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Collins and Snowe
Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe
After their original, tepid support for President Obama's accommodation on the birth control rule that requires insurers, rather than employers, to pick up the cost for contraceptives for employees of religious non-profits, the two are now hedging.

In interviews with the Portland Press Herald, the two said they need to look more fully into the compromise to come to a conclusion about whether or not they'd accept it.

Snowe said today that the White House “certainly has made some critical adjustments, but we haven’t seen the final rule so I think it is important to see the final rule to make sure that we understand exactly what it will do. I see there are still some concerns within the Catholic Church, and hopefully the president can continue to work through those issues.” [...]

“I thought that the president’s announcement on Friday was a step in the right direction, but as I indicated at that time, I needed more information about the details,” Collins said today. “A very important issue is how the administration would treat self-insured Catholic institutions. And I haven’t been able to get an answer from the administration on that issue. They have ducked the issue and said that it remains to be seen, that they are working on it and that it could take as long as a year to come up with an answer. That’s very disappointing and undermines what I thought was a sincere attempt initially to deal with the issues that have been raised not only by the Catholic Church but by other faith-based organizations.”

Futhermore, both say they support legislation by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that would essentially repeal the rule, allowing any employer to deny contraceptive coverage, but not the repeal amendment by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) which would allow employer to deny coverage for any health service they objected to. Snowe says that bill is too broad, while Collins says she needs to study it further.

Never mind that both women cosponsored legislation in 2001 that would have done essentially what Obama's birth control mandate did: require that insurance companies provide preventive health services to women, including birth control.

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