Well, it looks like the Obama Administration has gotten tired of waiting for Congress to Act - surprise surprise - to correct the hole that the Supreme Court blew through the Preventive Care Mandate with the Hobby Lobby Decision.
They're now offering "Closely Held" Corporations the same Religious Exemption and Workaround that they had previously offered to Churches and Religious Non-Profits.
The Obama administration rolled out a plan on Friday to protect access to copay-free birth control for women in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.
A new "proposed rule" by the Department of Health and Human Services lets female employees of for-profit businesses, like Hobby Lobby, obtain birth control directly from their insurer, at no extra cost, if their boss opts out of covering the service in the company's insurance plan for religious reasons.
The move extends an accommodation that already exists for non-profit organizations, which are allowed to refuse to cover for birth control. In short, the religious owners can pass the cost on to the insurer so that they're no longer complicit in what they view as sin.
This change alone won't completely solve the issue of course, because some Non-Profits who already been offered this option are complaining that even this isn't enough for them. They've argued that filing out a form that documents their objection to contraception coverage, is itself an overt act that makes them complicit to insurance companies being the ones to provide this coverage.
Because apparently being able to have sex that doesn't that make babies - is some kind of sin.
This new rule does attempt to resolve that problem as well.
In the same announcement, HHS also unveiled an interim rule tweaking the nonprofit accommodation, in an effort to put an end to a separate lawsuit against it. Instead of informing the insurer or third-party administrator directly, the new rule says, an objecting employer will have to notify the government, which will inform the insurer.Whether either Hobby Lobby or organizations such as Wheaton College will find this modification "acceptable to their religious sensibilities" remains to be seen.
The existing rule requires objecting employers to directly inform their insurer, at which point the insurer must pay for it. Some entities, like Wheaton College, sued and said that also violates their religious belief because it amounts to a "permission slip" for contraception. The theory is that under the new rule, it'll be the government that triggers the provision of birth control, not the employer.
I myself doubt it based on the character and tenor of the arguments so far.