At first it seems amazing that the Obama administration does not see the distress this mandate inflicts upon those like Hobby Lobby and Mardel and consider how little the benefit is...after all, a month's worth of these contraceptives (and worse) runs about the price of a burger and fries. Why not let go of this mandate and let women pay such a minor amount for the sake of a sex life?
In this light, it may indeed seem amazing that Obama would dig in his heels most stubbornly for this and that one other fiscally-trivial demand: the bump in top-end marginal rates, which at best will yield a pittance compared to the deficit.
Clearly, Obama's motivations and goals are not financial. They are political, and ideological.