Letter to the Editor: A solution for HHS mandate
June 06, 2014 10:19 AM

I wish to address the U.S. Department of Health Human Services mandate requiring employee health insurance coverage for contraceptives.

The controversy relates to the HHS mandate and freedom of religion. Compromise on this issue seems to be very unlikely. Both sides are adamant on this matter. This matter is going to the courts. Neither side will probably be satisfied with the court’s decision.

Any solution to this must respect the freedom of religion of all concerned. Here is my solution.

The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide a means of having health care coverage for their employees will remain. However, instead of requiring employers to purchase health insurance coverage for their employees, the employees will be issued a stipend. With this stipend, the employee would purchase health care coverage from the health care exchanges.

By purchasing in the exchange, the employee could choose coverage that meets his needs and satisfies his beliefs, religious or otherwise.

This plan does not require a religious entity to purchase health coverage. Therefore, its ability to carry its faith to the public square is not affected. The religious entity should not object to the stipend payment. The stipend allows the employee to exercise his freedom of religion.

Thomas Oswald

Homer City

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