A project of the Galen Institute
Grace-Marie Turner
Mon, 2014-06-30
"The Supreme Court today rang a victory bell for religious freedom as it ruled 5-4 that “HHS’s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion” of three closely held companies – Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and Mardel. The companies objected to the Obama administration’s mandate that they must provide, at no cost to their employees, coverage for products that violate their religious beliefs by terminating life in the womb. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, noted that the companies have “sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point.” The administration had argued that the plaintiffs were for-profit corporations and therefore couldn’t have religious beliefs."
Dan Diamond, Forbes magazine
Mon, 2014-06-30
"Two years ago Saturday, the Supreme Court changed the law that changed an industry. The Court’s June 28, 2012, decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act—by the slender margin of a single vote—did more than allow the law’s ambitious agenda to proceed. It famously altered the law itself, by allowing states to choose whether or not to opt into Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion."
Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-06-30
A sampling of news articles on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision: "Kaiser Health News: Supreme Court Limits Contraceptive Mandate For Certain Employers A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that at least some for-profit corporations may not be required to provide contraceptives if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs.But the five-justice majority writing in Burwell v Hobby Lobby, et al., took pains to try to limit their ruling only to the contraceptive mandate in the health law and only to “closely held” corporations like the family-owned businesses represented by the plaintiffs in the case (Rovner, 6/30). The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Makes Religious Exception To Health-Care Law The U.S.
Mary Agnes Carey and Stuart Taylor, Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-06-30
"By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court has ruled that family-owned, closely held corporations do not have to comply with the health law’s contraception coverage requirements if they violate the owner’s religious views. Legal analyst Stuart Taylor Jr. joins us now to discuss the decision. Thanks for being with us. STUART TAYLOR: Nice to be with you. MARY AGNES CAREY: Why did the court rule this way? STUART TAYLOR: Well, the court held that under an act of Congress passed in 1993, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the right is conferred on all religious groups, including, the court said in this case for the first time, for-profit corporations as well as churches and, say, nonprofit religious groups -- they all get broad protection of their religious freedoms."
Grace-Marie Turner
Mon, 2014-06-30
"The Supreme Court today rang a victory bell for religious freedom as it ruled 5-4 that “HHS’s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion” of three closely held companies – Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and Mardel. The companies objected to the Obama administration’s mandate that they must provide, at no cost to their employees, coverage for products that can terminate life in the womb, violating their religious beliefs."
Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-06-30
"The Supreme Court’s decision on contraceptives and employer health plans could affect companies and workers far beyond Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs. But nobody seems to know how far. The ruling applies to “closely held for-profit corporations,” a small subset of employers, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. But in a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggests the impact will be far broader. “Although the court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private,” she said."
Senate Finance Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee minority staffs
Mon, 2014-06-30
"From the beginning, the Obama Administration made it clear that a critical part of the success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was offering insurance to uninsured individuals through a modern website that was simple and easy to use. To that end, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing the HealthCare.gov website (website) to make it the showcase of PPACA, since it would be the first tangible product the American public would associate with the law. Both metaphorically and factually, the website was designed to be the public face of President Obama’s signature achievement. However, the Obama Administration failed to task any one individual or entity within HHS or CMS with ensuring the success of the public face of Obamacare.
Tom Miller
Fri, 2014-06-27
In the four years since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we have heard a wide range of speculative predictions about how private employers sponsoring health coverage would respond. More recent evidence from one of the oldest and largest annual surveys of employer plans, by human resources consulting firm Mercer, provides stronger indications that employer sponsors are neither heading for the exit doors nor sitting by passively as broader implementation of Obamacare unfolds.
Sarah Wheaton, Politico
Tue, 2014-06-24
"About 5 percent of Americans who were uninsured last year got coverage in 2014, and more than half of those — about 2.8 percent of the population — obtained their plan through an Obamacare exchange, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. The poll, taken after the close of the first enrollment season, pegged the uninsured rate at more than 13 percent."
Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
Mon, 2014-06-09
"While an unprecedented 6 million people have gained Medicaid coverage since September, mostly as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.7 million more are still waiting for their applications to be processed—with some stuck in limbo for as long as eight months, according to officials in 15 large states."

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