Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that health insurance companies and health care organizations must provide coverage for contraceptive care. The announcement drew the ire of religious communities in the U.S. who claimed that the regulation infringed on their freedom to practice their beliefs. The outcry was not ignored by the administration and President Obama has announced changes will be made to the regulation for the sake of compromise. Despite this new development, however, religious organizations are still opposing the regulation as a whole.
According to the new compromise, organizations with religious affiliations will be allowed to opt out of the mandate. The change was made in order to offer Catholic employers more flexibility when juggling their religious beliefs and adherence to federal regulations. Catholic-owned hospitals, universities and charities account for hundreds of thousands of employees throughout the U.S., holding significant influence in terms of education, business and philanthropy. Many are pleased with the changes being made, but the Catholic Health Association claims that the mandate still infringes upon religious liberty.
President Obama holds that contraceptive coverage is an important aspect of the Affordable Care Act. While the administration is keen to account for the interests of religious organizations, it will continue to pursue regulations that are beneficial for consumers as a whole. The insurance industry has long claimed that mandatory contraceptive coverage would not put any strain on the economy and supports the initiative.