KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Federal Appellate Court Hears Arguments On Health Law’s Birth Control Mandate

The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is the first federal appellate court to hear arguments in cases challenging the mandate that took effect last August. With dozens of similar lawsuits pending, many say the issue seems likely to land before the Supreme Court. The case brought by Hobby Lobby Inc. is considered the most prominent of these efforts.

The Wall Street Journal: Contraception Violates Beliefs, Firms Tell Court
Two small-business owners challenging contraception-coverage mandates in the federal health-care law told a federal appellate court Wednesday the law would force them to violate their beliefs because they run their businesses in accordance with their religious faith. The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is the first federal appellate court to hear arguments in cases challenging the mandate that took effect last August for most employers to cover contraception, including the morning-after pill, in workers' insurance plans without out-of-pocket costs (Kesling and Radnofsky, 5/22).

The Washington Post: Some Business Owners Resist Providing Employees With Contraceptive Coverage
Religiously devout business owners are waging a broad rebellion against providing their employees with contraceptive coverage, bringing dozens of lawsuits that seem certain to land the issue before the Supreme Court. The company owners say their religious beliefs take precedence over a new federal requirement, contained in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, that they give employees insurance that covers contraceptives (Barnes, 5/22).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Hobby Lobby Appeal Tests Limits Of Federal Birth-Control Coverage Mandate
In the most prominent challenge of its kind, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. is asking a federal appeals court Thursday for an exemption from part of the federal health care law that requires it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill. The Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain argues that businesses -- not just the currently exempted religious groups -- should be allowed to seek exception from that part of the health law if it violates their religious beliefs (5/23).

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