The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Health Care Reform Law, has been and continues to be the target of much debate since the federal statute was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
Most recently, for-profit corporations with religious objections have fought to opt out of a part of the law that requires them to provide healthcare for their employees that covers all forms of contraception at no cost. The sticking point for the companies that brought the case was the emergency contraceptives, like Plan B. The companies claimed their religious beliefs prohibit them from providing health coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices that end human life after conception.
The question before the United States Supreme Court was, do for-profit companies have a right to exercise religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled this week (June 30, 2013) that closely-held, profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law and opt out of the requirement to cover contraceptives if they have religious objections.
We will provide more information to further explain this decision and the potential ramifications, in the coming weeks.