President Obama is expected to announce a compromise to the new federal requirement for birth control coverage at 12:15 EST Friday.
As HuffPost's Laura Basset reported:
Faced with increasing pressure from religious groups and Catholic lawmakers in both parties over the new federal requirement for birth control coverage, the Obama administration is planning to announce an "accommodation" on Friday aimed at allaying some of the concerns of faith-driven employers. ABC News reported Friday morning that the announcement was "likely" to be made Friday. A source familiar with the deliberations told The Huffington Post the announcement was imminent.
Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told members of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus in a phone call on Friday morning that the new compromise is the insurer -- rather than the employer -- would be required to provide the contraceptive coverage free of charge for women employed by the entities in question, a congressional staffer told HuffPost.
One idea that has been mentioned is the "Hawaii model," by which an employer who morally objects to contraception could opt out and inform its female employees where they can get that coverage outside of the employee health plan. In Hawaii, women who decide to directly pay the insurer out of pocket for contraception coverage are not allowed to be charged more than they would pay for their company plan.
ABC News reports that President Barack Obama's compromise would not go as far as the Hawaii plan, but would involve a third-party health company helping to provide contraception coverage. It actually makes financial sense for insurance companies to cover birth control, ABC's Jake Tapper notes, because unwanted pregnancies and resulting complications cost more than contraception and sterilization.
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