KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Health Care Law’s Contraception Mandate Gets Day In High Court Next Week

After Justice Antonin Scalia's death, there's a likelihood the court will rule 5-3 against the challenge to the health law. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote, has appeared to voice approval of the workaround the government has already created to address conscientious objections to contraception.

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court To Consider Compromise To Health-Law’s Contraception Rules
A four-year-old fight between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration reaches the Supreme Court on Wednesday, in a bishop’s challenge to the health-care law’s contraception requirements that could alter the boundaries of religious freedom. Eight justices will weigh how far the government has to go to accommodate religiously affiliated employers that object to including contraception in workers’ insurance plans. The outcome could affect as many as a million Catholic nonprofit employees. The case comes after the court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling that for-profit businesses could assert such objections. (Radnofsky, 3/17)

Meanwhile, Vermont lawmakers are moving a contraception bill through the Legislature in case the health law is repealed after the 2016 elections —

The Burlington Free Press: Vermont Birth Control Bill Braces For Obamacare Repeal
Some Vermont lawmakers are trying to reinforce the state's birth control insurance mandates with an eye on the 2016 national elections. A bill moving through the Vermont House of Representatives would retain the birth control mandate in the federal Affordable Care Act, requiring health insurance plans to provide contraceptives and sterilization at no cost to patients — even if Congress repeals the law. (Burbank, 3/18)

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