Judge halts Trump administration's weakening of Obamacare's contraceptive mandate

A California federal district court judge halted the Trump administration's weakening of Obamacare's contrac...

Posted: Jan 14, 2019 11:11 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2019 11:11 AM

A California federal district court judge halted the Trump administration's weakening of Obamacare's contraceptive mandate Sunday, a day before the new rules were to take effect.

The injunction, however, only applies in the coalition of 13 Democratic states, plus the District of Columbia, that brought the lawsuit.

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In his ruling, Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr., said the states "face potentially dire public health and fiscal consequences from the implementation of the Final Rules."

He noted the states would have to contend with increased costs from providing contraceptive care in clinics to their residents and from a higher rate of unintended pregnancies. Meanwhile, eligible entities can still avail themselves of exemptions or seek accommodations to the mandate.

"The law couldn't be clearer -- employers have no business interfering in women's healthcare decisions," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the group. "Today's court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women's access to basic reproductive care."

Lawyers for California and Pennsylvania appeared in separate district courts last week to challenge the Trump administration's rules, which would allow more employers to get exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring them to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives with no co-pay.

A spokesman for Pennsylvania's attorney general did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday on the status of that case.

The rules are scheduled to take effect in the states not part of the lawsuit on January 14.

The first one would allow non-profit and for-profit employers, including publicly traded companies, to receive an exemption based on their religious beliefs. The second would let all but public companies obtain an exemption based on moral objections. Government employers cannot request exemptions.

The changes are part of the Trump administration's efforts to roll back regulations that conflict with some Americans' religious beliefs. The alterations to the contraceptive mandate's exemptions were first unveiled in the fall of 2017, and final rules were issued in November.

Under the Obama administration, a fairly limited number of employers -- mainly churches and some other religious entities -- could get an exemption.

Some others, such as religious-based universities or hospitals, could seek accommodations so that they didn't have to provide coverage, but their workers could still get contraceptives paid for by the insurer or the employer plan's administrator.

Democratic-led states successfully challenged the Trump administration's interim rules in federal district court. Pennsylvania won a nationwide injunction in late 2017, blocking the effort. California, which led a coalition of blue states, also won its effort to halt the interim rules, though an appellate court recently limited its scope to the five states that brought the lawsuit.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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The humidity ramps up a bit more into Friday morning, and so will the heat. Temperatures will heat up a little more with heat index values climbing even more. There could be an isolated afternoon shower in spots, though most will stay dry. Rain chances increase some into the weekend as a tropical system approaches. But it now appears that many areas may dodge the heaviest rain.
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