BREAKING: Supreme Court Ruling Weakens Obamacare
In a victory for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 that private businesses may have religious exemption from providing contraceptive insurance coverage. This ruling overturns a lower court ruling that suggested it was unconstitutional to provide exemptions to the Affordable Care Act in regards to religious beliefs. Today's ruling includes not only small private businesses, but also large corporations that are publicly traded.
This ruling also comes as a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic religious order for women, as they worked alongside the Trump administration to bring this case before the Supreme Court. The main concern of both parties being the upholding of religious liberties under the ACA.
In the majority opinion, Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas wrote:
"For the past seven years, they [the Little Sisters] -- like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today's decision -- have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs,"
"After two decisions from this Court and multiple failed regulatory attempts, the Federal Government has arrived at a solution that exempts the Little Sisters from the source of their complicity-based concerns -- the administratively imposed contraceptive mandate."
In the dissenting opinion, Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote:
"Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree,"
"This Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer's insurer, and, absent another available source of funding to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets,"
According to the National Women's Law Center, 61.4 million women in the United States have contraceptive coverage with no out-of-pocket cost. The federal government has estimated that this ruling will cause 75,000 to 125,000 women to lose contraceptive coverage.
As of now, [based on representation in congress] 20 states support this decision in favor of the Trump administration and the Little Sisters of the Poor. 20 other states and the District of Columbia dissent.
Today's ruling does not apply to government funded or mandated jobs.
Isaac Cary is a Breaking News Correspondent for The National Times.