In further evidence that the White House and HHS are outside of the mainstream in their new push to mandate religious institutions to provide coverage for prescription contraceptives including Plan B, former Democratic National Committee chairman and one-time rumored Obama 2008 V.P. pick Tim Kaine has come out in opposition to the President's action on the issue in regards to religious groups.
“I think the White House made a good decision in including a mandate for contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act insurance policy, but I think they made a bad decision in not allowing a broad enough religious employer exemption,” The Washington Post reports Kaine said according to a transcript of his remarks from an interview with WHRV provided by his Senate campaign. Kaine is a former governor of Virginia and currently running for the state's U.S. Senate seat.
“This is something that’s been talked about a lot today and I have definitely expressed my grave concerns to the White House about that. I support the contraception mandate but there should be a religious employer exemption that is broader than the one they proposed.”
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has called the mandate “an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country,” and in an uncommon floor speech today, Speaker Boehner called the regulation unconstitutional.
“This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country cannot stand, and will not stand," said Speaker Boehner.
ABC News reports that the Obama administration is currently exploring a compromise to ensure that women have health insurance that fully covers contraception while also allaying concerns of religious organizations that oppose birth control.