Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Reform
On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled, by a vote of 5 to 4, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could not force closely held businesses to cover the cost of contraceptives in an employee's benefit plan if the company has religious objections to birth control. PPACA regulations did require insurance plans to cover preventative health services for women, which included all 20 contraceptive products approved by the FDA as defined by the Institute of Medicine.
The successful lawsuit brought by Hobby Lobby of Oklahoma City and Conestoga Wood Specialists of East Earl, P.A., does not specifically threaten other components of PPACA. This decision did not decide other cases, including those brought by religious organizations that can currently opt out of providing contraceptive coverage. However, it will continue to fuel challenges to the legislation and may impact many legal challenges pending court decisions across the country.