This week's news-talk programs backed up with rhetoric from most Republican Presidential candidates was abuzz with talk of compulsion versus choice. We're being told "It's a war on religious freedom of choice." Many criticize a decision by HHS requiring that Catholic-sponsored enterprises who provide health care benefits to employees must include in that package contraception and related health care services. It appears that the decision requires these institutions to provide services which contradict church teachings and therefore, infringes on choice and steps over the boundary between church and state. But is it necessarily so?
Church-sponsored institutions that provide health care services to their employees still have choices, choices which can and will side step this otherwise vexatious problem. They can decide to give their employees choices, too, choices to willingly and knowingly consent to accept church-provided health care which lacks these benefits or to opt out and buy a health care benefit package which suits their individual preferences. Employees who opt out would be given a supplemental payment equivalent to the average cost of the services otherwise provided by the church. And where arguably providing contraceptive services would lower the overall cost, those employees who opt out should do just fine.
So just what is all the fuss over this Question of Choice if not cheap campaign rhetoric? Don't you dare support anything associated with this rhetoric!