Friday, February 08, 2013

Catholic Bishops Say New HHS Contraceptive Mandate Proposal "Falls Short"

In a Statement (full text) issued yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the Department of Health and Human Services' Feb. 1 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking attempting to accommodate non-profit religious organizations' objections to the contraceptive coverage mandate "shows some movement by the Administration but falls short of addressing U.S. bishops' concerns." In the statement, Cardinal Timothy Dolan argued that Catholic health care, education and charities should have the same total exemption as churches. He indicated that it is unclear how much involvement religious organizations will be required to have in arranging for required separate policies. Finally he objected to the lack of any conscience protection to private for-profit employers and insurers.