The CHA was first noncommittal and then formally opposed the administration's attempt to defuse the contraception controversy in early 2012.
“Throughout this process, CHA has been in dialogue with the leadership of the Bishops' Conference, the administration and HHS. We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage,” the memo read.
Under regulations proposed in February and finalized last month, HHS will require insurers to assume the cost of the coverage when not-for-profit employers raise a religious objection. If the employer is self-insured, the third-party administrator would arrange payments for contraceptive services.
“HHS has now established an accommodation that will allow our ministries to continue offering health insurance plans for their employees as they have always done,” association CEO Sister Carol Keehan said in a statement with the memo, published by the National Catholic Reporter. “We also recognize that this resolution has not been what some organizations, including the Bishops' Conference, asked for on behalf of a wider group. Our contribution to the process has been to work for the protection of religious organizations, especially our members. We recognize the broader issues will continue to be debated and litigated by others.”
Indeed, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a July 3 statement that the administration's compromise accomplished nothing “that eliminates the need to continue defending our rights in Congress and the courts.” Dozens of lawsuits challenging the rule, including some filed by healthcare organizations, are working their way through the federal courts.
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