UPDATE, 12:14p: More evidence the “compromise” stinks: Planned Parenthood likes it.

UPDATE, 12:02p: From a House source:

This “new policy” is a distinction without a difference.  The services the religious organization opposes won’t be listed in the contract, but the insurance companies will give it the employees anyway.  Insurance companies will justify providing the coverage that the religious charity opposes by swearing that birth control coverage doesn’t actually cost anything because it’s cheaper than pregnancy services, so it’s just a free perk. The administration will argue that people of faith should be fine with this arrangement, because they can tell their conscience that they aren’t really paying for the objectionable coverage and they didn’t really sign up for it anyway.

The way the gimmick works might be best understood the way it is described on the radically pro-abortion website, RHRealityCheck [JLS note: Tweet from which referred to below]….

Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.  The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

Moreover, women will not have to opt in or out; contraceptive care will be part of the basic package of benefits offered to everyone. Contraceptive care will simply be “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer,” said a White House official.

“We are actually more comfortable having the insurance industry offer and market this to women than religious institutions,” said the White House official because they “understand how contraception works” to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce health care costs. “This makes sense financially.”

The way it works is this: Insurers will create policy not including contraceptive coverage in the contract for religious organizations that object. Second, the same insurance company must simultaneously offer contraceptive coverage to all employees, and can not charge an additional premium. This provides free contraceptive coverage to women.  The reason this works for insurance companies is because offering contraception is cost-neutral; companies realize the tremendous cost benefits of spacing pregnancies, and limiting unintended pregnancies, planned pregnancies and health benefits of contraception.

UPDATE, 11:53a: Email from Eric Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League, posted with permission:

At the end of the day, religious employers are still required to provide health plans that offer free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients.

And the cost of those “free” free services – ostensibly now to be born by the insurer rather than the employer – has got to come from somewhere. From where? The premiums paid for those plans.

Insurance companies aren’t stupid. They’ll quote employers a premium for their plans that takes into account the number of employees likely to demand these “free services.”

11:48a: All you need to know is that the abortion lobby likes Obama’s contraception mandate “compromise”:

Here’s a link to that RH Reality Check post.

More from Reuters:

The White House announced a compromise on birth control coverage on Friday to respond to religious groups’ objections, saying it would shift the costs of providing contraceptives to health insurers when religious employers object to it.

“Under the new policy announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works,” the White House said in a statement.

“If a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge,” it said.

A senior Obama administration official said the change would ensure women get access to preventive health care while also protecting religious liberty.

No it doesn’t. Now Obama is forcing religious institutions to purchase group insurance policies that include contraception. It’s a shell game. Now NO employer can provide a plan that does not cover contraception.

Furthermore, and just as importantly, it isn’t enough to (supposedly) exempt religious institutions from the contraception mandate. That is to say only people of faith are allowed to have, or are capable of, consciences. What about secular conscientious objectors?

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