Monday, January 14, 2019
New York Times (January 14, 2019): Judge Blocks Trump's Attempt to Roll Back Birth Control Mandate, by Matt Stevens:
Yesterday, a federal judge in Oakland issued a preliminary injunction preventing new rules that would allow employers to opt out of the ACA's contraceptive mandate from going into effect in 13 states and D.C. The new rules will go into effect in the other 37 states that were not party to the lawsuit.
Under the ACA, employers and insurers providing health care are required to cover preventative services, including FDA approved contraceptives, free of charge. The Obama Administration initially provided exemptions for churches and non-profit religious organizations. Following the Supreme Court's 2014 Hobby Lobby case, the exemptions were expanded to include privately held for profit corporations.
The regulations challenged by the lawsuit significantly broaden the scope of the exemptions by allowing all types of employers to opt out based on religious objection and all employers except publicly traded corporations to opt out based on moral objections. The judge issued the preliminary injunction based on a finding that the rules were not "in accordance with" the ACA.
The states that are party to the lawsuit are California,Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.