WASHINGTON Feb 7 U.S. Roman Catholic leaders on
Thursday said the Obama administration did not go far enough
toward their issues in the offer of compromise offered last week
over health care coverage of contraceptives for employees of
"The Feb. 1 notice of proposed rulemaking ... shows some
movement by the administration but falls short of addressing
U.S. bishops' concerns," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
said in a statement.
"We have been assured by the administration that we will not
have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated coverage.
We remain eager for the administration to fulfill that pledge,"
said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the
The proposals announced by the administration on Feb. 1
would guarantee that employees at religious nonprofits,
including certain faith-affiliated universities and hospitals,
would get access to birth control coverage without out-of-pocket
costs through separate plans, with insurers picking up the tab.
The new rules followed months of protests and legal action
by groups representing Roman Catholics, Protestant Evangelicals
and some private employers.
"It appears that the government would require all employees
in our 'accommodated' ministries to have the illicit coverage
-they may not opt out, nor even opt out for their children -
under a separate policy," Dolan said.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Jackie Frank)