Democrats Introduce Legislation To Undo High Court's Hobby Lobby Decision

With only a limited calendar to work with, Democrats view this push as an important aspect of the  2014 congressional campaign.

Los Angeles Times: Congress Has Heavy Workload But Limited Time Before Summer Recess
And even as they face a series of time-sensitive votes, both parties continue to push symbolic legislation that has little hope of passage but appeals to their respective bases in an election year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), for example, told reporters Tuesday that he was committed to taking action in the Senate to address the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. That decision gave businesses owned by devout Christians the right to refuse to pay for insurance covering contraceptives for female employees (Memoli, 7/9).

Politico: Hill Democrats See Hobby Lobby Contraception Fight In 2014 Races
With an eye on the November elections, congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby contraception decision. Democrats and women’s health groups believe they have a powerful campaign weapon in pushing back on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that Hobby Lobby and other closely held for-profit companies don’t have to comply with the health law’s contraceptive coverage requirement if it violates the owners’ religious beliefs (Haberkorn, 7/9).

CBS News: Democrats Unveil Bill To Reverse Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling
Accusing the Supreme Court of turning a religious freedom law on its head and dragging down women's rights, a group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday introduced legislation that would reverse the court's recent ruling on health insurance coverage for birth control. "We are peddling back with this court as fast as they can take us to the 19th Century," Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said. "We don't want to go." Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that closely-held companies like Hobby Lobby don't have to follow the Obamacare mandate requiring large firms to help pay for their employees' birth control. Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., consequently introduced a bill that specifically bans for-profit employers from refusing to provide health coverage -- including contraceptive coverage -- guaranteed to their employees under federal law (Condon, 7/9).

Los Angeles Times: Sen. Mark Udall Skips Obama Colorado Visit To Focus On Women’s Issues
As Obama was on his way to deliver remarks on the economy in Denver’s Cheesman Park on Wednesday morning, Udall held a news conference in Washington with female senators and House members to announce a new bill that would bar employers from denying contraceptive coverage. In a direct appeal to women voters, who could be the most crucial swing voters in Colorado's Senate race this year, Udall has made contraceptive coverage a central issue in his campaign (Reston, 7/9).

Denver Post: Colorado Democrat Joins Fight Of Hobby Lobby Decision
On the heels of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, another Colorado Democrat is backing legislation to combat the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision. U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is co-sponsoring a companion bill to one Udall announced Tuesday that would prohibit for-profit employers from citing religious beliefs to deny health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Neither DeGette nor Udall's bills stand good chances of becoming law in the current Congress (Santus, 7/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major 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.