Hobby Lobby challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate before Supreme Court today | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate before Supreme Court today

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Today seems to be Obamacare Legal Challenge Day. We noted earlier that arguments in Halbig v. Sebelius are before the D.C. Circuit. Meanwhile the Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, which involves whether for-profit corporations can cite religious beliefs to keep from providing contraception coverage to their employees. The Affordable Care Act requires large employers to provide contraception coverage in health insurance plans they offer. The Obama administration exempted religious non-profits, but not for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby. 

The owners of the arts-and-crafts chain are evangelical Christians who object to contraceptive methods, such as IUDs, which the ACA requires to be covered. They cite the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that the contraceptive mandate imposes a substantial burden on their free exercise of religion. Note that this assumes corporations have the same protections as individuals. Given the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court may well agree. (It also assume that corporations have religious beliefs; as one federal judge who heard the case put it, for-profit companies "do not pray, worship, observe sacraments or take other religiously motivated actions separate and apart from the intention and direction of their individual actors.")

Unlike Halbig, this case won't make or break Obamacare, but obviously the stakes are high for women's access to contraception. If the Court rules for Hobby Lobby, corporations would suddenly have a giant loophole to potentially avoid the legal requirement to cover birth control for employees. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argued it "would transform RFRA from a shield for individuals and religious institutions into a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws.”

NPR's Nina Totenberg has more. Check in with the always excellent SCOTUSblog for updates

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • DHS continues to reimburse Medicaid managed care company co-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare

    The Department of Human Services continues to use a provider-led Medicaid managed care company that is part-owned by Preferred Family Healthcare, despite a recent decision to cut other ties with the Springfield, Mo.-based nonprofit enmeshed in multiple corruption scandals.
    • Jul 13, 2018
  • State yanks PFH funds

    Another former executive with scandal-plagued mental health provider arrested.
    • Jul 5, 2018
  • Robin Raveendran and Person 9 in the Cranford/Preferred Family Healthcare web

    The federal criminal information released as part of former lobbyist Rusty Cranford's June 7 guilty plea on bribery charges describes a Person 9 who worked for the nonprofit healthcare provider Preferred Family Healthcare and was associated with Cranford. The description of Person 9 appears to match Robin Raveendran, the former PFH executive — and former longtime staffer at the state's Department of Human Services — who was arrested Thursday in a separate case, charged in Independence County with two felony counts of Medicaid fraud after an investigation by the state's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
    • Jun 29, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation