Like many liberal supporters of the president, I was cringing this morning when it was announced that he would be announcing a compromise on the contraception coverage mandate. Visions of the Bush Tax Cuts extension or the doomed Public Option were dancing through my head. (The Bush Tax Cuts extension was square dancing, like a jerk. The Public Option did a slow, sad interpretive dance, then collapsed.)
However, I swear it wasn’t me who sent out this Tweet this morning:
I won’t call anyone out but I think the responsible person’s name began with “i” and ended with “nuyesta.” Ahem.
Anyway, the “deal” struck by the White House is as follows:
What the White House will likely announce later today is that the relationship between the religious employer and the insurance company will not need to have any component involving contraception. The insurance company will reach out on its own to the women employees. This is better for both sides, the source says, since the religious organizations do not have to deal with medical care to which they object, and women employees will not have to be dependent upon an organization strongly opposed to that care in order to obtain it.
This puts the responsibility on insurance companies to reach out to women to offer contraception coverage, and leaves the employer out of it completely.
Planned Parenthood had this to say about the deal:
In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.
And then there’s this:
The president of the Catholic Health Association, a trade group representing Catholic hospitals that had fought against the birth control requirement, said the organization was pleased with the revised rule.
“The framework developed has responded to the issues we identified that needed to be fixed,” Sister Carol Keehan said in a statement.
So it’s a deal that would seem to be acceptable to women who want access to contraception and to Catholics who don’t want to participate in that. I’m sure the Republican candidates will consider this matter settled and will move on to issues like the economy and jobs. Hahaha, just kidding. My guess is we’ll be hearing words like “fungible” from very serious people in the near future.