This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.
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The July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that over half the public has an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, up eight percentage points since last month, while the share viewing the law favorably held steady at just under four in ten. This month’s poll also explored the public’s reaction to the Supreme Court decision upholding craft store chain Hobby Lobby’s ability to deny workers coverage of certain contraceptives based on the company’s owners’ religious beliefs. The public overall is evenly split between those who approve and disapprove of the Court’s decision, with only a small difference in opinion between women and men, but deep divisions by party identification, ideology, and religious affiliation.
The July Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds the most closely followed news stories this month were discussions about how to deal with large numbers of unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. from Central America, military and political conflict between Israel and Hamas, and ongoing problems related to Veterans Affairs (or V.A.) medical facilities. Six in ten report closely following the Supreme Court’s decision in a case about whether for-profit companies should be required to cover birth control for women in their workers’ health plans (the Hobby Lobby case), and about half of the public is able to correctly identify the Court’s decision.
In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman maps what the combined impact of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and a plaintiff’s win in Halbig would look like and discusses the impact of court decisions on health policy. All…
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including FDA approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Legal challenges and recently issued rules have affected contraceptive coverage for many women.
The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by the end of June, 2014 on the cases brought forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The plaintiffs contend that the requirement that they include coverage for certain contraceptive services (emergency contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices) in the insurance plans “substantially burdens” both the corporation’s and the owners’ religious rights. During the arguments, several of the justices discussed the extent to which the corporations did or not did not have a choice in offering coverage to their workers. In this brief, we explore some of the factors influencing coverage decisions and possible consequences for women and employers given possible Supreme Court decision options: either upholding the contraceptive coverage requirement, or in favor of Hobby Lobby.
Olmstead’s Role in Community Integration for People with Disabilities Under Medicaid: 15 Years After the Supreme Court’s Olmstead Decision
June 2014 marks the 15th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights decision in Olmstead v. L.C., finding that the unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities is illegal discrimination. This issue brief examines the legacy of Olmstead, with an emphasis on legal case developments and policy trends emerging in the last five years and the related contributions of the Medicaid program.
Data Note: Differences In Public Opinion On The ACA’s Contraceptive Coverage Requirement, By Gender, Religion, And Political Party
One of the most politically polarizing elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the law’s requirement that new private health insurance plans cover prescription contraceptives and services, including all methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The rule currently provides an exemption for houses of worship and an…
Brief Examines the Olmstead Decision’s Role In Community Integration for People With Disabilities Under Medicaid
As the 15th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision approaches this month, a new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the legacy of the landmark civil rights ruling that the institutionalization of people with disabilities is illegal discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The brief, Olmstead’s Role…
Issue Brief Explores Consequences of Potential Supreme Court Decisions on the ACA Contraceptive Coverage Requirement
A new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief explores some of the factors influencing employers’ coverage decisions and possible consequences for employers and workers that could arise from possible Supreme Court decisions in the cases brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, for-profit corporations challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement…