Published in partnership with the Freedom for All Campaign.
Cardinal Dolan of the Catholic Church is promoting a campaign to curb the implementation of The Affordable Care Act — specifically, that aspect requiring insurance companies to provide contraceptives as preventive care. The claim is that somehow this violates religious freedom in that this is morally objectionable to his Church. Dolan argues that Catholic schools, hospitals, as employers should be granted a special exemption.
Historically, it has always been the practitioners of a religion that ultimately determine its course and in fact contraceptive use among Catholics is quite common and well accepted in practice. Dolan may place his campaign under the guise of religious liberty and matters of conscience, but if his intent is to stop Catholics from using contraceptives, has he not already lost? Or if his campaign is based on an abstract principle which holds that we should not be made to pay for that which we object to on moral grounds, what then? Quakers object to spending on nuclear bombs, others object to paying for research on genetics, cloning, etc. Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mk 12.17
The Affordable Care Act offers greater care to more people at lower cost as a nation. Cardinal Dolan’s plan would thwart that goal by keeping the overall pool of participants smaller and continue to drive health care costs up. In the end, he is asking Catholics and non-Catholics alike to pay more.