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Obama administration offers new 'compromise' on HHS mandate

Catholic World News - February 01, 2013

The Obama administration has announced a new policy that would allow religious employers to provide employees with health-care plans that do not include coverage for contraceptives.

The “compromise,” which the Obama administration had promised for religious employers, would allow for employees to enroll in a health-care plan that did not include contraceptive coverage. However, all employees would then also be enrolled in a separate policy, carried by a 3rd-party provider, that would cover contraceptives at no additional cost.

The new policy, unveiled February 1, would apply only to nonprofit institutions with direct ties to a religious body. Private employers who have moral objections to subsidizing contraception would not be covered by the proposal. The Obama administration reasoned that this approach should satisfy the concerns of religious groups because they would not “have to contract, arrange, pay or refer for any contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the US bishops’ conference, said that he would “study the proposed regulations closely” before issuing a response. The US bishops’ conference was reportedly not consulted by the White House before the new policy was released.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 02, 2013 12:31 PM ET USA

    This is clearly meat thrown to the watchdogs. This "compromise" takes non-profits off the hook and does nothing to stop the litigation from business owners with conscientions objections to abortion and contraception. I'm with everyone else--will Cardinal Dolan and the bishops cave because their own ox is no longer gored, or will they protect their sheep as well?

  • Posted by: dagbat - Feb. 02, 2013 12:42 AM ET USA

    Another ploy from the Obama administration. This time a meaningless tweak that throws the Church a few breadcrumbs. The Church should now increase the pressure beginning with publically rebuking the president for his administration’s continued duplicity and indicating that there can be NO compromises when it comes to religious freedom and Catholic beliefs. Unfortunately the Church is in a moral war and it is time for the Church leadership to accept that and begin to take more forceful counter action. Perhaps it is time for the Church Militant to come to the forefront.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Feb. 01, 2013 6:25 PM ET USA

    This is total malarkey, and I would hope that Cdl Dolan recognizes it as such.

  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 01, 2013 6:10 PM ET USA

    If the Church accepts any deal from the federal government, it is agreeing with the government's right to define freedom of religion any way it wants to - for churches and for average citizens. Any deal will be contrary to the Constitution because the government is limiting our freedom. Either we all fight this issue to a Supreme Court decision now, or we will have to fight it later. The government's thirst for power will never be satisfied.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Feb. 01, 2013 5:41 PM ET USA

    I am exceedingly interested in seeing the response of Cardinal Dolan. If Obama backs off on attacking the Church everyone will be happy. Unfortunately, I do not believe that this will happen due to the large number of radical Catholic feminists who surround the incumbent. First things first, what does T. Dolan think and believe?

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