In 5-4 decision, high court sides with Hobby Lobby

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Exempts Some Companies From Health-Care Law on Religious Grounds
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday in a 5-4 split said "closely held" companies can on religious grounds opt out of a federal health-care law requirement that companies provide contraception coverage for employees, carving another piece from President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. In a ruling by Justice Samuel Alito, the court's five conservative justices wrote that private companies, such as Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., can't be forced to provide contraceptive health services that violate their owner's religious beliefs (Bravin and Radnofsky, 6/30).

The New York Times: Supreme Court Rejects Contraceptives Mandate For Some Corporations
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 decision on Monday that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting religious freedom. The decision, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to challenges from other corporations to many laws that may be said to violate their religious liberty (Liptak, 6/30).

NBC News: Hobby Lobby Ruling: Employers Don't Have To Cover Birth Control
The court's ruling Monday was 5-4, written by Justice Samuel Alito, and the decision appeared to be extremely limited. It did not appear to open the door to other types of religious-exemption claims by companies. Instead, the ruling appeared to be a clear victory for the companies that brought the case and for perhaps 50 to 60 other companies like them with similar objections to the contraceptive requirement (Williams, 6/30).

Politico: Supreme Court Sides With Hobby Lobby On Contraception Mandate
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare. The ruling deals with only a small provision of Obamacare and will not take down the entire law, but it amounts to a huge black eye for Obamacare and its backers. The justices have given Obamacare opponents their most significant political victory against the health care law, reinforcing their argument that the law and President Barack Obama are encroaching on Americans' freedoms (Haberkorn and Gerstein).

The Associated Press: Justices: Can't Make Employers Cover Contraception
The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law (Sherman, 5/30).

Fox News: Supreme Court Backs Hobby Lobby In Contraceptive Mandate Challenge
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion in the ObamaCare case. The court's four liberal justices dissented. The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners. Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. "Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer's religious beliefs," Alito said (6/30). 

CNN: Court Strikes Limited Blow Against Obamacare Contraception Mandate
The section of law in dispute requires for-profit employers of a certain size to offer insurance benefits for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. A number of companies equate some of the covered drugs, such as the so-called "morning-after" pill, as causing abortion. The specific question presented was whether these companies can refuse, on the sincere claim it would violate their owners' long-established moral beliefs (Mears, 6/30). 

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Sides With Employers Over Birth Control Mandate
In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said the Obama administration failed to prove that the contraception mandate was the least restrictive way of ensuring widespread access to no-cost birth control. Following the recommendation of independent experts, the Obama administration in 2011 required that most employer health plans cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of preventive benefits that must be provided to employees at no cost under the Affordable Care Act (Millman, 6/30).

KHN will have more coverage throughout the day.


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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