Mary Agnes Carey and Stuart Taylor, Kaiser Health News
"By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court has ruled that family-owned, closely held corporations do not have to comply with the health law’s contraception coverage requirements if they violate the owner’s religious views. Legal analyst Stuart Taylor Jr. joins us now to discuss the decision. Thanks for being with us.
STUART TAYLOR: Nice to be with you.
MARY AGNES CAREY: Why did the court rule this way?
STUART TAYLOR: Well, the court held that under an act of Congress passed in 1993, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the right is conferred on all religious groups, including, the court said in this case for the first time, for-profit corporations as well as churches and, say, nonprofit religious groups -- they all get broad protection of their religious freedoms."
"The Supreme Court today rang a victory bell for religious freedom as it ruled 5-4 that “HHS’s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion” of three closely held companies – Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and Mardel.
The companies objected to the Obama administration’s mandate that they must provide, at no cost to their employees, coverage for products that can terminate life in the womb, violating their religious beliefs."
Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News
"The Supreme Court’s decision on contraceptives and employer health plans could affect companies and workers far beyond Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs.
But nobody seems to know how far.
The ruling applies to “closely held for-profit corporations,” a small subset of employers, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority. But in a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggests the impact will be far broader.
“Although the court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private,” she said."
Senate Finance Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee minority staffs
"From the beginning, the Obama Administration made it clear that a critical part of the success
of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was offering insurance to uninsured
individuals through a modern website that was simple and easy to use. To that end, the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing the HealthCare.gov
website (website) to make it the showcase of PPACA, since it would be the first tangible
product the American public would associate with the law. Both metaphorically and factually,
the website was designed to be the public face of President Obama’s signature achievement.
However, the Obama Administration failed to task any one individual or entity within HHS or
CMS with ensuring the success of the public face of Obamacare.
In the four years since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we have heard a wide range of speculative predictions about how private employers sponsoring health coverage would respond. More recent evidence from one of the oldest and largest annual surveys of employer plans, by human resources consulting firm Mercer, provides stronger indications that employer sponsors are neither heading for the exit doors nor sitting by passively as broader implementation of Obamacare unfolds.
Sarah Wheaton, Politico
"About 5 percent of Americans who were uninsured last year got coverage in 2014, and more than half of those — about 2.8 percent of the population — obtained their plan through an Obamacare exchange, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. The poll, taken after the close of the first enrollment season, pegged the uninsured rate at more than 13 percent."
Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
"While an unprecedented 6 million people have gained Medicaid coverage since September, mostly as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1.7 million more are still waiting for their applications to be processed—with some stuck in limbo for as long as eight months, according to officials in 15 large states."
Electa Draper, The Denver Post
"The board of Connect for Health Colorado will consider Monday whether to begin charging insurance carriers $1.25 a month for each policy on their books to generate more than $13 million for the state health exchange."
Laura Ungar, USA Today
"It wasn't supposed to work this way, but since the Affordable Care Act took effect in January, Norton Hospital has seen its packed emergency room become even more crowded, with about 100 more patients a month.
That 12 percent spike in the number of patients — many of whom aren't actually facing true emergencies — is spurring the Louisville hospital to convert a waiting room into more exam rooms."
Louise Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal
"The federal health-care law was intended to create a uniform standard of health coverage across the U.S. But the law also is creating opportunities for states to pursue their own solutions."