SCOTUS Issues Second Hit to Contraceptive Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an injunction allowing Wheaton (Ill.) College, a nonprofit Christian college, to stop providing contraception under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to bypass filing a form with its insurer asserting its religious objections for doing so.

A nonprofit religious organization with religious objections to covering contraceptive services is exempt from the contraceptive mandate of the PPACA as long as they list their objections in "EBSA Form 700." After the form is completed, the religious organization's health insurance company arranges for contraceptive services to be provided to the organization's female employees free of charge.

Wheaton College filed an application for an emergency injunction, which contended completing the form and sending it to its health insurer makes the college "complicit in grave moral evil," because the college would be authorizing the insurer to pay for the contraceptives. 

The Supreme Court's majority said Wheaton College did not have to fill out EBSA Form 700. As a result, the college's employees will not have the option of receiving free contraceptives from the college's insurer.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan filed a 17-page dissent to the opinion. The dissenting justices said the order was at odds with the order the court previously issued in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which was a case that involved for-profit corporations. "Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word," Justice Sotomayor wrote. "Not so today."

More Articles on Supreme Court Decisions in Healthcare:

5 Things to Know About the Supreme Court Review of the PPACA Contraceptive Mandate
AHA Urges Supreme Court to Bar Excessive False Claims Act Penalties
Supreme Court Sides with FTC in Phoebe Putney Case

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