The U.S. Supreme Court justices said Friday they would hear a group of cases brought by religious hospitals, schools, and charities that object to the system devised under Obamacare to spare them from paying for birth control coverage for their employees and students.
NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports:
“To accommodate religious groups that object to contraception, the Obama administration promulgated regulations that allow religious non-profits to opt out of birth control coverage by notifying the Department of Health and Human Services of their religious objection. That in turn triggers an independent system of birth control coverage for those employees or students who want it. A variety of religious non-profits contend that the opt-out notification itself burdens their religious faith. The Obama administration counters that the refusal to notify would amount to a religious believer’s veto of the rights of others who do not hold the same beliefs.”
The decision to hear yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act — the fourth since 2010 — follows a 2014 decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which allowed “closely held” companies to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.
Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts chain owned by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Supreme Court validated their objection to the contraception mandate saying it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.