The White House offered a "compromise" on contraceptive coverage today.
It really changes nothing and is not changing anything. Sadly, it looks like it is more of a political maneuver than a compromise. From The Washington Post:
The Obama administration proposed broader latitude Friday for religious nonprofits that object to the mandated coverage of contraceptives, one that will allow large faith-based hospitals and universities to issue plans that do not directly provide birth control coverage.Unfotunately, I have to agree. It doesn't look promising.
Their employees would instead receive a stand-alone, private insurance policy that would provide contraceptive coverage at no cost.
The new proposal aims to find middle ground between faith-based nonprofits that have a religious opposition to contraceptives and women’s health advocates who vociferously supported the required coverage of birth control without co-payment.
It could also breathe new life into lawsuits filed against the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive requirement, some of which were put on hold until the Obama administration clarified its policy on the issue.
Under this proposal, objecting nonprofits will be allowed to offer employees a plan that does not cover contraceptives. Their health insurer will then automatically enroll employees in a separate individual policy, which only covers contraceptives, at no cost. This policy would stand apart from the employer’s larger benefit package.
The faith-based employer would not “have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds.”
The Affordable Care Act initially required all employers to cover contraceptives as part of a larger package of preventive health benefits for women. Some religious groups opposed the requirement, which they argued would force them to go against their faith-based beliefs. Houses of worship would be exempt.
Last February, the Obama administration announced an accommodation to faith-based nonprofits: A third-party insurance company would cover the cost of contraceptive coverage.
Religious leaders derided the policy as an “accounting gimmick,” arguing that the premiums they pay to a health insurer could ultimately end up paying for the contraceptives they opposed.