Religion & Politics, the online journal of the Danforth Center, has two articles about the HHS mandate that sum up the divergent positions well.
One, by Francis Manion, essentially calls for the administration to hit the reset button, use traditional conscience exemption language, and have the government pick up the slack itself. Manion's positions is close to that urged by the USCCB and CHA, but I think it is unrealistic at this point to expect the administration to change very much.
The other article, by E;lizabeth Sepper and Alisha Johnson, argues that the current rule strikes a balance that all sides should be able to live with and that the rhetoric of religious liberty being under attack does not match the reality. I would not put it exactly that way, I think the issue of religious liberty is both important and that the HHS mandate, in its original iteration, was deeply problematic. There is a reality behind the rhetoric.
We can expect a ruling from HHS at any time now that the comment period is closed. We will have to see what that says and if it is satisfactory. Even those who are unsympathetic to the Church's concerns have to admit that the last iteration left many i's undotted.
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