KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Lawmakers File Briefs In Hobby Lobby Health Law Contraception Case

Republican senators also are weighing in.

The Hill: House Dems Enter Legal Fray Over Obamacare Birth Control Mandate
Scores of House Democrats entered the legal fight over Obamacare's birth-control mandate Tuesday, filing an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in defense of the contentious coverage requirement. Behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmakers say the provision -- which requires most employers to cover birth control for their workers -- does not infringe on religious freedoms, as the Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned retail chain, contends in its lawsuit (Lillis, 1/28).

USA Today: Lawmakers Weigh In On Supreme Court Contraception Case
Dozens of GOP and Democratic lawmakers have filed competing legal briefs to the Supreme Court as it prepares to take up challenges to provisions in the Affordable Care Act mandating contraception coverage. ... Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., led a group of Senate Democrats in filing a separate legal brief defending the government’s position in support of contraception coverage. “Allowing a woman’s boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice or choice,” Murray said (Davis, 1/28).

Fox News: Dem Senators Intervene In Hobby Lobby Case, Urge Justices To Deny Obamacare Exemption
Republican senators returned fire, jumping to Hobby Lobby's defense in a brief of their own. "The ability to practice the faith we choose is one of our great constitutional rights. The Obama administration's contraceptive mandate stomps on that right," Sen. David Vitter said in a statement (1/28).

Meanwhile --

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog: Notre Dame Revives Bid For Injunction Over Contraception
The University of Notre Dame is trying again to get a court injunction so it can stop covering contraception for its employees, following a favorable Supreme Court order in a similar case. Notre Dame struck out once at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last year. Then the Supreme Court last week blocked the federal government from enforcing the contraception requirement against the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic nonprofit that operates homes for the elderly poor. On Tuesday, Notre Dame filed a new request to the Seventh Circuit, saying the Supreme Court’s order suggests the university is also entitled to a stay while litigation continues (Radnofsky, 1/28). 

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.