House GOP lawmakers unimpressed with change to contraception mandate

Congressional Republicans aren’t impressed with President Obama’s new policy on contraception and religious institutions.

Leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said they still plan to move a bill that would make further changes to the administration’s mandate. 

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Obama said Friday that religious institutions like Catholic hospitals and universities will not have to include contraception in their employees’ healthcare plans or notify employees that they can get birth control directly from their insurer instead. But Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the policy is still an affront to religious freedom.

“The administration has simply reaffirmed that Congressional action to permanently reverse this mandate is necessary,” Upton said in a statement.


Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also dismissed the White House’s “accommodations,” saying the only solution is full repeal of the requirement that employers cover contraception without a co-pay.

“This is about religious freedom, and anything short of a full exemption is no compromise,” Hatch said in a statement. “The White House has shown time and time again that nothing will stand in the way of politics, and their actions on this mandate reflect that.”

Supporters of the original policy, which provided an exemption only for churches, remained on board Friday.