Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just days after the White House announced plans to force insurers to pay for birth control; the Obama Administration announced additional rules that will pacify religious groups that oppose birth control.
The new rule will make sure religious institutions don’t have to pay for contraceptives coverage for employees, but that insurance companies do.
Republicans in Washington have called the rule an assault against religious freedom, but most women’s groups and the general public have come out in favor of the new rule.
Ironically, the very representatives who are fighting the coverage rule are protected by a similar rule in place for all federal health care plans.
Catholic groups, who don’t support birth control, have been leading the charge against the new rules. However, several of the most prominent Catholic hospitals already provide the coverage to their employees.
“We can appreciate the efforts of the White House to quiet the furor over the President’s HHS mandate that would violate the religious freedom of millions of Catholics and other American citizens,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski said. “However it is still not clear whether the proposed ‘compromise’ offered today is acceptable tot he bishops and other Catholic leaders.”
The social issue has attracted the attention of Senator Marco Rubio who has filed legislation that would allow any business to exempt itself from the coverage provision if they had a religious objection to the law.
Rubio’s bill isn’t likely to make it out of the Democratically-controlled Senate, but he has capitalized on the social issue fight with an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference and through numerous media appearances.