Lew: Tweaked Contraception Rule Will Save Insurance Companies Money

White House chief of staff Jack Lew said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the president’s tweaked rule requiring insurance companies to pay for the cost of birth control (if religious non-profits claim an exemption in their health plans) would save insurers money in the long-run.

The transcript between Lew and Candy Crowley:

LEW:  You know, I have to tell you, as somebody who’s done budgets for a lot of years, usually when people say to me that something doesn’t cost money, I ask them, how could that be?  This is the exception to the rule.  If you priced two insurance plans, one of them with contraception and other without, the plan without contraception costs more than the one with it.  So this will not cost the insurance companies money.  It will not put religious institutions in a position (ph) where they have to violate their principles.

CROWLEY:  Why won’t it?  Why — why is that?

LEW:  Because the total cost of care for persons is higher without than it is with contraception

The insurance industry’s top lobbying group said Friday it was “concerned” with the precedent set by the rule.