Smooth move on mandated birth control by the Obama Administration:

Seeking to allay the concerns of Catholic leaders,President Obama on Friday announced an adjustment to its health-care rule requiring religiously affiliated employers to provide contraceptive coverage to women.

Women still will be guaranteed coverage for contraceptive services without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds.

Religiously-affiliated non-profit employers such as schools, charities, universities, and hospitals will be able to provide their workers with plans that exclude such coverage. However, the insurance companies that provide the plans will have to offer those workers the opportunity to obtain additional contraceptive coverage directly, at no additional charge.

[...]

“The new policy ensures women can get contraception without paying a co-pay and addresses important concerns raised by religious groups,” the White House said in a statement.

It would be in the Catholic Bishops best interests to claim victory and go home since this takes them out of the equation, allowing them to do what they do best: pretending that they don’t know that their flock is already telling the Vatican to pound sand by using birth control. They’re not going to like it, but absent total surrender from the White House, they’ve lost whatever high ground they believed they had since the Obama Administration has created a compelling illusion of having compromised. Besides, for the bishops,  their own house is on fire again and they may want to see to that.

Additional losers are the forced birth crowd who needed a victory to assuage the wounds they suffered in last weeks crushing Komen fiasco, and the PUMA/emoprog crowd who will see this as a total sellout by someone who is no better than Rick Santorum … ignoring for the moment that Santorum would ban birth control is he had his way.

Who wins?

Women.

And that is what this was all about.

(Added) Also too:

At his press conference this morning announcing the new shift in contraception policy, Obama said: “I understand that some folks in Washington may want to treat this as another political wedge issue. But it shouldn’t be.”

The irony is that after this announcement, this very well may become a wedge issue — against Republicans.

That’s because anyone who comes out against the proposal Obama outlined today will be asked a simple question: Are you saying that employers should dictate to female employees whether they should or shouldn’t have access to affordable birth control?

And this (link broken for the moment) from mistermix:

Can anyone give me a reason why this new contraception “compromise” is anything but a win? Obama just got some TV time for a full-throated endorsement of contraception (“no woman’s health should depend on who she is, or where she works, or how much money she makes [...] period”). Catholic opposition is now split between a bunch of old, out-of-touch geezers (the Bishops) and the Catholic Health Association, led by a charismatic nun, Sister Carol Keenan, who is happy with the compromise. The CHA, not the Bishops, are the ones who speak for the Catholic hospitals. So, Mike Huckabee’s “we are all Catholics now” talking point had a shelf life of a couple of hours. Now, Republicans who oppose this will have to come out of the closet as opponents of birth control, not supporters of Catholics. Finally, it sticks the insurance companies with the bill. I count four wins there, and zero losses, unless you count using the word “compromise” to describe getting what you wanted all along (mandated coverage for contraception) as losing.