And if you’re ordinary Catholic business owner?

Drop your health insurance plan

John Haas

The following appeared August 10 on Zenit.org website.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center, a research center whose mission is to promote the dignity of the human person, published a set of guidelines aimed to help non-exempt businesses with the moral implications of the Obama administration’s Health & Human Services mandate.

The mandate, which has faced opposition from the US Catholic Bishops Conference and other Christian denominations and non-Christian religious leaders, requires non-exempt business owners and institutions to pay for insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization procedures to employees.

Although businesses were given till Aug. 1 to comply with the mandate, the administration has given religious institutions a “safe harbor” year till 2013 to enforce it. The bioethics center, however, stated that “such an accommodation is premised on the notion that the federal government has the power to define what constitutes a religious organization, in direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

The research center’s report, while encouraging companies that have filed lawsuits against the mandate, acknowledge that there are businesses that do not have the means for such action. Thus, it notes, companies are faced with four choices: willingly assent to the coverage, provide insurance that does not comply with the mandate and therefore face legal repercussions, drop all coverage while providing fair compensation for all benefits, or temporarily comply under protest.

The panel of ethicists leading the bioethics center’s study was led by moral theologian and current president of the research center, John Haas. The panel weighed the moral licitness of the options business owners face.

Of the options for non-exempt businesses, the center stated that dropping insurance coverage altogether would seem to be the moral choice under the circumstances. “As unfortunate as it is, this approach appears to be the most morally sound and fiscally survivable option for the employer at present,” the report stated.

The option to temporarily comply under protest was seen as a “measure of last resort,” provided that compliance ends once “insurance exchanges are available to employees in

2014.” The center also acknowledged a glimmer of hope in legal challenges against the mandate citing the recent victory by Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based company that successfully secured a temporary injunction against the mandate.

The only option that could not be morally licit, the report concluded “is the first one outlined above, that is, willing compliance with the mandate. Other options outlined above could be morally licit depending on the circumstances faced by those being forced to comply,” the report concluded.

To read original story, click here.

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Comments

  1. In “American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil” (2-10-12 at ricochet.com ), historian Paul A. Rahe notes how the American hierarchy set itself up for this conflict along with all the rest of us. “The leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States – the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity – and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism – the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.”

  2. Larry from RI says:

    The best option is to get Potus Obama out of the White House and repeal Obamacare.This would be possible only if the catholics,bishops and laity,have gotten over their white guilt and false compasion for a national health care system.What ever happened to the principle of subsidiarity????

  3. I pray that business owners have the courage to stand up for the faith and reject everything that denies life. The risks are enormous on a temporal level, but the rewards in Heaven will be great. This is where we as lay people have to continue to spread the Church’s teaching on abortion and contraception to educate one another to follow the way of the Lord. God Love You.

  4. For those of you unaware, there IS in the works a new Catholic alternative for health care!
    They are trying to see how many people are interested in this better alternative. Google: Solidarity Health Share – for more info. Because of Obama’s health mandate I’m ‘forced’ to seek morally better alternatives for my health care costs! Thank God there’s something else out there!

  5. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    The Catholic Church in all of its branches should have long ago told the gobermint (government) to take their tax exempt status and shove it.

    The tax exempt status was a long term trap set by Satan to ensnare His Church, and it has worked so far.

    We will see how many bishops have the courage of a St. John Fisher.

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

  6. As I read this article, the author is suggesting that any company owned by a Catholic should just drop all health insurance for his/her employees. Is he crazy? What about the employee who is suffering from cancer and needs treatment. Where does she/he get it without insurance? Who will pay the tens of thousands of dollars each year for the Rx’s that are needed? What about the person with a family, who has a sick child? Some may not like the fact that most insurance policies provide for contraceptives and for abortions. We may deplore it! But that is not a reason to throw out the rest of the health care coverage for all of the employees. Somewhere, practicality also needs to be considered. Health care is an expected benefit for most employees when they join a company. A company that doesn’t have coverage is at a disadvantage to others. No matter our indignation at the health policy, most Catholic employers will ignore the mandate and the Bishops are going to lose come next year when the mandate has to be implimented. We have lost this fight in the public arena, no matter our dislike or our horror with the situation.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      BobOne.

      “One” what?

      And so said Judas Iscariot!

      And Peter never said “it is better that we serve God than to serve man”!

      By your kind of “thinking”, when I had serious spinal problems, I would have been justified to submit myself to Embrionic Stem Cells!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • From Douay-Rheims

        Acts Of Apostles 5:29
        But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    To Sue and other posters…..

    Please do not ‘google’!

    They are part of the problem, have a major agenda for homosexuality!

    Instead, use ‘Goodsearch’ which is powered by Yahoo and you can
    sign up or list your favorite charity that would get the money that
    normally Google would get at the end of the year….it adds up:)

  8. How many owners will increase salaries and wages by an equal amount so employees can try to buy health insurance? (Independent of the fact health insurance benefits are normally tax free to the employee and deductible to the employer, while salaries are taxable to the employee). Also, employees realize their total compensation often includes a salary/wage as well as benefits. They’re not going to like a cut of a major benefit.

  9. Anton L. Seidl says:

    There is but one escape valve: Catholics MUST vote out this evil and satanic administration on November 6. If Obama is reelected, his minions will manage to find a hundred new ways to make our lives miserable and to separate us from one another. As it stands, they are taking advantage of the conservative/traditionalist vs. liberal/social justice fault line within our church, with the latter still – unbelievably – on the side of Obama, Kathleen Sibelius, Planned Parenthood, and the abortion lobby.

  10. If we have to exercise the “last resort” option, are we employers obliged to stop taking the insurance ourselves? If not, what about when these exchanges open up? Are all Catholics obliged not to buy health insurance at all? What if we gt sick, can’t afford healthcare, and then cannot work to earn a living?

    We need real guidance here.

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