Appeals Court Decision Is Latest Blow To Birth Control Mandate, Setting Up Possible Supreme Court Consideration

A divided federal appeals court on Friday ruled against the health law's requirement that businesses with 50 or more workers cover birth control in employee health plans.

Medpage Today: Court Strikes Down ACA’s Birth Control Mandate
In a ruling issued Friday, a federal appeals court struck down the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s mandate that businesses cover birth control in employees' health plans. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said requiring companies to cover employees' contraception was a violation of its owners' religious rights. The 2-1 decision marks another defeat for the mandate. … The plaintiff in this case, Sidney, Ohio-based Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, sued, seeking an injunction, a request denied by a lower court (Pittman, 11/1).

The Associated Press: Appeals Court Sides With Business Owners Who Challenged Health Care Law Contraceptive Mandate
A divided appeals court panel sided Friday with Ohio business owners who challenged the birth control mandate under the new federal health care law. The business owners are two brothers, Francis and Philip M. Gilardi, who own Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics of Sidney, Ohio., and challenged the mandate on religious grounds (11/4). 

Bloomberg: Obamacare Birth Control Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional
A requirement of President Barack Obama’s health-care law that group insurance plans cover contraceptives may violate religious freedom, a U.S. appeals court said, widening a split among the circuits and making it more probable the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue. A three-judge panel in Washington said a lower court was wrong to deny an injunction sought in a lawsuit by two brothers who are Catholic (Gullo, 11/2).

Roll Call: Contraception Case Adds Fuel To Senate’s ‘Nuclear Option’ Debate
A federal appeals court ruling Friday makes plain the reason that judicial nominations so often lead to chaos in the Senate: Like it or not, the courts affect policy. Indeed, just as Senate Democrats began gearing up for a renewed fight over confirming more liberal judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, that court handed down a ruling to invalidate the Obama administration’s requirement that health insurers pay for contraception (Lesniewski, 11/1).

CQ HealthBeat: Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Employer Challenging Contraception Mandate
The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that the health care law’s requirement that employers cover contraception violates the constitution’s religious freedom protections. The decision is one of several that sets up the case for a probable resolution by the Supreme Court (Adams, 11/1).

CNN: Appeals Court Strikes Down Obamacare Birth Control Mandate
In a ruling likely to set the stage for a battle in the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal appeals court has struck down an Obamacare mandate requiring some businesses to provide insurance coverage for birth control. A key provision of Affordable Care Act championed by President Obama requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide medical insurance and coverage for contraceptives and pregnancy-related care. The companies must provide the coverage or pay a substantial financial penalty (Clary, 11/2).

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