Federal Appeals Court Mulls Whether Businesses Can Be Exempt From Birth Control Mandate

The court is considering a case in which two brothers who own businesses in Ohio say the requirement to cover the cost of contraceptives to their employees would violate their Roman Catholic beliefs.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Judges Weigh Whether Businesses Can Be Exempt From Health Care Law’s Contraception Mandate
A federal appeals court is considering whether for-profit businesses can be exempted from a contraceptive mandate in the health care law because of the owners’ religious views. The law already exempts houses of worship from the requirement, but two brothers who own businesses in Ohio argue they shouldn’t have to comply. The brothers, Francis and Philip M. Gilardi, say the requirement would force them to violate their Roman Catholic religious beliefs and moral values by providing contraceptives such as the Plan B pill for their employees (9/24).

Politico: D.C. Court Skeptical Of Contraception Rule
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday expressed skepticism over the Obama administration’s claims that it can require nearly all employers to provide access to contraceptives in their employee health plans. The appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments on whether to allow an injunction blocking the policy — one of the most controversial provisions of Obamacare — for Francis and Philip Gilardi and their Freshway Foods produce company. It’s the latest in a series of lawsuits against the requirement that are now working their way through the court system and are expected to reach the Supreme Court (Haberkorn, 9/24).

In related news, nuns become the latest plaintiffs challenging the contraception rule -

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Nuns Challenge Obamacare's Contraception Rule
A public-interest law firm challenging the federal health law’s requirement that employers cover contraception in workers’ insurance plans has a new plaintiff: nuns. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal district court in Denver on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious order that operates homes with 13,000 poor elderly people (Radnofsky, 9/24).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.