Chad’s Morning Brief: Obamacare Back at the Supreme Court, Obama Wants New Rules for Political Nonprofits, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of November 27, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Obamacare Back at the Supreme Court
Should private businesses be forced to provide insurance that covers contraception for it's employees? According to FOX News, that is the debate that the Supreme Court will take a look at.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear another challenge to President Obama's health care law -- this time on the so-called contraception mandate.
The justices announced Tuesday that they will take up the long-running dispute over whether businesses can use religious objections to avoid a requirement in the law to cover birth control for employees. Despite the 2012 high court ruling that upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, dozens of lawsuits have continued to proceed from companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception.
The matter has divided the lower courts. The Supreme Court could consider the challenge as early as March.
The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby, owned by founder David Green and his family, won in the lower courts.
"This is a major step for the Greens and their family businesses in an important fight for Americans' religious liberty," said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which is representing Hobby Lobby. "We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will clarify once and for all that religious freedom in our country should be protected for family business owners like the Greens."
The other case being considered is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected that company's claims.
The announcement from the high court comes as the president's signature domestic policy achievement is weathering a storm of criticism, over the troubled insurance website and a wave of policy cancellations.
The White House put out a statement Tuesday defending the requirement that employers offer access to contraception coverage.
"The health care law puts women and families in control of their health care by covering vital preventive care, like cancer screenings and birth control, free of charge," the statement said. "We believe this requirement is lawful and essential to women's health and are confident the Supreme Court will agree."
The statement noted that the administration already tried to accommodate religious organizations, with a change last year that would have insurers sell those policies directly to their employees. But some groups said the change doesn't go far enough. And non-religious organizations were also left out of the arrangement.
Insurance used to be considered a benefit in this country. Now, the left treats it as though having health insurance that covers every little thing is your right. No one forced these employees to work at Hobby Lobby. If they don't like the insurance they have, they can leave and find a job elsewhere. Hobby Lobby and other businesses should not be forced to pay for contraception.
President Obama yesterday decided to take on political nonprofit groups. According to Politico, the administration wants to limit how much nonprofits give to candidates.
In an aggressive move designed to crack down on free-spending outside political groups, the Obama administration is proposing strict new rules curtailing nonprofits like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA.
The draft proposal, released Tuesday by the Treasury Department, would keep so-called social welfare 501(c)(4) nonprofits from getting a tax exemption if they engage in too much “candidate related” political activity.
The groups were at the heart of this summer’s scandal over Internal Revenue Service targeting of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax exemptions.
The proposal is the first major response to a Treasury inspector general report in May blasting the IRS for added scrutiny of tea party conservative groups seeking tax exemption — a major scandal that led President Barack Obama to fire the acting IRS commissioner and other officials to exit the agency.
The inspector general report recommended the IRS tighten its rules.
The new regulations would affect a broad swath of political nonprofit groups that have come to play an outsized and influential role in federal elections.
Crossroads, founded by George W. Bush adviser Rove, along with its sister super PAC together spent $325 million in 2011 and 2012 against Obama and Senate Democrats. Priorities, set up by former Obama aide Bill Burton, raised $10.7 million in the 2012 cycle.
Dozens of these political nonprofits have used 501(c)(4) tax status as a way to shield their donors.
This of course is a move aimed at Republicans and comes after Obama won reelection with the help of some of these groups.
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