Apparently, the president and his tone deaf minions realized that you do not want to look like a kindler, gentler version of the church-burning Know Nothings by ignoring the First Amendment as applied to a religion whose views you barely tolerate.
The White House has, for a good while now, hoodwinked progressive Catholics into believing that they were justified in trusting this administration.  Obama convinced liberal Catholics that even though he strongly supported abortion, he was their man on immigration, social justice and a whole lot of other issues near and dear to the Catholic heart.
And, lulled into a sense of security that he respected them, they gave him their money, their votes, and their faith (something they had a problem giving to their ancestral church.)
But when he had an opportunity to thank them for their loyalty, he shoved the knife in their collective backs and refused to grant a conscience waiver which would have exempted the church from having to pay for what, in its eyes, is a sin.  Doesn't matter that most Catholics who, by definition, aren't observant, use birth control.  It matters that we're not supposed to, according to Humanae Vitae.  And even if that doesn't make sense to a lot of people, it's church doctrine.  No government has a right to do a Luca Brazzi on the bishops and force a change under threat of violence (those hefty fines can do a lot more damage than piano wire to the throat.)
So, back to my original point.  If indeed the bishops' request is granted, and Catholic-affiliated agencies will not have to subsidize birth control, I'm elated.  I'm sure it's the same feeling all of those 'pro-choice' ladies felt when they intimidated the Komen foundation into reinstating grants to Planned Parenthood.  
If, on the other hand, this is simply a way for Obama to get out of an election year pile of dung and the exemption will be rescinded if he gets to renew his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in November, I shudder to think what will happen then.
It won't be pretty, judging from the past few days. So here's a message for the president:  the sleeping Lamb of God has awakened.  You might want to make a note of it.