NY Congresswoman Says ACA Requirement Should Stand

Dec 4, 2013

Credit 401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

One of New York’s congressional representatives is calling on the nation’s highest court to turn away challenges to a health-plan requirement to offer birth control.

Hudson Valley Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, is urging the Supreme Court to protect comprehensive coverage of women's health services required under the law. This comes after the Supreme Court last week announced it will take up challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that for-profit corporations include contraception coverage in employee insurance plans.

She adds:

Matt Bowman sees it differently.

He’s an attorney with Washington, D.C.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the Hahns, a Mennonite family that owns Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties - one of the corporations challenging the requirement.

Again, Congresswoman Lowey.

Bowman dismisses that argument.

Lowey, who represents all of Rockland County and portions of Westchester, notes the Affordable Care Act requires employers to include coverage of all forms of FDA-approved contraception in their employees' health plans, with no co-pays. 

The second case coming before the Supreme Court was brought by Hobby Lobby, a national chain store owned by the Green family. The Greens’ and their business’ court challenge is based on four drugs and devices they say potentially terminate life, and thus conflict with their Christian faith. The Green family says it has no moral objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved drugs and devices that are part of the federal mandate.

Reina Schiffrin is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic in Westchester County.

Lowey points out that, earlier this year, the Obama Administration acted to ensure that no church or similar religious institution will be forced to provide contraception coverage, and has made an accommodation for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds.