In a recent weekly press briefing, House Speaker John Boehner signaled that Republicans would not pursue legislation challenging the federal contraceptive coverage rules, Talking Points Memo reports. The requirement took effect on Aug. 1. The rules implement a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to cover preventive services without copayments or deductibles. In February, the Obama administration announced that it would alter the rules so that religiously affiliated employers will not have to offer contraceptive coverage for their employees, but their health insurance companies will be required to provide no-cost coverage directly to women.
House GOP members have said the requirement is an attack on religious freedom. Boehner himself has said that if the Obama administration does not rescind the requirement, "then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must."
However, Boehner took a different tone on the issue last Thursday. He said, "We're continuing to work with those groups around the country who believe that their religious liberties are being infringed to try to come to a resolution of this issue." He added, "Sometimes resolving this issue can be done other than legislative avenues. So we're continuing to work with them on the best way forward".