Last year, the Supreme Court allowed private corporations to opt-out of the Obamacare contraceptive mandate if the company owners found that the benefit violated their religious beliefs.
The ruling was broad in the allowance the high court made as it did not require the religious beliefs of the objecting business owner to ascribe to a defined set of teachings. This means that a business owner can object to offering contraceptives through their health plan to employees even if their declared religion does not object to the use of contraceptives. It was a victory for the freedom of religion.
At the same time, the court ruled as it did because employees would not be denied the benefit. It would simply have to come about from means other than the employer sponsored health insurance. Recently, the Obama administration issued a new regulation which essentially codifies this approach. Business owners objecting to the Obamacare mandate for contraceptives may simply notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in writing. At that point, HHS will work with local insurers to ensure women wanting contraceptives will be able to obtain them.
Still, some on the left view the Obama administration ruling as abrogating the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. It does nothing of the sort. Business owners may still opt out of the contraceptive mandate as allowed by the high court. Some on the left believe the Obama ruling prevents states from expanding the Hobby Lobby ruling. It does not. The Supreme Court did that themselves when they recently struck down challenges to the HHS regulation requiring written notice.