SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The local Diocese is speaking out against certain requirements of the new Affordable Care Act.
The Diocese of Springfield Spokesman Mark Dupont says the Catholic Church supports providing health care, but the Diocese disagrees with one requirement in the Affordable Care Act.
Open Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins Tuesday, October 1st.
However, the Diocese of Springfield believes the national health care law lacks an exemption policy that protects the Catholic Church's right to freedom of religion.
Spokesman Mark Dupont told 22News, “There are provisions, which will really force, force violation of our constitutional right. That's just simply ridiculous. That's government now getting into church and saying this is what's worship and this isn't worship.”
The Diocese is talking about the required coverage of contraceptive methods and counseling.
Under the Massachusetts Health Care Law, if religious employers are self-insured, they can opt out of paying for services and treatments that are against their religious beliefs.
The Federal Health Care Act does not offer any opt-out options.
Louise Cole of Holyoke said, “I understand their points, but it's a broader base that they are serving. It's a woman's right not a political or a religious.”
Some people told 22News if the state law has been effective with an exemption policy, the federal law should allow opting out as well.
Cyril Chou of Ludlow said, “You can reverse the other way in terms of people forcing religion, and everyone believes something different, so you can't really blanket everything.”
Dupont said dozens of religious groups have already filed complaints against the federal government, and the Diocese hopes to talk to lawmakers about amending the law.