How does the Supreme Court Ruling Impact the Affordable Care Act?

On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases that involve for-profit corporations. The Court agreed to hear a case from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family who claim that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates their company’s religious freedom. The Court also agreed to hear a case from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against the corporation and its owners, finding that Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, does not have religious rights.

The Supreme Court determined that for-profit corporations have protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In its June, 2014 ruling the Supreme Court of the United States determined that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violated RFRA  interpreting the “employer” as a “person” capable of religious belief. The Court also determined that the owners rights were violated by a government regulation imposed on the corporation. 

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, http://kff.org

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