KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Advocates And Critics Brace For High Court Decision On Contraceptive Mandate

The Supreme Court is expected to release its ruling today on a case brought by the owners of Hobby Lobby craft store and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., who object to being forced to offer some types of birth control.

The Hill: Sebelius: Hobby Lobby Case About More Than ObamaCare
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday that if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate next week, it will have "huge" implications that go far beyond the healthcare law. Sebelius said a ruling against the law could allow employers maximum discretion to avoid following laws they say go against their religious beliefs. "I do think this issue is far beyond contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act," she said. "This really is about whether or not employers based on religious views can pick and choose which federal laws to follow and not follow" (Al-Faruque, 6/27).

The Wall Street Journal: Religious Business Owners Brace For High Court's Contraception Ruling
Religious business owners and women's groups braced for Monday's expected Supreme Court ruling on an Affordable Care Act contraception-coverage requirement that could outline the flexibility owners of for-profit enterprises have in exercising religious beliefs. ... The contraception decision could have immediate consequences for a high-profile provision of the Affordable Care Act, two years after the court upheld the law's requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance (Radnofsky, 6/29).

Reuters: On Eve Of Court Ruling, Americans Oppose Contraceptive Ban: Reuters/Ipsos Poll
A majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage, says a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected on Monday. In one of the most closely watched cases of the year, the nine-member court will weigh whether for-profit corporations may raise religious objections to a mandate in President Barack Obama's signature 2010 healthcare law that their insurance cover contraceptives. ... The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 10,693 people was conducted April 28-June 20, 2014 (Biskupic, 6/29).

Politico: Hobby Lobby Decision: Nine Justices To Watch
Shortly after 10 a.m. Monday, the Supreme Court will issue its much-anticipated decision on the religious freedom challenge businesses have brought against the Obamacare contraception mandate. ... A win for the White House would help officials ensure that employer coverage is consistent, but employers would still be able to opt out of coverage altogether by paying a fine. A win for Hobby Lobby would mean other businesses with a small number of owners could opt out of aspects of Obamacare coverage, possibly leaving employees on their own to pay for particular drugs or procedures (Gerstein, 6/30).

Associated Press: Supreme Court Poised To Decide Birth Control Dispute
The Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in a case that weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to the birth control of their choice. The court meets for a final time Monday to release decisions in its two remaining cases before the justices take off for the summer.  The cases involve birth- control coverage under President Barack Obama's health law and fees paid to labor unions representing government employees by workers who object to being affiliated with a union (Sherman, 6/29).

CNN: Court Set To Rule On Obamacare Contraception Mandate
The biggest case of the Supreme Court's term involves a three-headed, hot-button appeal combining abortion rights, religious liberty, and Obamacare. It's also the last one, and a ruling is due on Monday. The legal and social pique may not reach the heights of two years ago when the justices narrowly preserved the Affordable Care Act and its key funding provision in a blockbuster ruling. But the stakes are still large, and the decision could serve as a primer for other pending challenges to the health law championed by President Barack Obama and in play as a campaign issue this midterm season (Mears, 6/30).

CNN: 5 Questions: Supreme Court And Obamacare On Contraception
The Supreme Court on Monday will rule on a politically-charged Obamacare appeal involving a requirement that certain, for-profit businesses provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. Can those employers avoid the requirement if they object on moral or religious grounds? Can they do so if they see this as a requirement that can -- in their view -- ultimately lead to abortion? That's what the justices have weighed over several months. Here are five questions to consider in advance of their decision, which incidentally is the last of the term and should come down shortly after 10 a.m. ET (Mears, 6/29).

Fox News: Decision Day: Hobby Lobby Team 'Very Confident' Ahead Of Supreme Court Ruling
Supporters of the arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby -- the business at the center of one of this session's most closely watched Supreme Court cases -- are sounding a confident tone ahead of Monday's expected decision in their case challenging ObamaCare's so-called contraception mandate (6/30).

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