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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Despite the news that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the ACA’s new marketplaces, the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds no change in overall opinion of the law since last month . The most common reason for remaining uninsured is not being able to find an affordable plan. Also, a majority of the public supports the ACA’s requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control and believes that for-profit companies should be subject to this requirement even if their owners object to birth control on religious grounds.
Most Common Reason for Remaining Uninsured is Not Being Able to Find an Affordable Plan; Just 7 Percent Would Rather Pay a Fine than Pay for Coverage As the Supreme Court Considers Challenge, a Majority Supports the Law’s Requirements for Contraceptive Coverage, Including for Employers with Religious Objections Despite the…
This event announces the release of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2014 survey on women’s health. The presentation of findings will be followed by a panel discussion on the ACA and challenges in improving women’s health and access to care.
A newly-updated infographic from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains the final regulations on employer-based coverage of birth control released today by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage? provides a clear explanation of coverage requirements under the new regulations for employers with…
In the latest post in the Policy Insights series, Jen Kates, Josh Michaud, and Allison Valentine examine how rapid emergence of Zika virus in the Americas, and its association with a severe birth defect, impact women as some health officials are calling for women to avoid pregnancy even though they have limited reproductive health access in some of the affected countries. They also examine the role of the U.S. government in addressing Zika and its impact on women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The rapid spread of the Zika virus in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, the appearances of cases of Zika in the United States, and the association between Zika infection and serious birth defects has generated attention and concern among the public, policymakers, and the media. The WHO declared…
Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the Zubik v. Burwell case, another challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time to the contraceptive coverage requirement brought by nonprofit corporations. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, this already complicated and charged case has taken on an additional question: …
Web Briefing for Media – The Supreme Court, Birth Control, and Religious Freedom: Implications of Zubik v. Burwell
On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Zubik v. Burwell, legal challenges brought by nonprofit corporations challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The 2014 Hobby Lobby decision established that certain firms with religious beliefs should be relieved of the requirement of paying for contraceptive coverage. In this case, religious nonprofits are objecting to the regulations that the Obama Administration has developed to accommodate their religious objections to birth control, claiming it still burdens their religious beliefs. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, this already complicated case has taken on yet an additional question. Given that the Court will be operating with only 8 Justices, what would be the impact of a tie (4-4) decision? To address the legal and policy questions raised by the case, the Kaiser Family Foundation will hold an interactive web briefing exclusively for journalists.
The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that health care is one of many issues that will be important to voters in the Presidential election, trailing concerns about the economy and jobs but leading concerns about immigration. Health care ranks higher for Democratic voters than for Republican and independent voters and is a higher priority for women than for men. Health care costs remain on the forefront of the minds of both the uninsured and voters, with nearly half of uninsured Americans saying that cost is the main reason they haven’t gotten health insurance and voters mentioning cost when asked what specifically about health care will affect their presidential vote. In light of the two women’s health cases before the Supreme Court, this month’s survey examines how the public, and women specifically, feel about the state of women’s reproductive health policy. About one-third of Americans say ‘there is a wide-scale effort to limit women’s reproductive health choices and services, such as abortion, family planning, and contraception’ and a majority of Democratic voters name Hillary Clinton as the candidate for president they trust to represent their view of women’s reproductive health choices and services, while Republican voters don’t coalesce around any one candidate.