Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, May 1, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Nation and World
Health care law rollout met by frustrated public, moral objections
Catholic News Service photo
People hold signs during a 2012 rally outside the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington against the government mandate that would require nearly all employers to cover contraceptives and sterilization in their health plans. As the Supreme Court considers hearing religious freedom-based challenges to parts of the Affordable Care Act, the reach of the 20-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act is one legal issue on the table.
Catholic News Service photo
People hold signs during a 2012 rally outside the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington against the government mandate that would require nearly all employers to cover contraceptives and sterilization in their health plans. As the Supreme Court considers hearing religious freedom-based challenges to parts of the Affordable Care Act, the reach of the 20-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act is one legal issue on the table.
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, was a major topic of discussion throughout 2013, when some of its provisions began to take effect.

The federal government's trouble-plagued website frustrated the general public and the law's final rules for implementing its contraceptive mandate applying to most religious and other employers did not satisfy the U.S. Catholic bishops, who repeatedly criticized the mandate and its narrow religious exemption, saying it erodes religious liberty rights.

When the federal government rolled out its website -- healthcare.gov -- in October, allowing people to shop for insurance coverage, the frustration with technical glitches on the site likely raised the national blood pressure levels.

On Dec. 1, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced that the worst of the website's problems have been fixed, but said there were still some software bugs in the system.

To help people through the maze of understanding the law and shopping for and buying health insurance, the federal government provided more than $67 million in funds to more than 100 organizations to train navigators and counselors.

St. Louis-based Ascension Health received two of the federal grants distributed to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kan., and Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala.

Connie Brooks, a senior director for Ascension Health, said the grants "allow us to do more of what we do," stressing that Catholic hospitals  are "very much committed to and compassionate about care for the poor and access to health care; it is at the core of who we are."

Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Mobile, Ala., was awarded a navigator grant of $20,750, but ended up rejecting it.

Father Fredrick Adamson, vicar general of the Phoenix Diocese, advised Catholics there, in a letter sent to all parishes this fall, not to be navigators for the new health care law.

The priest's letter included a link to the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, which urged Catholic agencies not to sponsor or assume assistance roles with the health care law "because of the implications of these actions for cooperation with evil."

The center cautioned against such help "not just because of the morally illicit drugs and procedures which will be facilitated by implementing" it but also "because of the violation of religious liberty" in the law's contraceptive mandate.

The mandate was a major problem with the health care law for the U.S. bishops from the start and remained one even after HHS made an accommodation for religious employers and finalized its rules.

The bishops, who have long advocated for health care reform, were against final passage of health care measure because of its use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and its failure to protect conscience rights for workers in the health care industry and for employers who have moral objections to the law's requirement that most religious and other employers provide free health coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients for their workers.

The final rules issued in June to implement the mandate include an exemption for some religious employers that fit certain criteria.

For nonprofit religious organizations -- including charities, hospitals and universities -- that do not fall under the exemption but are morally opposed to providing the coverage, HHS has stipulated an accommodation: The coverage will be provided separately through health insurance companies or third-party administrators who must ensure that payments for contraceptive services come from outside the objecting organization's premiums.

But the U.S. bishops and many Catholic universities and institutions argue the accommodation still does not solve their objections to being involved in providing coverage they reject for moral reasons.

Currently, there are more than 70 lawsuits against the mandate filed by Catholic and other religious entities and some for-profit companies  working their way through the courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Nov. 26 to take up two cases that challenge the contraceptive mandate of the law for secular, for-profit  businesses whose owners object to all or part of the mandate on moral grounds.

The cases involve Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based, family-run arts-and-crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company that makes cabinets.

At issue in both cases will be First Amendment arguments that a federal requirement that the owners of the companies provide insurance coverage they morally oppose violates the owners' Free Exercise rights as well as their rights under a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said the court's review "highlights the importance of this conflict between the federal government and people seeking to practice their faith in daily life."

At the congressional level, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley urged members of Congress in early November to support the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, a measure that would require health plans to disclose if they subsidize abortion coverage.

The cardinal, who is chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the USCCB, said the legislation would address one part of the abortion-related problem in the Affordable Care Act.

He noted that under the federal health care law -- unless state law requires otherwise -- each insurer may choose whether to include coverage of elective abortions in health plans it offers on a state health exchange. He also pointed out that if the insurer does cover such abortions, the overall health plan may still receive federal tax subsidies, which he said violates the policies governing all other federal health programs.

The cardinal said the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., addresses the "unprecedented policy of government-enforced secrecy" by requiring health plans to report their abortion coverage and the extra payment they charge for abortion coverage.

In other court actions related to the health care law and the Catholic  Church, a federal judge Nov. 21 granted the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses a preliminary injunction against the law's contraceptive mandate, saying religious employers' right to adhere to their moral objections outweighs a government decision to widen access to contraceptives.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., USCCB president, said the  court's decision vindicates the approach the bishops have taken on the issue and he expects similar court decisions to follow.

The archbishop noted that during the bishops' annual fall general assembly in Baltimore in November, they reiterated their objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate and their "resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom."

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved