The President's assurances that if you liked your health care coverage, you could keep it, not very reflective of reality. National Franciscan University, to our knowledge, becomes the first but certainly not the last Catholic institution to stop providing health care coverage to their students and employees.
National Franciscan University appears to be the first casualty of the new Obama HHS mandate that requires Catholic colleges, groups and businesses to pay for drugs that may cause abortions and birth control for their employees.
Although President Barack Obama declared "If you like your health care coverage you can keep it," when it came to passing Obamacare, a Catholic college in Ohio has determined it will no longer offer a student health insurance plan.
"The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover "women's health services" including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)," the university says in a new post on its website. "Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life."
And it's not just the conscience violations that are cause for Franciscan University for dropping their healthcare coverage. When you mandate additional coverage, that has to come out of hide somewhere and almost invariably that hide will be increased premiums for the individual.
"Additionally, the PPACA increased the mandated maximum coverage amount for student policies to $100,000 for the 2012-13 school year, which would effectively double your premium cost for the policy in fall 2012, with the expectation of further increases in the future," FUS continues.(italics, ours)
"Due to these changes in regulation by the federal government, beginning with the 2012-13 school year, the University 1) will no longer require that all full-time undergraduate students carry health insurance, 2) will no longer offer a student health insurance plan, and 3) will no longer bill those not covered under a parent/guardian plan or personal plan for student health insurance," the college said.
Expectation. Allow us to translate: With a healthcare law littered with verbage like "The Secretary (of Health and Human Services) shall determine...", you can expect even more mandates for additional coverage and thus higher costs.
Back to the linked article:
Franciscan University says the current student health insurance plan will expire on August 15.
Writing at CatholicVote, Tom Crowe, an employee at Franciscan University, blamed the mandate for Franciscan's decision.
"Employers, until Obamacare was passed, were not compelled to offer health insurance but they did do because it is expected and good for business-good luck getting top-notch employees if health insurance coverage is not among the benefits. Under Obamacare employers can both assure that employees have health insurance coverage by dumping them onto the exchanges, and can save lots of money and headache. Win-win," he writes. "But now there is another device by which Obamacare violates the "if you like it you can keep it" pledge: the HHS Mandate."
Bingo. For all you folks out there bummed out that ObamaCare did not contatain a public option: relax. Through a combination of heavy-handed dictates and inherent incompetence written into the law, expect many, many more Americans to get booted from plans they like and dumped into expensive, one-size-fits-all government exchanges subsidized by the tax payer.
More from Crowe:
"See, part of reason I like my current health insurance plan offered by my employer, Franciscan University of Steubenville, is that it does not waste money on things I will never use because they are morally repugnant to me, like contraceptives, sterilization, and abortofacients. The HHS mandate purports to force me into a plan that I do not want rather than the plan I've been very happy with. But that's a still-pending issue because of the one-year extension given (not that we will comply even after a year, of course)," he continues.
In a similar vein of befuddlement, our healthcare plan covers us for drug and alcohol counseling which we find highly dubious because we figure if we put ourselves into that situation where we required counseling, we should pay for it out of pocket instead of putting the rest of our risk pool on the hook for it. We're paying higher premiums for coverage we find morally objectionable and which we cannot opt out of.
How about a little smack? Mr. Crowe?:
Crowe says the Obama mandate has left students "high and dry" and some students now may not have health insurance as a result.(italics, again, ours)
"Who knows how many will have insurance, how many will not, how many will have insurance of the quality we offered before, how many will be able to stay on their parents' insurance through the extended adolescence provision of Obamacare," he writes. "But there you have it: thanks to the government's firm desire to make sure the one or two women left in the country who did not have easy and cheap access to contraceptives, abortofacients, and sterilization procedures, our 2,500 students will no longer have an insurance plan ready and waiting for them."
Our buddy and devout Catholic, KT of The Scratching Post shared his thoughts on the matter via email:
This is really sad. What a waste of time. Five years ago (to pick a time frame at random), these Catholic institutions were behaving normally, educating kids and providing social services. Now they have to waste their time fighting that idiot, Obama. And all of it so he could score a couple of political points with single women.
You don't need to be a Catholic or even a person of faith to realize what a grave threat to freedom ObamaCare represents.
The One who came to unite has only served to divide us instead.