KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Dozens Of Religious Groups Refuse To Sign Contraceptive Opt-Out

The two-page form, designed to accommodate religious beliefs, is regarded as an untenable compromise by some religious employers, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, GOP governors see little fallout from the Supreme Court's contraceptive coverage decision, and a poll shows growing Republican support for the court.

The New York Times: A Two-Page Form Spawns A Contraceptive Showdown
A two-page federal form has provoked a titanic clash between the government and many religious organizations. The form allows some religious organizations to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, which many insurers and group health plans are required to provide under the Affordable Care Act and related rules. The opt-out sounds like a way to accommodate religious beliefs. But many religious employers like Wheaton College and the Little Sisters of the Poor are unwilling to sign the form. By signing it, they say, they would authorize their insurers or plan administrators to pay for contraceptives, including some that they believe may cause abortion (Pear, 7/12).

Politico: GOP Governors See Scant Hobby Lobby Political Fallout
Democrats see the Supreme Court decision of limiting birth control coverage in some employee health plans as galvanizing voters for November, but Republican governors say the Hobby Lobby case is barely a blip, let alone a reprise of the “war on women.” Republicans interviewed at the National Governors Association summer meeting here this weekend described the high court ruling exempting some religious owners of for-profit businesses from the Obamacare contraceptive coverage requirement as a welcome brake on President Barack Obama and his intrusive health law. And they didn’t see it causing problems (Cheney, 7/13). 

Politico: Poll: Most GOP Approve Of SCOTUS
Republican support for the Supreme Court has increased 21 percent since last September, a new poll says. According to a Gallup poll released Monday, 47 percent of Americans approve of the high court, compared with 46 percent who disapprove, nearly identical results to last September. … Democrats have had a relatively high approval rating of the court since 2012, when the Supreme Court preserved the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and largely upheld President Barack Obama’s health care law as constitutional. Sixty-eight percent of Democrats reported approving of the court then. In its most recent term, the court delivered several landmark conservative decisions. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the court ruled 5-4 that for-profit corporations could decline to pay for contraceptive coverage under the ACA, citing religious opposition (Topaz, 7/14). 

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