Congressional Democrats Push Legislation To Override Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., are expected to advance a bill Wednesday that would prevent companies from using a religious freedom law to avoid complying with the health law's contraception coverage mandate.
The New York Times: Democrats Push Bill To Reverse Supreme Court Ruling On Contraceptives
Democrats in Congress said Tuesday that they had developed legislation to override the Supreme Court decision on contraceptives. The bill would ensure that women had access to insurance coverage for birth control even if they worked for businesses that had religious objections (Pear, 7/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Democrats Line Up Challenge To Supreme Court's Contraception Ruling
Senate Democrats plan to push back against the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision last week with legislation designed to restore employers' responsibility to provide contraception coverage under the health law. Sens. Patty Murray of Washington and Mark Udall of Colorado are expected to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to prevent companies from relying on a religious freedom law to avoid complying with the Affordable Care Act's requirement to cover all forms of contraception approved by the government without charging workers a copayment (Petersen and Crittenden, 7/8).
Denver Post: Udall Co-sponsoring Bill To Override Hobby Lobby Decision
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is co-sponsoring a bill that would override the Supreme Court's decision last week in the Hobby Lobby case. The bill, which is being drafted and would have little chance of becoming law in the current Congress, would ban employers from refusing to provide any health coverage, including contraceptives, guaranteed under the federal Affordable Care Act. Udall is co-sponsoring the bill with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Udall and Murray are asking Senate leadership to expedite the bill, said Mike Saccone, Udall's spokesman. If the Senate passes the bill, it would face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House (Phillips, 7/8).
In other legislative news from Capitol Hill -
Politico: House GOP Stuck On Obamacare Replacement
The repeal part of their “repeal and replace” promise was easy; the House has voted dozens of times to repeal or defund all or some of the law since its passage in 2010. It’s the replace part that’s a challenge. Republicans are divided over whether they should commit to a specific plan before November — and precisely what policies a GOP health bill should include (Winfield Cunningham, 7/8).
And, on the topic of the health law -
The Fiscal Times: Why Obamacare As We Know It May Not Survive
Obamacare could take another spin in front of the Supreme Court – with vastly uncertain consequences. Harvard legal scholar Laurence H. Tribe warned Tuesday of a “very high risk” that a crucial aspect of Obamacare – its government subsidies provision – could fall victim to a major legal challenge being mounted by conservatives. ... As early as this week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. may rule on a suit claiming that only those people who signed up for coverage through the 14-state insurance marketplaces are entitled to receive subsidies. ... “It looks like the panel is quite divided over what to do with what might [have been] an inadvertent error in the legislation or might have been quite deliberate,” Tribe said. “But it’s very specific that only people that go onto a state exchange are eligible for the subsidies. And if that becomes the ultimate holding of the U.S. Supreme Court, where this is likely to end up – that’s going to have massive practical implications for the administrability of Obamacare.” ... “I don’t have a crystal ball,” Tribe said in discussing the law’s chances should it reach the Supreme Court for yet another critical review. “But I wouldn’t bet the family farm on this coming out in a way that preserves Obamacare” (Pianin, 7/8).