Last Friday the Obama administration released a new, more moderate position on the definition of a religious organization as it relates to the ACA.
The USCCB has yet to release a formal statement on the updated regulations, but it could come as soon as this week. So we will soon know whether the call is to return to battle stations or to return home in time for the spring planting.
It’s hard to imagine a piece could be clearer than the one written by E.J. Dionne over the weekend at Commonweal, so it’s the only one in my Worth Reading category. He writes:
The HHS rules announced Friday scrapped this offensive definition [of ‘religious organization’] in favor of long-established language in the IRS code. In an interview, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed a becoming humility, and it would be nice if this encouraged the same among her critics.
Could there still be reasons for religious organizations to protest? You bet. And might the progressive left feel Obama unnecessarily backed down? Yes. But in the end the religious right retained the broader, more justifiable definition of what constitutes a religious organization and the progressive left sees the same number of women receive contraception without a co-pay.
The bishops have a choice to either embrace the compromise or engage in a war of attrition. Let’s hope we don’t try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.