Baring a change in the White House, a legislative remedy, or a favorable court decision, Catholics of conscience face either having to participate in health insurance plans in which their premiums cover the costs for contraceptives, abortifacients, sterilization, and abortions for others, or paying the fines that come from not carrying health insurance. For many (including myself) it's a choice between following my conscience or providing for my family's health care.
Fortunately, in the spirit of American free enterprise and the Catholic doctrine of subsidiarity, someone has come up with a solution:
Catholic health share plan offers alternative to contraception mandate
Health share plans have been around for a long time; some of the first ones were created by evangelical Christians for families who could not afford traditional insurance as an expression of the biblical admonition to bear one another's burdens. Joining such a plan would not only allow someone to provide for their family's needs while preserving their conscience; it would put this principle into action, a principle at the very core of Catholic social teaching.
For too long, the Church in America has relied on large bureaucratic, professional institutions to carry out it's mission of caring for the poor and vulnerable. These have morphed into institutions that, as is increasingly evident, are much less Catholic as a result. Much of their reliance has been on the mechanisms of the State. With the HHS mandate, hopefully the dangers inherent in this approach is becoming clearer.