February 11, 2012

ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AN OUT:

Allies blitzed White House, calling for birth-control compromise (Stephanie Simon, Feb 10, 2012, Reuters)

From the start, Obama officials were receptive to calls for change, Campbell and others said. But they seemed uncertain about how to proceed, and the talks had little urgency.

People close to the White House said formulating the policy on contraceptive coverage had been a bruising fight, lasting for months last fall and into the winter, with deep divisions among senior staff - including its Catholics - about the wisdom of requiring Catholic colleges and hospitals to subsidize free birth control for their employees in the name of improving women's health care access.

The administration seemed prepared for a furious protest from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a formidable adversary in the earlier debate over healthcare reform, people with knowledge of the internal debate said.

But officials appeared taken aback by the intensity of the pleas coming from close Obama allies, several of whom argued to anyone who would listen that the policy was not only morally wrong, but out of step with the president's values.

Posted by at February 11, 2012 6:52 AM
  

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