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High court hears arguments regarding health law's contraception coverage requirement

The justices appeared to be divided on the question of whether companies are entitled to a religious exemption from this mandate. A decision is expected in June. [More]

First Edition: March 26, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that the Obama administration will extend the deadline for signing up for insurance through healthcare.gov. [More]

Viewpoints: Be careful what you pray for; health law 'freakouts;' concerns about imported drugs

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider a proposition that will strike many Americans as bizarre: that large, for-profit businesses can refuse on religious grounds to comply with a federal mandate that they include contraception in their employee health plans (3/25). [More]

Supreme Court to hear health law contraceptive case on Tuesday

At issue is whether for-profit companies, such as Hobby Lobby, are entitled to the same religious protections as individuals or religious organizations. [More]

Viewpoints on challenge to contraceptive coverage mandate

This week, the owners of two secular, for-profit corporations will ask the Supreme Court to take a radical turn and allow them to impose their religious views on their employees -; by refusing to permit them contraceptive coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court has consistently resisted claims for religious exemptions from laws that are neutral and apply broadly when the exemptions would significantly harm other people, as this one would. To approve it would flout the First Amendment, which forbids government from favoring one religion over another -; or over nonbelievers (3/22). [More]
First Edition: March 24, 2013

First Edition: March 24, 2013

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations examine the final week for health law enrollment, the Supreme Court case this week about the law's contraceptive mandate and the fourth anniversary of the enactment of the controversial overhaul. [More]
State highlights: Ark. court reverses $1.2B Medicaid drug judgment; Fla. officials overhauling child welfare agency

State highlights: Ark. court reverses $1.2B Medicaid drug judgment; Fla. officials overhauling child welfare agency

The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson on Thursday, finding that the state attorney general erred by suing under a law that applied to health care facilities, not drug companies. The judgment, one of the largest in history for a state fraud case, was imposed in 2012 after a jury concluded that Johnson & Johnson had improperly marketed and concealed the risks of Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug (Thomas, 3/2). [More]
Viewpoints: Predictions of rising premiums in 2015; anniversary of health law

Viewpoints: Predictions of rising premiums in 2015; anniversary of health law

No one challenges reality like Kathleen Sebelius, who assured the world on Sept. 30, 2013 that the Affordable Care Act website would be open for business the next day. "We're very excited about tomorrow," Sebelius said. "Shutdown or no shutdown, we're ready to go." [More]
First Edition: March 21, 2014

First Edition: March 21, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including a new examination of Ezekiel Emanuel's book about the crafting of the health law and President Obama's latest push to boost enrollment. [More]

High Court to hear religious freedom challenge to contraceptive mandate

The health law returns to the Supreme Court next week when justices consider a challenge by two companies seeking relief from the contraceptive coverage requirement. [More]

First Edition: March 20, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how the GOP is challenging the Obama administration's authority regarding the health law on various fronts, including the employer mandate delay and the birth control coverage mandate. [More]

State highlights: Electronic health record adoption lags; Maine's health problems; Minn. insurance costs

A selection of health policy stories from Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, Missouri, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. [More]
State highlights: States urge some retailers to end tobacco sales; abortion in N.D., Ark.; Conn. assisted suicide

State highlights: States urge some retailers to end tobacco sales; abortion in N.D., Ark.; Conn. assisted suicide

A selection of health policy stories from North Dakota, Arkansas, Connecticut, New York, California, Missouri, Arizona and Minnesota. [More]
State highlights: Wash. state cost and quality bills; Okla. privatized Medicaid; Fla. malpractice law overturned

State highlights: Wash. state cost and quality bills; Okla. privatized Medicaid; Fla. malpractice law overturned

... [More]

First Edition: March 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about new health coverage rules and guidances announced by the Obama administration. [More]

State highlights: Vt. health care costs plan; Iowa inmate coverage; Mich. abortion law takes effect

A selection of health policy stories from Vermont, Iowa, Michigan, California, Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina. [More]

Highlights: Calif. insurer satisfaction; Manchin and W. Va. abortion bill; Md. mental health legislation

For the seventh consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente ranked highest in customer satisfaction for health insurance among California policyholders, according to ratings firm J.D. Power & Associates. [More]

Parsing the ACA's impact on farmers, community health centers

Farmers, who often rely on individual policies, may find it easier to get routine medical care through policies sold on the health law's online exchanges. Meanwhile, community health centers face reduced federal support in fiscal 2016 and the battle over the law's contraception mandate highlights a dispute over whether certain forms of birth control prevent conception or destroy a fertilized egg. [More]
First Edition: March 11, 2014

First Edition: March 11, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is stepping back from proposed changes to the Medicare drug program. [More]
Viewpoints: No reason to delay health law; GOP may need an alternative message; shrinking abortion options

Viewpoints: No reason to delay health law; GOP may need an alternative message; shrinking abortion options

HealthCare.gov is working better, so the technical barriers to pushing people into new plans aren't as high. The law, meanwhile, attempts to establish a norm that all Americans should have coverage of a certain quality and comprehensiveness. In general and over time, this is good for them and for the system as a whole. [More]