The Supreme Court ruled Monday that part of the Affordable Care Act violates the religious freedoms of certain corporations.
The Daily Circuit took a closer look at the Court's decision, including the dissenting opinion. We also touched base on where the ACA stands after two major court decisions and problematic roll-outs at the state level.
Here's what you need to know on the Hobby Lobby ruling:
- • The decision exempts some for-profit, closely held corporations with 50 or more employees from covering contraception in employee health plans - but it is unclear how "closely held" will ultimately be defined.
- • Hobby Lobby raised an objection specifically to Plan B, or the morning-after pill, and IUDs. But in its final decision, the Court did not limit the exception, pointing instead to the contraception mandate in its entirety, which applies to all contraceptives.
- • Certain non-profits and religious groups are already exempt from covering contraception in employee health plans, but insurers are still required to provide cost-free contraceptive to individual participants. This means tax-payers foot the bill when an employer opts-out on religious grounds. The Court suggested this same work-around could be applied to for-profit cases.
- • It remains to be seen whether the decision opens the door to legal challenges across a broad range of issues, using religious freedom as a basis to refuse spousal benefits to same-sex couples, for example.