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Democrats Fast-Track Bill To Override Hobby Lobby Decision

Posted by on Jul. 8, 2014 at 11:50 PM
  • 74 Replies
2 moms liked this

Democrats Fast-Track Bill To Override Hobby Lobby Decision

Posted: Updated: 

Senate Democrats are expediting legislation that would override the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case and compel for-profit employers to cover the full range of contraception for their employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, which is co-authored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would ban for-profit companies from refusing to cover any federally guaranteed health benefits for religious reasons, including all 20 forms of contraception detailed in the Affordable Care Act. It would preserve the contraception mandate's current exemption for churches and accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, such as certain hospitals and schools.

A Senate aide told HuffPost that the bill will be introduced Wednesday morning and will go directly to the Senate floor as early as next week, without being considered in committee.

"The U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives. Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services," Udall said in a statement. "My common-sense proposal will keep women's private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn't be able to dictate what is best for you and your family."

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last week that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft supply stores, from having to cover birth control in their health insurance plans if they morally object to it. Hobby Lobby's evangelical owners object to covering four out of the 20 forms of contraception listed in the Affordable Care Act because they believe those methods are akin to abortion.

Murray and Udall's bill would override the Supreme Court's decision and state that no federal law, including RFRA, permits for-profit employers to refuse to comply with federal health coverage requirements. The senators worked with the Obama administration, other Democratic lawmakers and reproductive rights advocates to draft the legislation.

“Your health care decisions are not your boss’ business,” Murray said on Tuesday. “Since the Supreme Court decided it will not protect women’s access to health care, I will.”

Even if the bill passes the Senate, it is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. But Democrats hope it will at least make senators go on record supporting or opposing universal birth control coverage.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed to bring the measure up "sooner rather than later," and force opponents to vote on it before the current Senate work period ends in early August.

"This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous," Reid said Wednesday in a Capitol Hill news conference just off the Senate floor. "People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they are going to be treated unfavorably come November with the elections."

UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. -- Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Diana Degette (D-Colo.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) will introduce the companion bill in the House.

“This bill will ensure that employee access to critical health services is not at the mercy of their bosses’ religious beliefs,” the lawmakers said in a statement. “Congress never intended to allow corporate employers to block employee access to critical preventive services like birth control."

by on Jul. 8, 2014 at 11:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jul. 8, 2014 at 11:58 PM
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I'm interested in seeing where this goes.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jul. 8, 2014 at 11:59 PM
2 moms liked this
I'll be interested to see what happens in the House.
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Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 12:01 AM
It's not going anywhere in the House.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom: I'll be interested to see what happens in the House.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 12:39 AM
Stranger things have happened. ;-)

Quoting Donna6503: It's not going anywhere in the House.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom: I'll be interested to see what happens in the House.
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poietes
by Bronze Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 1:21 AM
6 moms liked this
And I remember just what 9 months ago all the dems were screaming, "it's the law now, deal with it" but when it's a law they don't like then it's ok.
..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Jul. 9, 2014 at 1:38 AM
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It's not the law, though. It's an exception to the law. Based on the ruling that corporations are people and thus have religious rights. Which is BAD.

Quoting poietes: And I remember just what 9 months ago all the dems were screaming, "it's the law now, deal with it" but when it's a law they don't like then it's ok.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 5:57 AM
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The SCOTUS didnt make a law

Quoting poietes: And I remember just what 9 months ago all the dems were screaming, "it's the law now, deal with it" but when it's a law they don't like then it's ok.
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snookyfritz
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:18 AM
1 mom liked this

The people who clamored for corporate personhood have won a very big victory.  

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM
Actually, the ruling wasn't made in that fashion.

Basically, Congress passed a law twenty years ago; RFRA, the religious freedom restoration act, which stated a corporation could exempt itself from such governmental orders stated from the ACA.

It was a narrow ruling and decision and the court really didn't address the point you made.

Quoting ..MoonShine..: It's not the law, though. It's an exception to the law. Based on the ruling that corporations are people and thus have religious rights. Which is BAD.

Quoting poietes: And I remember just what 9 months ago all the dems were screaming, "it's the law now, deal with it" but when it's a law they don't like then it's ok.
momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:46 AM
5 moms liked this

I think the bill won't pass and is a timewaster.  

Congress does need to do something about the corporate personhood issue, but this isn't it.  

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