At first I was annoyed by the change in policy announced today, as I felt the previous ruling defended personal liberty (including religious liberty) -- my denomination took a similar stance. But, then, I read Ruth Marcus' column on the change in policy and felt okay with it. Here's an excerpt:
The compromise — in the Obama administration’s assessment, non-compromise — announced by the White House is, in essence, a huge regulatory fig leaf.
Women who work for religiously affiliated institutions that morally object to contraception will nonetheless have access to contraceptive coverage free of charge, just as women who work for other employers. They won’t have to sign up for any different coverage or pay any additional money.
The employers, for their part, won’t have to pay for the coverage, say they offer it or even direct employees to places where they can obtain it. The extra cost, and here is where the fig leaf comes in, will be born by the insurance companies themselves.
This is, of course, a dodge — a quite clever and positive one. Everyone gets to say that the religious institutions aren’t “paying for” contraception. But if covering contraception ends up costing them money, you can be sure those costs will be passed along, as costs always are, to customers.