Later today President Obama is expected to announce a "compromise" that allows religious employers to opt out of paying for providing birth control to women, but will still be required to provide contraception. What this means is, insurance companies will pick up the tab for contraception, but religious employers are still required to provide contraception through insurance plans to their employees, despite the move being against religious beliefs. ABC's Jake Tapper has more:
With the White House under fire for its new rule requiring employers including religious organizations to offer health insurance that fully covers birth control coverage, ABC News has learned that later today the White House — possibly President Obama himself — will likely announce an attempt to accommodate these religious groups.
The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not satisfy bishops and other religious leaders since it will preserve the goal of women employees having their birth control fully covered by health insurance.
Sources say it will be respectful of religious beliefs but will not back off from that goal, which many religious leaders oppose since birth control is in violation of their religious beliefs.
White House officials have discussed the state law in Hawaii, where religious groups are allowed to opt out of coverage that includes birth control, as long as employees are given information whether such coverage can be obtained. But this accommodation would not go that far.
This announcement would not go that far. Sources say it will involve health insurance companies helping to provide the coverage, since it’s actually cheaper for these companies to offer the coverage.
It look as if the "compromise" isn't going to change much at all:
Whether the new language will accomplish this overtly political goal remains unclear. Two senior officials cautioned that the underlying substance of the contraceptive-coverage regulation, due to take full effect in the summer of 2013, remains unclear in the public mind and any new approach may not mollify critics in the Catholic hierarchy or on the GOP campaign trail. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the announcement.