KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Supreme Court Will Decide Health Law Contraception Challenge

The justices will review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. The owners of more than three dozen for-profit companies have argued that complying with that provision would violate their religious beliefs.

The Associated Press: Supreme Court Will Take Up New Health Law Dispute
The Supreme Court has agreed to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. The justices said Tuesday they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception (Sherman, 11/26).

NBC News: Supreme Court Will Take Up Controversial Obamacare Provision On Contraception
The challenge comes from Hobby Lobby Stores, an Oklahoma company with more than 500 arts-and-crafts stores and more than 13,000 full-time employees. The business is run by founder David Green of Oklahoma City and five members of his family. “We believe wholeheartedly that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has been successful. Therefore we seek to honor Him in all that we do,” Green said (Williams, 11/26).

USA Today: Justices Will Hear Contraception Challenge To Obamacare
It's the first legal challenge to reach the high court since it upheld the law 17 months ago in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts. While a loss for the government wouldn't strike down the law itself, conservatives still seething over Roberts' rescue of Obamacare say the case offers Roberts an initial chance to rule against it (Wolf, 11/26). 

Politico: Supreme Court To Consider Hearing Cases On Contraceptive Mandate
At issue is whether a for-profit, secular corporation can claim constitutional protection from the provision based on religious grounds. The Obama administration asked the court to hear the Hobby Lobby case after a lower court issued an emergency injunction blocking the contraceptive requirement. ...  It could be a rematch of sorts for Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Paul Clement, who led the 26 states’ challenge to the law and is now representing Hobby Lobby. But this challenge is more narrow than the individual mandate and Medicaid suits heard in 2012 (Haberkorn, 11/26).

Related and very helpful, from KHN: A Guide To The Lawsuits Challenging Obamacare’s Contraception Coverage Requirements (Miller, 9/17)

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