Friday, February 10, 2012

B.O. Backs Down, Sort of . . .

The Wall Street Journal announced that B.O. is backing down on the HHS mandate.  Here’s part of the story:

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, hoping to quell an intensifying political backlash, on Friday will announce a new policy that no longer requires a broad swath of religious organizations to provide employees with contraception coverage in health-insurance plans.
Under the new policy, insurance companies will be required to offer free contraception for these workers, a subtle shift aimed at moving the onus from the employer to the insurer, a senior administration official said.
Catholic leaders had objected to the requirement, which exempted churches but not hospitals, charities and universities with religious affiliations.
Mr. Obama will announce the policy change Friday, a sign of how high-profile the issue has become. The new mandate will come from the Department of Health and Human Services via a regulation, people familiar with the decision said.
The policy will allow religious employers to opt out of the coverage mandate. If they do so, the employer's insurance company will be required to offer contraception for free in a separate arrangement with workers who want it. That is a variation of a system used in Hawaii, where a coverage mandate is already in place.

It seems to me, this isn’t a great compromise; contraceptives and abortifacients will still be provided through health insurance plans and, to make matters worse, it will raise the cost of insurance on all employers.  It means the Catholic organizations will still, in effect be providing these things under their health policies.

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