KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

U.S. Bishops Make Official Their Opposition To Birth Control Mandate

The Catholic bishops said that, without quick congressional action, their organization will sue the Obama administration for requiring insurance plans to provide birth control to women without a co-pay. 

The Associated Press: Bishops Reject Softened Birth Control Rule
U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are rejecting the Obama administration's plan to accommodate faith groups that object to the birth control mandate. The bishops said in a statement Tuesday to Health and Human Services that the prospective new rules don't do enough to protect religious liberty (5/15).

National Journal: Bishops Make Birth Control Opposition Official (Again)
U.S. Catholic bishops made official their opposition to a health reform law rule requiring birth control coverage on Tuesday. The is "unjust and unlawful," the bishops said in comments on the proposed regulation to Health and Human Services. The Obama administration's "accommodation" for religious employers, requiring insurance companies to pay for the birth control coverage, doesn't help, the bishops said (McCarthy, 5/15).

The Hill: Catholic Bishops Threaten Lawsuit Over Administration's Birth Control Mandate
The Catholic Church's U.S. hierarchy warned Tuesday that without quick action by Congress, it will sue the Obama administration for mandating that insurance plans provide birth control to women without a co-pay. "[F]orcing individual and institutional stakeholders to sponsor and subsidize an otherwise widely available product over their religious and moral objections serves no legitimate, let alone compelling, government interest," lawyers for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a letter to federal regulators (Viebeck, 5/15).

Politico Pro: Bishops File Complaints On Contraception Rule
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday officially urged the Obama administration to change its policy of requiring many employers to provide insurance coverage of contraceptives. The bishops, in formal comments filed with HHS, reiterated many of their issues with the policy, saying it still requires employers, whether religious or not, to cover contraceptives. The bishops also say they're uncomfortable with the government for the first time defining what is or is not a "religious employer" (Haberkorn, 5/15).

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