The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a challenge to part of the health care reform law from companies claiming a religious exemption to the requirement that they provide birth control coverage for employees.
In late November, the justices agreed to hear two cases involving family run businesses, including Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, an employer of approximately 1,000. While the companies see the administration’s mandate as an attack on religious freedom, the Obama administration is relying on pre-1990 decisions that treated the Constitution’s free-exercise clause as covering only individuals and non-profit religious groups and not for-profit corporations. The court has said it will rule by July.
In a related lower court case, a federal judge in New York recently ruled that a group of Catholic health and educational organizations don’t have to comply with the ACA requirement to provide their employees with contraception coverage.
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In cooperation with NAEBA