“The US Supreme Court issued its ruling in Little Sisters v. PennsylvaniaWednesday, holding theAffordable Care Act gives the Trump administration broad authority to grant exceptions to a federal regulation requiring employers to provide birth control coverage to their employees.
On the surface, Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion appears to be focused exclusively on birth control, and it also endorses a policy that could cease to exist in less than a year.
The immediate upshot of Little Sisters is to let standTrump administration rules allowing employers opposed to birth control to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. If presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden becomes president next year, however, his administration could repeal the Trump administration’s policy and implement a new policy more favorable to contraception coverage.
But dig just one inch below the surface of Justice Thomas’s opinion, and it has deeply radical implications: Little Sisters opens up a new front in the seemingly endless judicial war on Obamacare. And it gives Republicans a new weapon it can use to attack the landmark legislation President Obama signed more than a decade ago.
Thomas’s opinion does not simply allow the Trump administration to limit many individuals’ access to birth control, it could also allow courts to dismantle a key provision of Obamacare that ensures patients receive preventive care without having to pay out-of-pocket costs.”