Bishops should accept their victory:
Special to CNN
After weeks of tangling over new Health and Human Services guidelines requiring contraception services in new health insurance plans, the White House has offered what it describes as a "common sense accommodation." It is aimed at ending the confrontation between the Obama administration and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The new language maintains the religious exemption for church entities such as parishes and dioceses, but nonprofit religious employers will no longer be required to offer contraception as part of insurance coverage, pay for it via insurance premiums or refer employees to contraception benefits outside their plans. A senior White House official said the administration believes the changes reflect "a health care policy that accommodates religious liberty while protecting women."
If the bishops are smart they won't, as one member of the conference told me, "snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory" and push the administration much further on this issue. Dead-enders could complain that a comingling of funds means religious employers would still be paying for contraception. The White House argues that since contraception is actually a cost-saving benefit, insurers don't have to add a charge for it to insurance premiums.
With today's policy revisions announced, many Americans are still probably wondering what all the fuss was about.