June 30, 2014

Breaking News: SCOTUS Rules Today in Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al., the Federal Government cannot require closely held corporations to provide contraceptive health insurance coverage if such coverage violates the corporations’ religious beliefs.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires specified employer-sponsored group health plans to provide preventive care and screenings for women without any cost sharing requirements. However, Congress delegated to the Executive Branch the responsibility for promulgating regulations implementing this provision of the ACA.

The case arose after the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), proposed regulations which exempted religious organizations but not for-profit businesses. Hobby Lobby, organized under Oklahoma state law, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, organized under Pennsylvania state law, are for-profit corporations. The owners alleged that the regulations violated their religious beliefs.

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