Our “Catholic” Senator

I received the following email today from Claire McCaskill, our soon-to-be-ex senator from Missouri.  It was in response to a letter I sent her several weeks ago concerning the HHS health care mandate.  Note that Ms. McCaskill claims to be a faithful Catholic.  (Emphasis is mine.  Comments to follow)
March 12, 2012

Dear Mr. Buckley,

Thank you for contacting me regarding birth control and women’s health.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I believe we should all work to prevent and reduce the number of abortions in this country.  I support access to birth control, which will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and ultimately reduce abortions.  This is an emotional, difficult subject.  But if you really believe that reducing abortions is important in this country, which I do, then it doesn’t work to keep putting up barriers to women getting birth control.  For this reason, I voted against the amendment offered by my colleague, Senator Roy Blunt (Senate Amendment 1520), which would have allowed any employer, health plan sponsor, or insurance company to refuse coverage for their employees for any type of essential health care services — including birth control, maternity care, prenatal testing, and HIV/AIDS screening — based solely on an undefined “moral objection.”

As you may know, following considerable debate, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reached a compromise so that religiously-affiliated employers will not have to provide birth control if it violates that employer’s religious beliefs.  This compromise, which I support, ensures that all women with employer-sponsored health plans will have access to free preventive health services, while protecting the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated employers.  If a church or religious employer determines that covering birth control would be inconsistent with their organization’s beliefs, the insurance company rather than the employer will be required to offer these services directly to women.

Groups on both sides of the debate, including the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood, have expressed their support of this compromise.  Under the new HHS guidelines, no one will be required to use birth control or other preventive care services under any plan.  each woman, pursuant to her own beliefs, will access the services she deems appropriate.  However, a woman will not be denied access to health services, like birth control, based on the decision of her employer, instead of retaining for herself the right to choose whether to use birth control or not.  The new guidelines also do not eliminate or change existing conscience protections, which I support, that allow doctors and individual healthcare providers to choose whether or not to prescribe or administer birth control in accordance with their own beliefs.

It should be noted that 28 states already require health insurance plans to cover contraceptive services.  The compromise guidelines follow in the steps of most states, including Missouri, which have already found a reasonable way to ensure access to preventive health services while also respecting employers’ First Amendment right to religious freedom, a fundamental principle on which our nation was founded.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.

Sincerely,

Claire McCaskill
United States Senator

Let’s take a look at the points I highlighted.
I support access to birth control.”  No surprise here.  My only issue here is her claim to be a practicing Catholic.  Maybe she need more practice?
“essential health care services”  How in the world does artificial birth control qualify as an essential health care service.  Later in the letter she refers to “preventive health services.”  This well-worn liberal phrase is right in line with the idea that pregnancy is some sort of disease.  Our president was widely quoted as saying, in support of birth control and abortion, that he “didn’t want (his) daughters punished with a child”.
“Undefined ‘moral objection'”.  Of course the undefined moral objection is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church which has been very clearly defined; much more clearly defined than Ms. McCaskill’s version of Catholicism.
” following considerable debate, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reached a compromise so that religiously-affiliated employers will not have to provide birth control if it violates that employer’s religious beliefs.  This is an untrue statement.  There was no debate and there has been no compromise.  Catholic employers will be forced to include artificial birth control in its employee health plans.  The fantasy that insurance companies will provide this coverage out of the goodness of their hearts is nonsense.  There may be no line-item charge for this coverage but you can bet your last dollar that the cost of some other service will be raised accordingly.  For the many Catholic employers who are self-insured, they will have to pay.
“free preventive health services.”  There it is again.  Birth control prevents the “disease” of pregnancy.
Groups on both sides of the debate, including the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood, have expressed their support of this compromise”  Again, there was no compromise which would explain why Planned Parenthood would support it.  Catholic Health Association is Catholic in name only.
“No one will be required to use birth control or other preventive care services under any plan.” At least not yet, and
 “retaining for herself the right to choose whether to use birth control or not.”  The Church opposes artificial birth control.  We consider it a sin.  Having said that, the Church has no way of keeping any individual, Catholic or otherwise, from using the pill.  We do have a right, and that’s what this debate is all about, to not pay for it!  Our not paying for birth control does not interfere with any woman’s right to choose.
And, finally, “employers’ First Amendment right to religious freedom, a fundamental principle on which our nation was founded.”  She almost got this one right.  But, notice that she doesn’t endorse this freedom herself.  She just points out that others might endorse those rights.
The Senator’s letter is a perfect example of how those in power can twist words and give the impression to some voters that they are interested in our rights.  This is nonsense.  She’s shilling for the current administration and masquerading as a Catholic to do so.

So-called “public servants” like McCaskill have to go.


free: Not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes
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