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Proceed with caution: Mandate to deny previously covered treatment

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Chloe Aikman, Staff Writer

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Hinted to, mulled over, discussed and grumbled about, the Trump administration steadily continues in its efforts to hollow out Obamacare with a mandate – effective immediately – that will enable many corporations the ability to “opt out” of providing female employees birth control.

Controversial when initially instated under Obama, and not ceasing to inflame the public with its new alterations, the rules regarding such coverage have been met with a decidedly conflicted response.

Specifically, the outlined text will now allow employers an exemption from providing birth control on the general grounds of a violation of conscience and religious beliefs; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan termed it a “landmark day for religious freedom.”

While this may be a victory for those who truly felt violated by the original policy, there are some aspects that seem to have been overlooked.

For example, it is not as if the original did not allow for exceptions; religious institutions, like churches, were not forced to comply with the supplying of contraceptives. Their workers, at the same time, were still able to notify the government and get the desired product via their insurance company.

Employees received the benefits and their superiors didn’t have to be involved in it – religion and the needs of the individual both appeared to be met.

Now, many feel slighted by the revision in that it strips this provision away and gives employers more opportunity to deny coverage. The National Women’s Law Center is up in arms and ready to challenge these rules and take legal action, describing them as both unfair and discriminatory.

This issue became especially concerning, and personal, to women who suffer conditions like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome, disorders they were previously able to treat with birth control but are now uncertain about the financial future of attaining it.

On the other hand, some degree of perspective needs to be preserved.

These changes aren’t so drastic as to deny the right to birth control – it’s just something that can no longer be obtained for free in some cases. People with legitimate, viable moral objections will no longer be required to cover something they don’t believe in, and the majority of women are not expected to be affected by this decision.

It’s unfortunate for those who may not have the means to afford this form of contraceptive, but many corporations have assured their employees they will continue to provide. Those who don’t may find themselves in a position where they’ve lost employees to competitors that cater to the worker’s needs, and perhaps this issue will resolve itself.

In the meantime, if things proceed as projected, and however many years pass while birthrates go up and resources are strained by a growing population entrenched in poverty, then maybe another set of rules will be released, and America will have another policy to divide over.

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Proceed with caution: Mandate to deny previously covered treatment