If you like your student health insurance plan, you can’t keep itat least not at Ohio’s Franciscan University. This month, the Steubenville university became the first in a long line of colleges to reconsider its student health coverage after the President’s contraception-abortion pill mandate.
In an email to students, Franciscan explained the change. “W e will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate Catholic Church teaching on the sacredness of human life in the future. Due to these changes in regulation by the federal government, beginning with the 2012-13 school year, the University will no longer require that all full-time undergraduate students carry health insurance, will no longer offer a student health insurance plan, and will no longer bill those not covered under a parent/guardian plan or personal plan for student health insurance … These are challenging days for everyone as we strive to understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed into law in 2010. If the federal regulations change in the future, we will re-visit this decision and determine whether a different course of action is appropriate. In the meantime, you need to be aware that this legislation does affect you…”
And it will affect plenty of families too. Policies like this one tend to have a domino effect, especially as students are forced to rely on their parents’ plans for the coverage they need. Franciscan may be the first campus casualty of the President’s war on religious freedom, but it won’t be the last. This is just a precursor of what’s to come as more schools weigh their options under the mandate. And for most of them, violating faith is no option at all.
Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.
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