The White House will announce as early as Friday a new position on a Health and Human Services regulation requiring that virtually all employers—including large religious institutions who oppose doing so—provide health insurance coverage for a wide-range of contraception services.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the move will be crafted to quell an uproar among the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and prominent Republicans in Congress and those seeking the party's presidential nomination.
The compromise could be based on "what exists in a majority of states, like in Illinois where DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the country, offers an employee health plan that does cover contraception," CBS News reported. A possible compromise may also give employers an out by having insurance companies reach out directly to the women, according to ABC News.
Vice President Joe Biden hinted at the compromise in a Thursday interview with a Cincinnati radio station, saying "as a practicing Catholic, I am of the view that this can be worked out and should be worked out. I know the president feels the same way."
Whether the new language will appease Catholics remains unclear. Two senior officials cautioned that the underlying substance of the contraceptive-coverage regulation, due to take full effect in the summer of 2013, remains unclear in the public mind and any new approach may not mollify critics in the Catholic hierarchy or on the GOP campaign trail. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the announcement.
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