KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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California Sues To Stop Contraception Rollback, Saying New Rules Are Unconstitutional

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says the rule unlawfully targets women. “What group of Americans will they target next? Will they allow businesses to deny you cancer treatment?" Other states react as well.

The Hill: California Challenges Trump’s Rollback Of Birth Control Mandate 
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's rollback of an Obama-era policy that required employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. “Donald Trump wants businesses and corporations to control family planning decisions rather than a woman in consultation with her doctor. These anti-women's health regulations prove once again that the Trump administration is willing to trample on people’s rights,” Becerra said in a statement. (Manchester, 10/6)

San Francisco Chronicle: California Sues Over Trump Administration’s Rollback Of Birth Control Mandate
The lawsuit claims the rule change is unconstitutional because it specifically targets and harms women — thus denying their Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection under the law — and allows employers to use their religious beliefs to discriminate against employees. The suit also accuses the Trump administration of violating a federal law that requires regulatory changes to go through a public comment period before taking effect. It seeks an injunction to stop the policy change from taking effect. (Ho, 10/6)

Boston Globe: Maura Healey To Sue Trump Over Birth Control Regulation
Massachusetts dove headfirst into another legal confrontation with the Trump administration Friday, as Attorney General Maura Healey sued the federal government over newly issued rules giving employers the right to deny women birth control coverage by claiming religious or moral objections. (Ebbert, 10/6)

The Oregonian: Will Oregon Women Still Get No-Cost Birth Control After Trump Rollback? 
For Oregon women, the change comes just months after House Bill 3391 went into effect. That bill, also called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, requires all insurance plans to cover no-cost birth control beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Will that mean possible a year gap in coverage for Oregon women in 2018? Jake Sunderland, spokesperson Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency, said they are still trying to figure that out. (Acker, 10/6)

Dallas Morning News: Texas Lawmakers, Businesses React To Rollback Of Obamacare Birth Control Mandate
Experts don’t anticipate a plethora of North Texas companies will drop contraceptive coverage from their offerings in the short or long term, however. “There’s a real business reason to offering coverage for abortion and contraceptives,” said Marianne Fazen, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health. For one, few companies would take the route Hobby Lobby chose, publicly taking a controversial position that draws unwanted attention to their organizations. But more important, large employers benefit from coming up with the most competitive packages they can offer. (Rice and Kelly, 10/7)

Detroit Free Press: Battle Renewed Between Birth Control Coverage And Religious Freedom
The Trump administration put in place a new rule Friday that allows employers to deny insurance coverage of birth control under the Affordable Care Act if that employer has a religious or moral objection to providing that coverage. The new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule, which takes effect immediately, lifts a requirement under ACA that employers provide free birth control coverage, and pits employers' religious freedom and morality against women's reproductive rights for a second time in three years. (Shamus, 10/7)

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