White House revises contraception opt out
July 23rd, 2014
03:34 AM ET
9 years ago

White House revises contraception opt out


(CNN) - The Obama administration announced revisions to the Obamacare contraception mandate so that nonprofit religious organizations can opt out of signing a release form to avoid covering birth control and workers for those nonprofits are able to obtain separate contraception coverage without a copay.

"This is part of ensuring that all women have access to contraception coverage," said a senior administration official.

Earlier this month the Supreme Court issued a temporary order that allows Wheaton College to avoid covering birth control without filing a religious exemption form with its insurer. The new revisions to the Obamacare mandate reveal that the White House is anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court's finalization of the temporary injunction in the coming months.

"In light of the Supreme Court order regarding Wheaton College," said the official, "the Departments intend to augment their regulations to provide an alternative way for objecting nonprofit religious organizations to provide notification, while ensuring that enrollees in plans of such organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services without cost sharing"

The July ruling on behalf of the evangelical Illinois school was seen as an important victory for those objecting to a compromise that aimed to allow coverage and allowed a workaround for those opposing it. The new White House revision aims to resurrect that compromise but cut out the so-called permission slip that had been a requirement for employers to skirt the Obamacare contraception mandate.

The rules, which are still being worked out, will provide an "alternative way for objecting nonprofit religious organizations to provide notification," according to the White House.

In a brief filed Tuesday in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice said that "The Wheaton College injunction does not reflect a final Supreme Court determination that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires the government to apply the accommodations in this manner," but that the rules outlined in the brief are meant to augment a Department of Health and Human Services accommodation process that will no longer require the use of a form - for any institution - if the temporary order for Wheaton College is enacted for all religious nonprofits.

The senior White House official said that "the administration believes the accommodation is legally sound."

The White House expects to issue the regulatory revisions within a month, upon which time the Supreme Court will be informed of the interim final rules.

Filed under: Obama administration • Obamacare • Supreme Court • White House
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Kman

    Obama has set a new precedence for making unilateral executive orders. What goes around, comes around.

    July 23, 2014 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  2. Guest


    July 23, 2014 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  3. toydrum

    How about the whole thing be revamped so that the ONLY birth control covered is that which is for medical reasons (as opposed to just not wanting to have babies). This should also be true for viagra and similar products. Sexual activity is not required for health and should not be covered as a medical need. It is an optional thing, like elective surgery, and if people want to engage in it, they should pay for it on an individual basis.

    July 23, 2014 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  4. Mike SniffinObutte

    The Obama Administration just needs to say that the original bill was on a computer and the computer hard drive crashed. Poof! Problem goes away.

    July 23, 2014 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  5. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    The bafoon GOP will be up in arms because of this adjustment and will be shouting impeachment AGAINEST Obama the lawbreaker, but guess what??? Nobody is paying attention nor wants to and just shows what FOOLS the GOP really are and their TOTAL INCOMPETENTS!!!!!

    July 23, 2014 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  6. Jane Don't

    If woman and men are adult enough to take on the RESPONSIBILITY of being sexually active, then they should have the adult responsibility to be able to pay for their contraception out of their own pocket. This business of having the government pay for it, or even insurance pay for it, is ridiculous. It's yet another example of liberal hysterics.

    July 23, 2014 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  7. teapooper

    Religion is the scourge of the earth.

    July 23, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  8. CHRIS

    It good to know if Americans don't agree with something we can all opt out now. IFOR ONE NO LONGER WANT TO PAY TO KEEP PRISONERS THAT COMMIT MURDER ALIVE WITH MY TAX DOLLARS OR PAY FOR ILLEGALS it goes against all I believe in., so if Hobby Lpbby gets to choose then so should the rest of us

    July 23, 2014 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  9. Sean

    How many times is this law going to change?

    July 23, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  10. Marie MD

    It's very simple. No contraception for women? No little blue pills for men. It starts with Medicare and100% payment for pumps for men! Really?
    The chhristian" bible thumping crazies still don't realize that women, unless you are a rethug wifey in the kitchen barefoot and pre-gnant, will not stand for anyone to tell them how and what to do with their bodies any more.

    July 23, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. Katie

    At least they are trying. Unlike too many others there in Washington DC who use "religious freedom" as an excuse to oppress women.

    July 23, 2014 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  12. Steve

    I wonder how they handled it before Obamacare. Did they have them freely available in the College medical clinic like every other college.

    July 23, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  13. hkirwin

    Its looks like this law was drafted by children.

    July 23, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  14. @RI_Roger

    Another admission of how irresponsible this law was written...."We need to pass it to know what's in it". Americans are so hell-bent on progressiveness that we allow this to happen. If Americans don't wake up soon, it will be too late to survive our most dear freedoms and liberties. Soon we will be chanting "long live the king".... What a sad state when we fear going back in time is progress.

    July 23, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  15. cbp

    Women everywhere should be yelling and complaining about the fact that they are not being allowed to control their own destiny, These issues should be solved between a woman and her doctor. No one else should be involved.

    Our we teaching our daughters that decisions about their own bodies can be made by someone else. We need to make our own decisions based on our own beliefs. We certainly do not tell men that they can or cannot take drugs for erectile dysfunction. Exactly what medical need is being met by all of these drugs for men while the insurance companies pay the tab.

    July 23, 2014 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  16. stevepatt46

    Kowtowing to bronze age mysticism is absurd. Religious institutions need to be taxed and taxed heavily. Religious leaders should be licensed and required to pass a rigorous written test similar to the BAR exam given to lawyers.

    July 23, 2014 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  17. God is dead

    Enough of this religious pandering. Are we in 2014 or 1814? So tired of others imposing their 'right' of religion. Mao said it best... religion is poison. Drink up 'Murica

    July 23, 2014 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  18. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    If the GOP doesn't like Obama fine tuning the law, TO BAD!!!!!

    July 23, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  19. Know Your Subject

    That was easy, notwithstanding the earlier caterwauling about the court.

    July 23, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  20. Gaylon

    This requires the U.S. taxpayers to pay for abortion related methods. I believe abortion,of any type, is murder.Therefore I think this violates my constitutional rights, since my tax dollars are being used for this purpose. This is still a bad deal for religious freedom. If someone wants to abort a child,,which they like to call a fetus,I should not be required to help pay for it...

    July 23, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  21. konica135

    Obama does it again. Executive branch bypasses Congress in changing a duly passed, but misguided law. It is an illegal move, one of many Obama has done.

    July 23, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  22. Srcactus

    The badly written law that just keeps on proving we elected a bunch of boobs to represent us. Healthcare not withstanding the law is the epitome of incompetence. Pluueesse get a bi-partisan replacement written and passed.

    July 23, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  23. Howard

    How do you just rewrite a law that's been enacted without congress approval????

    July 23, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Joe

    wow so we dont need the congress to rewrite the legislation. the executive branch can just rewrite the rule and enforce it as they please. good thing we have seperation of powers in this country!

    July 23, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |