White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew joined “Fox News Sunday” to preview the president’s FY 2013 budget, but first he defended the administration’s position on the contraceptive controversy that has dominated headlines this week.
“The president has the authority under the Affordable Care Act to have these kinds of rules take effect,” Lew said in response to the question of how the president can force a private company to provide a product free of charge.
In addition, Lew argued, that providing contraception will not cost insurance companies anything,
“If you were looking at the actuarial projection, the cost of the plan, it costs more to provide a plan without than it does with.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a sternly-worded statement Friday in response to the president’s revision to the new rule, which in part calls the decision, “unacceptable” and says it “must be corrected.”
“We didn't expect to get universal support of the bishops or all Catholics. I think that what we have here is a policy that reflects bringing together two very important principles in a way that's true to the American tradition. And that's what the president is trying to do. There are others who want to have a clash over it. We want to bring these two principles together,” Lew said.
Pointing to statements of support from Catholic Health Association and Catholic charities, Lew said that the policy put forward Friday, “is something that should put this issue to rest.”
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