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"President Obama has said that [women] should be able to make decisions for themselves rather than their bosses deciding for them," he said. "As millions of women know, contraception is often vital to their well-being. We will work with Congress to make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage and vital health services as everyone else."
The Court ruling was about the provisions of specific law, the Affordable Care Act, and its interaction with another statute, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Because the decision is grounded in those statutes, and not the constitution, Congress can act to overcome this ruling. For their part, Senate Democrats are already exploring how to do just that, though they don't have specific ideas yet.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., signaled likewise in his own statement, without providing details.
“Today’s decision jeopardizes women’s access to essential health care. Employers have no business intruding in the private health care decisions women make with their doctors. This ruling ignores the scientific evidence showing that the health security of millions of American women is strengthened by access to these crucial services,” Reid said. “If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will. We will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.”
One option would be narrowing the RFRA, taking corporations out of its protection. Other options could expand contraceptive coverage or amend Obamacare in some way to circumvent this employer power. Here's a good option: single-payer coverage for contraceptives, or hell, single payer period. Worried about the slippery slope the Court just created for all kinds of creative objections to providing coverage corporations can come up with? Take away their control over health insurance.
Of course, none of this is going to happen with the Congress that we have. The good part of this terrible Court ruling is that it gave Democrats plenty of ammunition to make that point to voters. Speaking of voters, the vast majority of them is on the side of Democrats on this one.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM PDT.