Michigan company's legal fight against Obamacare goes on

Jul 1, 2014

A Michigan company’s legal fight against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception requirement will likely continue, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar case Monday.

The U.S> Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
The U.S> Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. 

Hobby Lobby challenged the law, which the company’s attorneys argued violated the Christian beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owners.

The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

The White House is looking into how many women could be affected by the decision. A White House spokesman says Congress should take action to assist women affected by the decision.

M.K. Chambers is a manufacturing company based in North Branch. The company’s Catholic owners also sued to keep the Affordable Care Act from forcing them to pay for their employees’ contraception coverage. Chambers was suing to have the entire contraception requirement dropped. The Hobby Lobby case only applied to a portion of the requirement.

Chambers' attorney Daniel Chapman says the Michigan company’s fight will likely continue. 

He says Monday’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case is definitely "favorable" to their position. But Chapman expects the Obama Administration will still try to make businesses pay for contraception coverage.

“So it’s an end run that’s being done by Health and Human Services to still accomplish the very same thing that our client finds so objectionable,” says Chapman. 

Chapman expects it will be several years before the Supreme Court decides the issue.