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All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

The Stakes Beyond the Halbig Lawsuit

In a column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses if the legal court cases about whether the government can provide tax credits to people in the Affordable Care Act’s federal health exchanges will be perceived by the American people as a legitimate legal question or as more inside-Washington politics.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: July 2014

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.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: July 2014

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.

A Closer Look at the Courts’ Impact on Health Policy

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.

A Closer Look at the Courts’ Impact on Health Policy

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…

Potential Supreme Court Decision: Who Will Bear the Coverage “Burdens?”

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.