Obama's reportedly going to announce some sort of compromise today on the requirement that religious employers cover birth control. What's the compromise? No one really knows yet. But apparently it's not going to make anybody happy.
According to ABC, sometime today "the White House — possibly President Obama himself" will announce an "accommodation" for religious groups. The accommodation will apparently be "based on state models" and might involve insurance companies stepping into provide birth control coverage themselves. ABC says this is cheaper for them than the alternative since it keeps them from having to deal with the consequences of unintended pregnancies, but it's still unlikely that insurance companies are going to pay for birth control out of their own pockets. Will religious employees have to pay some sort of separate premium directly to insurance companies for their birth control? And won't this piss off the same people who didn't like the idea of separate funds for abortion coverage in the health care bill? Probably, says ABC:
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.
As long as it actually preserves that goal, it might be good news for women's health. But in the healthcare debate, lots of the so-called compromises on abortion coverage were actually shitty for women. It remains to be seen whether Obama's new "accommodation" will protect women's basic right to contraceptive coverage.
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