Another Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare contraception mandate
For the fourth time, Obamacare is going before the Supreme Court, this time to decide if forcing religious nonprofit groups to provide contraception against their beliefs is constitutional.
The case represents yet another trip for the Affordable Care Act before the justices since the law's passage more than five years ago — and this one could represent another Obamacare-Supreme Court flash point in an election year. But unlike some of the earlier Obamacare challenges, a ruling against the administration would not cripple the legislation. The law's major provisions, such as the health insurance exchanges, the subsidies and Medicaid expansion, would be unaffected.
The justices combined seven similar cases from groups that include the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns that runs nursing homes. Their lawsuit has received the most media attention of any of the birth control cases.
By accepting so many of the challenges, the court is giving a significant amount of attention to the case.
The challenge is very similar to the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court heard in 2014. The justices ruled last year that the law’s contraception coverage requirement violated for-profit businesses’ rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This suit, however, deals with how groups with some religious ties — such as Catholic service groups or evangelical colleges — have to comply with the birth control rule.
This would appear to be a no-brainer, except that's the problem with the Obama administration and at least four Supreme Court justices when it comes to exempting religious groups from the contraception mandate. What part of "religious freedom" don't they understand?
The administration contend they have a perfectly good workaround – someone else purchases the insurance while the religious groups offer it to their employees. It is typical of liberals that they fail to understand the notion of a "conscience" – that the act of being forced to offer the insurance, regardless of who pays for it, is what violates the religious tenets of the groups.
You would think that if for-profit businesses get relief from the mandate, non-profits would, too. But with this bunch sitting on the high court, nothing should be assumed or taken for granted.