The Supreme Court will take another crack at Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
The court agreed Friday to hear another lawsuit challenging the birth-control requirement, this one filed by religious nonprofits. Roughly two years after the Court rolled back the contraception mandate in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, the nonprofits say the court needs to go a step further.
The contraception mandate isn’t particularly intertwined with the rest of Obamacare, so another ruling against it wouldn’t threaten the law as a whole. But the provision has become a political lightning rod, pitting women’s-health advocates against religious organizations.
And Friday’s decision to hear the contraception case might only be the beginning. The Court is widely expected to take up an abortion case later this term—setting the stage for high-profile rulings on both abortion and contraception, just months before the 2016 elections.
The contraception mandate
Obamacare requires most employers to cover certain preventive services in their employees’ health care plans, without cost-sharing like a co-pay or deductible. And, based on the recommendation of an expert scientific panel, the Health and Human Services Department included all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives in the definition of preventive services.