaucrat.  What will they do next?  The government bureaucrat power is open-ended and unstoppable without constant intrevention by Congress.  Too much power has been put in the hands of government bureaucrat. 

The Health care law does not work and must be repealed. 
Stanley Kopacz
12 years 7 months ago
My mother is 87 now and under a socialist system called Medicare.  The government bureaucrats and the doctors seem to be taking good care of her as far as I can see. 
David Nickol
12 years 7 months ago
Pregnancy is not a disease. Should insurance not cover prenatal care and hospital delivery? 

There is no evidence that ''the abortion-inducing drug Ella'' induces abortions. 

The USCCB has not managed to convince about 95% of Catholic married couples of childbearing age not to use birth control, but Cardinal DiNardo objects to insurance coverage for contraception. Perhaps the USCCB should concentrate on minding its own sheep. 
Beth Cioffoletti
12 years 7 months ago
Isn't there something funny (as in weird) about a Cardinal - who has never beeen married, never had children - making authoritative pronouncements about matters that intimately concern married people who have children?  I just think that there should be a place and a way in this Church for married people with children to have the say in this matter.  I'm not against being led by values that are rooted in the truth and sacredness of human life, but when this leadership is always given to old, never-married, men, I tend to question the validity of such leadership.

Though I have known orders of nuns who help pregnant women carry their children to term and care for their children afterward, I don't know any order of nuns who make the protest of abortion their primary concern.  Women understand the fertility issue better than men. 

Forgive me for saying it - but I can't help but think that, at some level, the zeal with which many men oppose abortion is rooted in sexism and misogyny.
Jim McCrea
12 years 7 months ago
Pregnancy is not a disease.  It is a self-inflicted injury and, as such, not covered by private health insurance.

Jim McCrea
12 years 7 months ago
Health care premiums have been "soaring out of control" long before Obama became President.  I was a benefits manager 30 years ago and we fretted about the spiraling costs of health care even then.
12 years 7 months ago
The government is a bully.

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