The Supreme Court ruled against a cornerstone of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, giving a victory to the Little Sisters of the Poor and the pro-life movement nationwide.
Since the passage of the ACA, the Little Sisters of the Poor have challenged the part of the law that requires employers to pay for birth control. The religious group said this mandate went against their first amendment right of freedom of religion. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that required the Department of Health and Human Services to issue rules that protected employers, and especially religious groups, from having to provide contraceptives through Obamacare. These new rules were immediately challenged by the left, and the Little Sisters of the Poor found their case back at the Supreme Court. The 7-2 decision today, however, has put the year long battle to rest. Religious groups, because of the first amendment, will be exempt from Obamacare’s Contraception Mandate.
Why this matters: Republicans and conservatives have been working every angle they possibly have to reverse the Affordable Care Act, or at least take apart some of the law’s most overreaching mandates on Americans’ liberty. President Trump, through his signature tax legislation, revoked the individual mandate, which required a person over the age of 25 to pay a fine if they did not sign up for Obamacare. Now, his administration is arguing the law should be overturned because it does not have one of its most basic features to require its success. The Little Sisters of the Poor’s victory is another example of the courts dismantling the healthcare law. While repeal and replace Obamacare is a signature Republican campaign promise, if President Trump wins in November, it might actually become a reality.