White House may compromise on contraception rule, source says
February 10th, 2012
09:08 AM ET

White House may compromise on contraception rule, source says

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House probably will announce a compromise Friday on a controversial rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide full contraception coverage to women, an administration source said.

News of the possible compromise comes after days of escalating partisan and ideological rhetoric over the pending rule, which many Catholic leaders and other religious groups oppose. The rule would apply to institutions such as hospitals and colleges.

The administration has been examining laws in 28 states that have similar coverage requirements, senior administration sources said this week. Two sources have told CNN that the administration is particularly interested in the Hawaii model, in which female employees of religious institutions can purchase contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer at the same price offered to employees of all other employers.

Another possible solution, one source has said, would be legislation allowing women employed by religiously affiliated employers to get contraceptive insurance from the exchanges created under Obama's sweeping health care reform rather than from their employer's insurer.

The question of whether institutions with religious ties should be required to offer insurance plans covering birth control and the so-called morning after pill, among other things, hits a number of political hot buttons. Liberal groups defend the requirement on grounds of gender equality in health care. Conservatives consider it a violation of the First Amendment and an infringement on religious liberty.

Republican leaders have blasted the administration's decision, raising the issue's profile both in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail.

Speaking on a Cincinnati radio show Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said the administration hopes to find a middle ground that would allow women to get insurance coverage for contraception while allowing an institution like the Roman Catholic Church, which opposes birth control, "to be consistent with its teachings."

Topics: The News

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Bi'Ja

    Although I understand why many religious affiliated employers are against this new rule, I do believe it is convient for their employees who are not as religious as their employers. Contraceptives may not always be affordable to some people, and if they are not ready for children having the coverage from their job could be very helpful.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Joey

      Not true, there are clinics all over the country that have provided it for free, especially to the poor.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      I am listening to Randi Rhodes,,,,

      She is such a Foul-Mouthed Radio Host!

      Also, she is Dissing Bobbie Brown, and Whitney Houston! BLACK FOLKS!

      Randi Rhodes is a Liberal, White Woman!

      LIBERAL/MARXIST/White Women like to TRASH

      Go FIGURE!

      Get OUT!

      She likes to talk TRASH-MOUTHED,,,

      and is a Potty-Mouthed, AL GORE Minion!


      Liberals are sick!

      February 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  2. frank burns

    Can someone help?
    My own religious conviction is that God punishes us with disease and rewards us with good health, and that it is a sin to ever try to intervene in his will medically.

    Now I realize that my freedom of my religion/conscience allows me to strip practically everything out of my employees' pay packages in terms of their health choices. But what about the cash portion of their pay packages? How can I control what my employees do with their cash? Because certainly I don't want them doing repugnant things with it. Please help, this is weighing on my conscience and I can hardly sleep nights, thinking about what my wages might be paying for.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • rugger08


      February 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Trace

      Frank, wow...just wow!

      There is absolutely no way a vapid, knuckle dragging, critic of this law could understand why you posted this rhetorical question. Thinking and the use of facts is a foreign practice for these low IQ types.

      But congratulations on the analogy...I wish I would have thought of it.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • Howard

        Obama is a con man ... the mainstream media are his shills ... and, the American people are his marks.
        Americans who continue to support this charlatan are fools and SUCKERS !!!

        February 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  3. jean2009

    Then those institutions that receive the compromise should receive no federal funding.

    February 10, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • Joey

      Too late, Obama already caved, but you'll spin it so that it makes sense in your own mind.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • jean2009

        No he found there is more than one way to skin a cat....if contraceptives are free with no co-pay to everyone, then everyone will pick up the tab. Which hilariously also means those whose insurance is provided through the Catholic Church will pay an increased premium to cover the "free" contraceptives. Basically drug companies will make up the difference on other medications.

        February 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  4. dreamer96

    28 states already have a law like this...many do not exempt the churches this law is better for eight states since Federal Law trumps state laws....some have a small co-pay to offset the cost... It's just a matter of complying with Federal workers rights...a Catholic CEO of a Corporation has to do the same for the workers in his corporation too. a co-pay might be an option..since a lot of this is about the cost to the tax free religious organizations..

    February 10, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • John

      "a Catholic CEO of a corporation has to do the same for the workers in his corporations". We are talking about organizations owned and operated by the chrurch being forced by the governmnet to do something that is totally against what they stand for.
      BTW, the White House is the one saying 28 states already have this when it fact they do not. Those 28 states require health insurance plans to cover birth control, but they have exemptions for religious employers.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
      • Trace

        Come on John! If you are gonna try to take the odd approach of using facts....THEN ACTUALLY USE THEM ! of the 28 states, only seven (7) of those offer no exemptions to the church whatsoever. Get it right please!

        February 11, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • jerrylax

      No...these states a form of this...not an overreach like obama has done... check it out. o'butthead is playing his radical games and he got caught...people have had about enough of him and his nutcase agenda.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • Trace


        Do you just pride yourself on being that monkey that throws dung at families visiting the zoo? Is that your only purpose in life? Given your obvious low thought base, I guess that's all one could expect from you.

        But do you think you might tone down the name calling of YOUR President. Its undignified and unbecoming even for a complete putz like you

        February 11, 2012 at 11:13 am |
      • NOvember 2012

        trace...you just take my breath away...now your calling me a monkey...hahaha damnracist that you are.

        February 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Steve

    There is a very simple answer here. If religious affiliated hospitals do not want to provide coverage for women to obtain a legal prescription that is used for multiple medicinal reasons, the hospital is no longer allowed to be involved in Medicaid or Medicare. I'm sure once they realize how much money they would lose, they would quickly change their idealistic views in lieu of the cash.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Joey

      Too late Steve, he already caved. It appears votes are more important to Obama then principles.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Mark

    I can't help but smell political pandering at play here. Last week the the GOP worried about low voter turnout, couldn't gain traction with attacking Obama on the economic front, and wrestles with an identity crisis over its choices for a viable alternative. This week we get gay marriage, poor people in strip clubs, and contraception. Now two questions loom:

    1) Can Obama pull yet another rabbit out of his hat and diffuse this?

    2) What is next?

    February 10, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  7. Howard

    How can anybody ever trust obama again ... the 73 million Catholics certainly won't be able to trust him ... nor the Jews, after obama has thrown Israel under the bus several times. ... and, now his solution to his own screw ups, is to provide waivers and exemptions to some, and not to others ... resulting in inequality for all. This poor excuse for a President, who divides, polarizes, and pits one group of Americans against the other, has got to go ... and, as soon as possible, if this country is to survive !!!

    February 10, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • John

      The libs trust him. LOL – We can point to a bunch of stuff of why we do not trust this guy. I like the one from the most recent State Of The Union Address when he said we were going to bring our military people home and redirect the money we will save to (I can't remember, it was a lie anyway). Everyone knows we borrowed from China to support the wars. There is no "saved money".

      February 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • Dee

        John, "Your Teaparty/Gop is gone in November! All I know is, "I,ll sure miss the Clown Show? OMG!!!! Maybe the clown show will return in 2016?? Nah! Sorry!

        February 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
      • Trace

        oops Johnny Boy and How-WEE! Looks like Dee above, just put things in perspective. Obama will be re-elected. There aren't enough STUPID americans to vote for the idiocy that is the GOP/Tea Potty Clown Collective of totally unacceptable candidates combined with "ZERO IDEAS"

        Why don't you two just toddle on off to Faux news and join some of your fellow "fact-less wonders" in doing what you do best....Bumper Sticker insults about this president. The rest of the intelligent electorate will go about our business of getting him re-elected. Have a good day

        February 11, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • dontbow

        Well if people are stupid enough to vote obamaya again they won't be smart enough to use contraceptives.

        February 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  8. gavinsox

    Joe Biden tells us there is a middle ground on this issue. Okay Joe, that would be a first for your team. When was the last time you compromised on anything since you took office. I don't think Catholics want a compromise on their religious convictions, principles, or beliefs. Why do they need to compromise. Their religious freedom is protected under the Constitution. Stop digging a hole, joe. You keep putting your foot in your mouth.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Trace

      uh gavinsux, the church should think of their parishiners instead of trying to find ways to skirt around the law! Here's why....The bible says "...obey the laws of the land"....specifically and unequivocably. 28 states mandate coverage of contraceptives. seven of these states are offer no exemption to the church whatsoever. Where is the outrage from the catholic church on those laws? more than 90% of sexually active catholic women use birth control. How is that issue being address by these catholic bishops within their own congregations? My guess is these bishops better stay silent on it because alienating these women would plunge the church into diaster. Plus again, what does the bible say about the use of "birth control"?? how about NOTHING!

      But the bible does have alot to say about priest molesting, raping, and abusing children. Where was all the attention paid to that very important topic? And that brings us back to your word "compromise"....How do you think the catholic church settled with the thousands of victims assaulted by the priests.....???? That's right, Say it with me "COMPROMISED / SETTLEMENTS". So get over the moral outrage, it doesn't apply!

      February 11, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  9. Joi Gibson

    Of course President Obama will compromise – he's not out to get anyone, contrary to conservative opinion. He simply wants ALL woman to have access to birth control. Birth control helps cut down on unwanted pregnancy – unwanted pregnancies lead to abortions – it would seem the Church should be all for contraception. But of course not, the Church (namely elderly men who have no idea about women) only want to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. The Church does not want to be told what to do but has no problem telling others what to do. It is the height of hypocrisy that the Church does not want government in religion yet the Church has no problem injecting religion into government. Tell the bishops to stop lobbying Congress for bills that suit their purposes, no more questions for congressional or presidential candidates regarding their religion – it should not be a factor. No government in religion, no religion in government. Put your money where you mouth is.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • knight

      If women want protection thru contraception they can go to any drugstore in America and get it. Pay for it. It should not be covered by insurance.

      If they choose to have intercourse then why should the taxpayers have to pay for there contraception. This is baloney. This was not a compromise he is just putting this on the insurance companies however if he gets elected again watch out I betcha he changes his tune and puts this back onto the releigious organizations again to bow down to him on this issue.

      The issue is government mandating to all of us what we can and cannot do it is not about not giving women access to contraception why should Catholics or any taxpayer have to pay for someone who wants to go and have sexual relatioins. Take responsibility for yourselfs folks. This is all a bunch of bull..

      People who do not understand government overeach are just not using there brains. To all you women out there whom think contraception should be free or covered by insurance that is bs. If you choose to go out and have intercourse be responsible and buy the protection yourself.

      This is the problem with government and the dependent class of folks out there. Get a clue folks.

      I'm fed up and Obama has awakened the silent majority and his days as an elected official will be over soon as he will be defeatedcome November.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
      • Mr.Americanasshole

        I can wait for your tea party/gop monkeys leave congress. This will surely be a democractic state free of ignorant idiots.

        February 13, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • jerrylax

      obama is out to get reelected...and that is it. This is no compromise it is a joke and any fool can see it. He is running scared...and anything to get a vote. Everywhere you look there is an obama mess domestically and overseas...incompetence and arrogance as we have never seen.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • Joey

        Hammer meet nail. You're spot on, it's all about saying or doing whatever is necessary to win. If this issue would have been brought up 2 years ago he never would have cared.

        February 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Dee

        Jerry, Why is it you don,t like Women? You sound kind of "Neanderthal to me?? Do you have an answer as to the Churchs "Raping of little boys" I can imagine you don,t care about Gays or Lesbians, their un God like to you and the church and your repubs? So why did Priests " Rape little boys???? Sounds "Hideous" to me? How about you??? LOL

        February 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
      • Mr.Americanasshole

        I want to remind you that Obama is not ignorant tea partiers/gop. what else is he in.For the past four years there has been nothing but success on his part. Look at gop nothing but failure. They fail so much they can't even get a good candidate to run for president in 2012 WHY!!!!!, because they all know that the gop/tea party are lame ducks and that they are going to lose congress comes november.

        February 13, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  10. John

    "(namely elderly men who have no idea about women)" watching MSDNC I heard of one of those women libs make this same ignorant argument. There are so many things wrong with what you are saying it is difficult to address. A seperation of church and state is not the same thing as "no governmnet in religion". It is about limiting big brother – not birth control.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Joi Gibson

      Not watching MSNBC – thinking for myself. As a woman, it is offensive to me to have men thinking they can dictate about whether a woman should or should not use contraception. And I have heard the big brother argument from conservatives since who knows when. Seems to me the Church dictating about contraception to women is big brother personified. The Church has no business telling a woman she cannot use contraception. That is purely her decision and hers alone. I disagree with your assertion that separation of church and state is different than no government in religion. If they are separate, then they should stay out of each others business. If you do not want government in religion, then religion should stay out of governmental.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • knight

        Joi, The Catholic church does not believe in contraception that is a fact. It is part of the releigious beliefs of Catholics and in keeping with their beliefs regardless if Catholic women use contraception. The Catholic church is not keeping women from getting or using contraception it is readily available at Dr's offices and drugstores across America. The Catholic Church was upset that the federal government was telling them that the Catholic Church rgardless of there beliefs would have to include contraception as part of the insurance coverage for empoyees. That was the issue so get your facts straight. I am a believer that if men and women are going to engage in sexual relations that the parties should be responsible for themselves and get the protection that is needed on their own. It should not be covered by insurance and government should not be involved in our lives as well.

        February 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • jerrylax

        so use it...and pay for it yourself...and leave me alone..about it.

        February 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • jean2009

        @exlax Since it is going to be free your policy will be paying for it too.

        February 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Dee

      Oh Johnny, You sound like such a Godly Man! What hate group do you belong to?? I suppose your ok with the church "Raping little boys too?? Go back to Maddocks Faux News, "Maybe they,ll "Tap your phone to collect all your grown-up Knowledge??? LOLOLOL!!

      February 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  11. george of the jungle

    This administration has bent over backwards to make the church happy. Enough. Some wont like the compromise anyway. Womens rights are being trampled by the right wing nuts. This is a 60 year old issue that the repo clowns are using now because they have run out of things to complaine about . The job market is improving More peolpe are being helped with their mortgages. Annual income is up Job claims are down One war winding down. Health insurance helping families with older kids.No more being turned away by health insuranse because of pre existing condition. Donut hole closing. Seniors got a raise on their social secutity. Go ahead repo clowns tell us things are getting worse. We don't believe you.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Joey

      Take it easy on the kool-aid, your world view is warped enough as it is.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  12. CT

    The Catholic Church talks they want the freedom to practice their religious beliefs, but at the same time eliminate freedom to choose for their own employees. The Catholic Church has the right to only suggest and encourage but not mandate and that is what they are doing by eliminating the choice from their healthcare policies. A good religion is a religion that allows choice and the right to question. The Catholic Church should not be so threatened by this and embrace it, if they truly believe in their own words being preached at the pulpit.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • jean2009

      Heck ....for starters, the Church is not even paying for the employees' health insurance premium. It is either a part of their wage benefit or something that is deducted from their weekly wages to pay the premium.If they are laid-off long enough I'm sure they have to purchase COBRA.

      Basically the Church is dictating what a person can purchase with their own money. How many employers tell you which house you can purchase, or which car....so now they can tell you which health insurance coverage options you can buy.

      What ever happened to the constitutional individual rights of freedom? The Church is walking all over the employees' individual personal liberty.

      February 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  13. California Conservative

    Keep the government out of my health care.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Dee

      Keep your damn "Religion" out of my bedroom, repugs!!! You Goppers will never be smart enough to "Get It" LOL!

      February 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • dontbow

      Apparently obamya wants in our healthcare, religion and bedrooms. dumocrats continue to be tools. lol

      February 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  14. California Conservative

    This kind of "compromise" is all a matter of perspective. Liberals will never get it.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  15. rugger08

    I'm not a fan of religion at all, but being that I believe in the separation of church and state I have to say I'm against requiring these employers to do so. It's really none of the government's business and they shouldn't be forcing them to do something that is against their beliefs.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  16. jean2009

    The Catholic Church are basically hypocrites since they owned stock in Wyeth the American contraceptive pill manufacturer, and probably would still own those shares had someone not complained.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8180739.stm Catholic Bank Owned Pill Shares

    Now back to the Church not paying for contraceptives...well since the insurance companies will raise rates to provide "free" contraceptives....everyone including the Church based employees insurance premiums will pay more.

    Basically I'm for taxing churches. If they want to act like big business (universities, hospitals, banks) then let them pay taxes like big businesses.

    February 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • NOvember 2012

      can't stand the church can you? but the obama radical racist hate church of the rev wright was ok.....and it was ok for o'butthead to sit in it for twenty years and lap up the nutcase diatribe too....your too funny jean.

      February 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Howard

      Jean, You blind fool ... Obama has played the AMERICAN PEOPLE again ... and, the only reason he keeps getting away with it over and over again, is because of the obama stooges, like you, and Trace, who continually defend, support, and excuse him, no matter how badly he messes up this country. If this corrupt, radical, narcissist gets another four years, without the fear of getting reelected holding him in check, he will be even more arrogant and power hungry ... and, you will be able to kiss American democracy goodbye

      February 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • jean2009

        The President has not played anyone. You are just too dumb to realize that no religion should have the right to dictate woman's health issues....and basically this is what is at stake. Women have constitutional rights which the Catholic church is trying to step all over. To me when a church can do that you can kiss American democracy goodbye.

        Thanks to the president they will not be able to do that.

        Just how long would you let an employer tell you which car, which house, or which prescriptions you can purchase with health care money you have earned?

        February 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  17. Trace

    Let's be plain here, what is with all the righteous indignation? The church should think of their parishiners 1st and foremost, instead of trying to find ways to skirt around the law! Here's why....The bible says "...obey the laws of the land"....specifically and unequivocably. 28 states mandate coverage of contraceptives. seven of these states are offer no exemption to the church whatsoever. Where is the outrage from the catholic church on those laws? more than 90% of sexually active catholic women use birth control. How is that issue being address by these catholic bishops within their own congregations? My guess is these bishops better stay silent on it because alienating these women would plunge the church into diaster. Plus again, what does the bible say about the use of "birth control"?? how about NOTHING!

    But the bible does have alot to say about priests molesting, raping, and abusing children. I personally think the abuse of children is a repugnant act and that should be the concern for the catholic church. Making sure those victims have all the necessary coverages for care and support. Where is all the attention paid to that very important topic?

    February 11, 2012 at 11:49 am |