The Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration has compromised on the thorny issue of requiring under ObamaCare that religious institutions buy insurance that covers contraception for their employees. Really? The Post Wonkblog notes:
Under this proposal, objecting nonprofits will be allowed to offer employees a plan that does not cover contraceptives. Their health insurer will then automatically enroll employees in a separate individual policy, which only covers contraceptives, at no cost. This policy would stand apart from the employer's larger benefit package.
The faith-based employer would not "have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds."
Say what? Is it really credible that health insurers won't simply boost the prices of their non-contraceptive policies to cover the "no-cost" contraception coverage? Does the Obama administration really think that believers can be that easily duped?
Back last May, in my column, "Separating State and Church Money," I argued:
What about health insurance? The tax code could be reformed so that employers give their workers cash instead of medical benefits, allowing individuals to select the private health plan that works best for them, deciding for themselves whether they want coverage for contraception, abortion, sterilization, stem cell treatments, and so on. The poor could receive tax-financed vouchers to buy whatever private insurance they prefer. In fact, most public welfare services, including job training, nutrition support, and drug treatment, could be converted into voucher programs.
Religious groups have always been welcome to make their cases in the public square, but if churches want to be left alone, they should stop begging for alms from the government. [Both sides] should heed Ronald Reagan's admonition. "We establish no religion in this country," Reagan declared in 1984. "We command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate."
Apparently, the president believes that the separation of church and states is an annoying incovenience to achieving Progressive aims.