Has the administration found a way around conservative legal victories, or run afoul again?
The Obama Administration announced today that they’re once again changing the rules governing health care plans provided by religiously-oriented nonprofit organizations.
Via The Hill:
Under the rule, the government would step in and cover the law’s contraception requirements in instances where employers announce their religious objections in writing. The organizations would not have to play any direct role in providing for contraceptive coverage to which they object, according to sources familiar with the rule.
The rule had not formally been issued as of Friday afternoon.
The fix is in line with a suggestion put forth by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the high court ruling against the mandate in the case known as Hobby Lobby v. Burwell.
The new rule is posted in detail on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website:
Under the interim final regulations, an eligible organization may notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in writing of its religious objection to contraception coverage. HHS will then notify the insurer for an insured health plan, or the Department of Labor will notify the TPA for a self-insured plan, that the organization objects to providing contraception coverage and that the insurer or TPA is responsible for providing enrollees in the health plan separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for as long as they remain enrolled in the health plan.
The Administration has also published for comment proposed rules governing the way closely held corporations (like Hobby Lobby) will be required to interact with Obamacare’s contraception and preventative care regulations.
In a statement to the press, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gregory S. Baylor said:
“The government should not force religious organizations, family businesses, or individuals to be complicit in providing abortion pills to their employees or students. We will consult with our clients to determine how the government’s actions affect their sincere objections to the mandate. Notably, the administration has failed to extend its existing religious exemption to the religious owners of family businesses and to religious non-profits other than churches. That would have been the best way of respecting freedom for everyone.”
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