Obama plans religious ‘accommodation’ for contraceptives: report
Under pressure from Catholic bishops, the Obama administration will announce it is backing off a requirement that virtually all health insurance policies provide coverage for contraceptives, administration insiders told ABC News on Friday morning.
A member of the administration, or possibly even President Obama himself, will make the announcement later today, the report noted.
It’s not clear how far the “accommodation” will go, but ABC News cited the state of Hawaii as being a model for the administration’s forthcoming policy.
Hawaii has universal coverage for contraceptives, but an exception passed in 1999 lets religious groups off the hook if they opt out.
Religious groups in Hawaii are instead required to provide information on where contraceptive coverage can be obtained, and the insurers are required to provide cost controls if the employee decides to purchase contraceptives.
The current rule already carries an exception for religious non-profits that hire only within their faith. All other organizations that hire based on non-discrimination policies are required to provide contraceptive coverage by August 1.