The PJ Tatler

Is the White House Backing Down?

Jake Tapper reports that the Obama administration is about to “accommodate” and change its aboritfacient mandate:

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.

This is still a problem. It’s going to raise everyone else’s rates.

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.

One source familiar with the decision described the accommodation as “Hawaii-plus,” insisting that it’s better than the Hawaii plan — for both sides.

In Hawaii the employer is responsible for referring employees to places where they can obtain the contraception; Catholic leaders call that material cooperation with evil. But 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.

Accommodate. To paraphrase the Clinton war room, it’s the First Amendment, stupid. Whether the president backs down as is rumored or not, he still doesn’t seem to get it. Accommodation isn’t really his choice, it’s the law.

Meanwhile, three state attorneys general — from Texas, Nebraska and South Carolina — are mounting a lawsuit to challenge the mandate.