On June 28, the Obama administration released the final version of the contraceptive coverage rule. Beginning January 1, 2014 women who aren’t already benefiting from the Affordable Care Act’s mandated contraceptive coverage, like those employed at religiously affiliated organizations that took advantage of the enforcement safe harbor, will be able to receive contraceptive coverage directly from their insurance companies, rather than their employer-provided plans. This “religious accommodation” makes employers’ involvement in contraception use even more remote, while ensuring that women still have access.
|By: RH Reality Check Monday July 8, 2013 2:15 pm|
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday April 3, 2013 8:30 am|
The Obama administration is accepting comments from the public until April 8th on the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making for the birth control benefit or contraceptive coverage rule. The proposed rule amends the exemption for houses of worship and their affiliates and adds an accommodation for other non-exempt non-profits opposed to birth control.
The accommodation requires that insurance companies offer separate contraceptive coverage directly to the employees of objecting organizations at no additional cost. To take advantage of the accommodation, an organization need only self-certify to its health insurer or plan administrator that it is a non-profit opposed to some of the required contraceptive services and that it “hold[s] itself out as a religious organization.”
|By: RH Reality Check Thursday February 14, 2013 6:58 pm|
If you weren’t eagerly checking the bishops’ blog for their feelings on your health insurance, you may not have known last week was Catholic Schools Week! I generally don’t participate in the bishops’ weeks (or fortnights), but I think this is an ideal moment to highlight the proud history of advocacy for contraceptive access at Catholic-affiliated Universities — which is relevant to all those lawsuits that won’t be going away now that His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan has spoken.
We begin at Notre Dame in 1966.
|By: Kevin Grandia Saturday December 8, 2012 1:59 pm|
In the not-so-distant past China was a country that struggled to feed its own people. An estimated 20 to 45 million Chinese died of starvation between 1958 and 1962. China’s population today is over 1.3 billion, more than four times the population of the United States. The challenges China faces in moving from a developing to a developed nation are unique and daunting, made even more difficult under the scrutiny of a globally connected modern world.
|By: Peterr Saturday October 13, 2012 9:00 am|
Religiously speaking, the answers given at the VP debate by Paul Ryan and Joe Biden to the question of how their personal faith relates to their work as politicians were striking. The difference between the two candidates — and the parties and platforms they stand for — could not have been starker. Ryan spoke with absolute certainty that he/his party/his church are absolutely correct when it comes to banning abortion, while Biden expressed both his own personal beliefs alongside respect for those who hold other views and the concomitant right to act on their religious views.
But while abortion was the specific example Martha Raddatz used to frame her question, it is hardly the only one. The editors of the Jesuit magazine “America” pose another very good question themselves, that deserves an answer from both Obama and Romney. If no one brings it up at the town hall-style debate next week, I’d love to see Bob Schieffer ask it at the foreign policy debate that follows.
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday October 10, 2012 7:09 pm|
We have been hearing plenty about “religious liberty” lately. Now let’s see who’s using the term “religious liberty” in a novel way, trying to conceal a campaign of religious overreach.
The issue has to do with the faith-based legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recently, a Missouri mining and manufacturing holding company, O’Brien Industrial Holdings, filed a lawsuit against the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The lawsuit challenges the ACA employer requirement to include birth control coverage in employees’ health insurance. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri filed an amicus brief supporting the ACA contraception rule. The brief examines the O’Brien complaint and considers the arguments in light of modern legal history.
|By: David Dayen Saturday July 28, 2012 11:00 am|
A federal court has temporarily blocked the Obama Administration’s contraceptive mandate for one Colorado air conditioning company, in the first of what promises to be several legal fights over the regulation, ultimately winding up at the Supreme Court.
The ruling comes in a case brought by Hercules Industries, which argued that they should not have to comply with the mandate of providing free contraceptive coverage for their employees because it violates the religious beliefs of the owners.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday July 18, 2012 2:45 pm|
In the first federal court ruling on the Obama Administration’s mandate for the provision of free contraceptive coverage as part of the preventive services package in the health care law, a judge in Nebraska has thrown out, for lack of standing, the challenge to the mandate pursued by six states and several Catholic entities.
|By: David Dayen Monday June 18, 2012 7:15 pm|
Only heterogenous institutions that mark themselves as religiously affiliated, like Catholic hospitals and universities, institutions that have non-religious employees or followers of a different religion working there, would have to comply with the birth control insurance coverage under a preventive services regime, and even then, they wouldn’t have to be directly involved in the transaction. Even then, Catholic Hospitals, who seemed originally supportive of the rule have not said they oppose it.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday May 22, 2012 1:15 pm|
The Department of Health and Human Services instituted a rule from the Affordable Care Act that ensured all employer-provided health insurance plans would cover reproductive and preventive services with no co-pay. This included a wide range of preventive services and not just birth control. But religiously-affiliated institutions, mostly Catholic ones, objected, even though an accommodation place the mandate on insurers and not the institutions. Not satisfied, the institutions are suing HHS.