KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas, Planned Parenthood Continue Legal Battle

Arguments will be held today regarding the organization's participation in the Texas Women's Health Program. In other news, attorneys for Hobby Lobby -- which has been a staunch opponent of the health law's birth control mandate -- says the company has found a way to delay complying with this requirement.

Texas Tribune: Planned Parenthood, State Back In Court For Hearing
Planned Parenthood and the state of Texas will continue their legal battle Friday over the organization's ability to participate in the Texas Women's Health Program. Travis County District Judge Stephen Yelenosky will hear arguments on whether to grant a permanent injunction allowing Planned Parenthood to participate in the state-funded program until a trial can be held to determine the validity of the state's Affiliate Ban Rule (Aaronson, 1/11).

CNN: Planned Parenthood Seeks Injunction In Texas Funding Law
Planned Parenthood in Texas heads to federal court Friday, looking for a temporary injunction that would allow it to take part in the state's revamped Women's Health Program. Late last month, a Texas judge denied the group's request for a temporary restraining order that would have extended the organization's ability to participate. A state law that went into effect with the new year requires the state to fully fund women's health clinics with the exception of those that are affiliated with abortion providers. With that new law, Texas is no longer eligible for federal funding for women's health and, therefore, Planned Parenthood and other such establishments in the state will no longer be able to receive federal funding (Kuo, 1/11).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Hobby Lobby Attorney Says Okla. Firm Can Delay Birth-Control Requirement Of Health Care Law
An attorney for Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby says the company has found a way to delay providing insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives as required under the federal health care law. Peter Dobelbower said in a statement Thursday that the company will shift the plan year for employee health insurance that will delay by several months the Jan. 1 effective date of the requirement (1/10).

Meanwhile, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli offers advice to other opponents of this health law provision --

Politico: Ken Cuccinelli: 'Go To Jail' To Fight Contraception Mandate
A devout Catholic, Cuccinelli told Deace that opponents of the mandate should put the controversial measure on trial by making the government enforce it in as heavy-handed a way as possible (Burns, 1/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: On Iowa Radio, Cuccinelli Says Jail May Be A Fitting Protest To Feds' Contraception Mandate
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said on a syndicated radio program that going to jail may be an effective way to protest a federal mandate that employers cover contraceptives in insurance plans. On Iowa conservative radio host Steve Deace's Wednesday night show, the Republican gubernatorial candidate and tea party favorite said civil disobedience is one way to attack the Affordable Care Act requirement now being challenged in a federal lawsuit by the Hobby Lobby stores (1/10).

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