What’s happening at Catholic News Service? A few weeks ago, I took note of a CNS article that looked like a news story but smelled like an opinion piece. On Wednesday CNS published a piece that purports to bust myths about the contraception-coverage mandate but reads more like a USCCB press release.
Look at the lead:
Exaggerations and outright misrepresentations about the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate have been appearing in White House “fact sheets” and mainstream media. Here are some of the more frequently cited claims and the facts to counter them.
The piece does not pin myth to mythmaker. Did the White House claim that self-funded health plans are “seldom used”? Or was that someone in the big bad MSM? Hard to say. Who floated the theory that because twenty-eight states already have contraception mandates the situation in those states won’t change after the mandate takes effect? The article doesn’t say.
To be sure, the piece does correct a couple of common confusions: The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use or have used contraception is inaccurate; a study [.pdf] showed that 98 percent of self-identified Catholic women had used contraception (edit: other than natural family planning) at some point during childbearing years. And it’s important to keep in mind that even though twenty-eight states require insurance companies to include contraception in their prescription-drug coverage, organizations that self-fund their health plans could avoid providing contraception coverage because such plans are federally regulated. That won’t be an option under the HHS ruling.
But some of the article’s “facts” dodge important questions. Take, for example, its facts about self-funded employee health plans. Read the rest of this entry »