New York State Insurance and Contraception

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Obama administration is responding to criticism about its decision to mandate that all insurance providers – even those contracted by Catholic organizations – provide contraception. But New York State has had such a law on its books for a decade. Lois Uttley, Director of the MergerWatch Project and Raising Women’s Voices-NY, discusses how New York’s policy functions.


Lois Uttley

Comments [31]

Ed from Larchmont

But yes, that's what a religious exemption means. And if it's serious and established and real, it should be respected. E.g. Quakers don't fight in combat.

Feb. 14 2012 06:22 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Well, bottom line, whatever anyone else thinks, is that the Church can't support evil, so it can't pay for these things. Work it out anyway one wants.

PS Natural family planning is a much more efficient and healthier route to regulate pregnancies (a good thing) than contraceptives. And contraceptives do lead to abortion - once young people are encouraged to become sexually active, they will need abortion. PP isn't stupid.

Feb. 14 2012 04:59 PM
David from Manhattan

this is so crazy. The Christian blogger lady stated people should be aware that their employer is Catholic (or whatever) and choose NOT to work for them IF she wants contraception services as part of their healthcare. This is wrong and silly on so many levels. 1) How about the Employer not use Oxford (or which ever insurance provider) if they offer contraception and other family planning / GYN services. The employer should know that in advance and NOT use that insurance company. How about that? Then the EMPLOYER would need to find a provider that does not OFFER certain services and medications. Good luck with that. 2) Imagine if each employer could pick and choose services? Scientology would not pay for psychiatry ...for example. And it goes on and on. 3) Seriously, has the Church ever even heard of "separation of Church and State" That means the USA (the state) and "Church" means ANY sort of religious group... including Catholics. 4) I personally think WAR / occupation is immoral , evil and ineffective as a policy in 2012. Does that mean I get to NOT pay any Federal taxes? And there are like 10 more.......

Feb. 14 2012 04:23 PM
Ed from Larchmont

One could write for a long time on what was said today. One point: the morning after pill is an abortifacient as follows: there is a conception and it would implant in the womb in 5 or 6 days. The morning after pill, a large dose of hormones, keeps the zygote from implanting in the womb, so it dies.

The medical community does not call this an abortion because they cleverly (if not logically) define pregnancy as starting when the embryo implants in the womb. So, since it hasn't implanted, there is no pregnancy, and there is no termination of pregnancy, and it's a convenient definition.

This is not about abortion or contraception, it's about religious liberty. And religious institutions are exempt from taxes - which is our money, not the government's - because they do services that the government needs done, which it can do better.

Please have someone on who can explain this better than I can.

Feb. 14 2012 04:21 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Well, that's one side of the story. I remember the pro-slavery people, 'If you don't want to own a slave, you don't have to buy one'. So what's the problem?

I notice in a program that tries to get both sides, you presented exactly one side. Maybe you should invite Cardinal Dolan on when he gets back from Rome. Will you?

Just a story. Let's say you're a kosher deli. And you serve, of course, non-Jewish people, but you don't serve pork to anyone. But then then the society decides that pork is very good for people, and you should sell it, and requires you to sell it. Some people can only get to your deli.

So what are your choices? To violate your conscience, or to close down.

Feb. 14 2012 04:15 PM

and then there is this
"leaked letters by an archbishop who was transferred after he blew the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption and cronyism, to a leaked poison pen memo which puts a number of cardinals in a bad light, to new suspicions about its bank,"

Feb. 14 2012 12:32 PM

...nothing wrong...

...move along...

Feb. 14 2012 11:37 AM

...everyone knows that sex with young boys is the BEST way to prevent pregnancy!

Feb. 14 2012 11:15 AM

single payer now!

Feb. 14 2012 10:46 AM
rose-ellen from jackson hts.

The church brought this cunuundrum on itself when it separated chartities and instituions from the primary mission of the church which is to inculcate and preserve the faith- in order to get government funding.You can't serve two masters.A way out for the church is to re-couple the religious mission with the charitable and instituional one.Every person hired would have to have as their primary job description in their contract- to inculcate the faith of the church .They would be required to join a lay religious order on condition for being hired.This would be a formality-no one would be asked what their religion is but rather that they must be willing to join the order to be hired to ensure exemption on religious grounds for the employers[these catholic instituions].All instituions would come under the jurisdiction of the diosese and or the religious order and hence like a parish or seminary or catholic school -these instituions would be extensions of the church.Religious organizaions like nuns and priests are covered by religious freedom grounds-so too would all these instituions as they would now be part of a newly formed lay religious order. Whether a janitor,professor, nurse,college administrator,soup kitchen worker-etc.,all would as part of this order and part of the church, be exempt from having to pay for it objects to on religious grounds.

Feb. 14 2012 10:34 AM

Something that is rarely if ever brought up is that every religious institution in this country is supported by the Gov/tax payer by way of that religious institution not paying taxes--property or otherwise. Billions of dollars lost.

Feb. 14 2012 10:33 AM
CTYankee from Ridgefield, CT

Let us take the Republican position to the extreme? Should a Church that believes in faith healing not have to provide ANY health coverage for their employees? Obviously this is ridiculous. Mixing politics, religion and health care is a recipe for disaster. Catholic organizations should have both catholic and non-catholic employees and should provide both with comprehensive medical coverage - period.

Feb. 14 2012 10:31 AM

... or the Katholic Khurch!


Everything is just FINE!!

Feb. 14 2012 10:29 AM
Josh from Nj

Now ur attempting to conflate contraception w wellness care and that is as deceptive as the church calling it abortion. We pay aetna 1400 a month (healthy young family) and get no preventative care at all.

Feb. 14 2012 10:27 AM

What are you talking about...

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with our healthcare system!

Feb. 14 2012 10:27 AM
Chris from Queens

Didn't Mr. Obama promise to make science-based decisions in his administration? Here we have a case wherein the data show, as your guest mentioned, that contraception leads to better health for mothers and children. Yet once again, we see our President backing down to those with no interest in data or practicality, exactly as he promised not to.

Bush poisoned the country with his refusal to look to evidence. Obama shows no inclination to fight against this trend. Blind idealism is killing our country.

Feb. 14 2012 10:25 AM
BKer from NYC

Lois is technically correct but over simplifying. A fertilized egg may occur but the morning after pill prevents it from implanting in the uterine lining. That's neither technically an abortion nor technically NOT conception, so it's a bit of a gray area for the very ideological. To say it's just that people are confusing RU486 with the morning after pill is not quite accurate.

I am staunchly pro-choice but my former partner was Catholic and very informed (he worked in public health) and was not entirely comfortable with the morning after pill. I disagreed with him but respected that he was not "just confused" - he was genuinely concerned about the morning after pill.

all complicated. let's be fair.

Feb. 14 2012 10:25 AM

You guest is incorrect about the morning after pill. This pill prevents implantation of an already fertilized egg. It does not prevent pregnancy, it prevents implantation.

Feb. 14 2012 10:24 AM
gary from queens

I don't wish to prevent a pregnancy. i wish to prevent dental carries. That is just as important to health as contraception.

Therefore, we need to have insurance coverage for toothpaste and mouthwash!!!

Insurance will drive up the cost of the price of toothpaste, but who cares---the upper classes who pay taxes will pay for it!!!!

Feb. 14 2012 10:24 AM
John A.

"how many priests have Viagra prescriptions?"
Talk about not getting the message.
But an interesting challenge, I'll admit.

Feb. 14 2012 10:23 AM
Tom P from NYC

Yes, Brian, Churches will choose to pay more, just like the 98% of Catholics that are reported to be using birth control. None of this is about access to birth control, but who pays for it.

Feb. 14 2012 10:22 AM

Is a vasectamy covered by church insurance - that's contraceptive? How does it compare to women's pill?

Feb. 14 2012 10:21 AM
Jay from New York

While they will not pay for contraception, how many priests have Viagra prescriptions?
How many Men covered under the Catholic affiliated insurance programs have Viagra coverage?
This is grossly unequal. Didn't we determine that separate but equal was NOT equal?

Feb. 14 2012 10:19 AM
Ms. Dimple Shah from Jersey City

What bothers me about the debate is that the use of oral contraceptives is a decision made by a prescriber and the patient. The medication have many uses beyond contraception as well.

Feb. 14 2012 10:18 AM
member301 from nyc -- Manhattan

Yesterday's guests on this topic -- required coverage of contraception -- kept referring to "religious institutions."
Aren't we talking about hospitals and colleges that have a connection to the Roman Catholic Church? These are not religions institutions. Take the time to discuss the funding of a sample current hospital, for instance. Or Fordham. What per cent of funding comes from RC church? What per cent from Medicare? and Medicaid? and state funding? What per cent from Federal and state student loan programs?

If RC church wants to say these hospitals are religions institutions, then government should stop funding. US constitution does not allow for government establishment of religion.

Feb. 14 2012 10:17 AM
sean from brooklyn

Can the catholic church deny an employee getting a DNR while in hospice?
I would think they would have a problem with this too.

Feb. 14 2012 10:17 AM

On the issue of religious freedom:

Aren't the companies (hospitals, universities, etc) restricting the religious freedom of the employers by imposing a particular restriction on their employees? Couldn't the employees make the argument that their religious freedoms are being restricted by the religiously affiliated institution?

Patty, Brooklyn

Feb. 14 2012 10:16 AM
John A.

Catholic Schools employ both clergy and laypeople, and also have mission(s) to teach religious and also non religious topics. Are they exempt?

Feb. 14 2012 10:15 AM
Helen from manhattan

For women who work for a religious organization and don't get coverage, what are their options for birth control? My birth control IS covered but I still pay $70 a month for it, what does an uninsured women have to pay?

Feb. 14 2012 10:14 AM
bernie from bklyn

i can't believe there's a segment on this show about access to contraception. we are going backwards fast!
i don't understand why the catholic church's opinion on anything is taken seriously. 98% of catholic women admit to using contraception. women can't be priests. priests are forced to be unnaturally celibate. why would any women belong to this regressive, guilt-producing corporation?
their backward, damaging edicts are worthless and i don't understand how they still have a flock. don't they realize why they've lost so many members?

Feb. 14 2012 10:13 AM

What would have to the quality of my insurance if insurance could be bought across state lines.

Feb. 14 2012 10:08 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.