ACA Contraception Coverage Cases Reach Supreme Court

We expect that these cases will take center stage in the upcoming months.

From The New York Times:

In the Hobby Lobby case 16 months ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a company with owners who objected on religious grounds to birth control was entitled to opt out of the federal requirement to cover contraception in its employee health plan. An opt-out mechanism was already in place for religious nonprofit employers, the court observed. Upon notice to the government of their objection, those employers could pass on their coverage obligation to their insurance companies or, if self-insured, to their third-party insurance administrators.

The court told the Obama administration to make the same accommodation available to for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby. Women would still get their coverage, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said for the majority, and the net effect on the female employees “would be precisely zero.”...

A new wrinkle quickly emerged. It turned out that the very mechanism the Hobby Lobby majority held up as a model for how to accommodate the competing concerns of church and state was not accommodating enough for the religious nonprofits themselves. By the dozens, religiously affiliated colleges, nursing homes and similar organizations sued the government on the ground that even having to request the opt-out made them complicit in the eventual enabling of their employees to obtain birth control. These organizations are refusing, in other words, to take yes for an answer.

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