KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Bishops Reject HHS Plan For Contraception Coverage

The Catholic leaders say that the compromise doesn't offer enough safeguards for religious institutions and that they will continue to fight the administration on the mandate.

The New York Times: Bishops Reject Birth Control Compromise
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the latest White House proposal on health insurance coverage of contraceptives, saying it did not offer enough safeguards for religious hospitals, colleges and charities that objected to providing such coverage for their employees. The bishops said they would continue fighting the federal mandate in court (Pear, 2/7).

The Wall Street Journal: Latest Birth-Control Offer 'Falls Short'
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday came out against the Obama administration's latest offer to resolve a yearlong standoff over mandatory insurance coverage of contraception. The bishops' fresh opposition paves the way for a protracted legal battle between religious groups and the federal government that could bring part of the health overhaul law back before the Supreme Court (Radnofsky and Bravin, 2/7).

NPR: Catholic Bishops Reject Compromise On Contraceptives
It seems the third time wasn't the charm, after all. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has officially rejected the Obama Administration's latest attempt to ensure that women with health insurance get access to no-cost contraceptive coverage without violating the rights of religious employers. ... The proposal calls for insurance companies -- rather than religious hospitals, universities or charities -- to provide contraceptive and sterilization coverage. But that's not good enough, said a statement from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the conference (Rovner, 2/7).

Politico: Bishops Reject Contraception Rule Change
Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the White House's latest attempt at compromise on contraception, saying it did not adequately accommodate religious organizations that object to covering free contraception in employee health plans. "Throughout the past year, we have been assured by the administration that we will not have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated coverage," Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement. "We remain eager for the administration to fulfill that pledge" (Haberkorn and Smith, 2/7).

Reuters: Catholic Bishops Reject Obama Offer On Contraceptive Coverage
U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the Obama Administration's latest bid for compromise over a hotly disputed health policy that requires employees at religiously affiliated institutions to have access to insurance coverage for contraceptives. Cardinal Timothy Donlan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his group would redouble efforts to reach an agreement on the contraceptives issue after more than a year of protest and scores of federal lawsuits from Catholics groups and other social conservatives (Morgan, 2/7).

Fox News: Catholic Bishops Reject Revised ObamaCare Contraceptive Rule
Catholic bishops have rejected the Obama administration's latest proposal on mandatory contraceptive coverage, vowing to continue to fight for changes before the policy becomes final. After reviewing the administration's proposal unveiled last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it stands by its earlier concerns. "Because the stakes are so high, we will not cease from our effort to assure that health care for all does not mean freedom for few," New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops' conference, said in a statement. Under the federal health care overhaul, the administration has pressed to require most employers to provide access to free contraceptive coverage (2/8).

Modern Healthcare: Catholic Bishops Reject Obama Birth Control Move
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is not satisfied with the Obama administration's attempt to defuse opposition to mandatory birth-control coverage under the health care reform law. "The administration's proposal maintains its inaccurate distinction among religious ministries," Conference President Timothy Dolan said in a statement. "It appears to offer second-class status to our first-class institutions in Catholic healthvcare, Catholic education and Catholic charities." Dolan previously said the the federal government should exempt all Catholic institutions, including hospitals, from the mandate that health plans provide contraception at no out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries (Selvam, 2/7).

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