Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine isn’t against President Obama when it comes to the contraception issue, his campaign says — he’s just opposed to the part of the new insurance rules that most of the President’s opposition is decrying.
It’s a fine line for Kaine to walk, maybe, but one that his campaign insists puts the former DNC chair and U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia in a different spot than the Republicans who are attacking Obama daily for the the new rules requiring health plans to cover contraceptives.
“There are two very clear decisions that the White House has made…he agrees that birth control should be a preventative service for women, and that it should covered under the Affordable Care Act,” a campaign aide told me Thursday. “However, he does believe that religiously-affiliated institutions like hospitals, schools, religious charities, should be able to either, (1) be exempt from the rule because it is conflicting with their church doctrine, or (2), that there needs to be some kind of workaround that the White House [works out] with religious groups that allows them comply with the law but not violate their teachings.”
The aide pointed out that Kaine is not calling for a repeal of the whole contraceptive rule, as some Republicans have done. Pressed on whether or not Kaine stands with the White House on the new insurance rules, the aide said there was a third path.
The aide explained that the White House ruling was really two decisions — the first, to require that insurance plans cover contraception. The second, according to the aide, was a decision to include religious-run institutions like schools and hospitals in that mandate. Kaine’s concern is with the second decision.
“He agrees on one part, he just disagrees on the second part,” the aide said.