Trump administration broadens exemptions on contraception

On Friday, officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the agency was proposing to broaden those narrow religious exemptions to include moral exemptions for both non-profit and profit companies.

Trump administration broadens exemptions on contraception

By Sarah N. Lynch and Caroline Humer

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday made several targeted moves to circumvent the mandate under Obamacare that health insurance provide birth control.

Officials said they would broadening exemptions to include public companies, following through on a long-held promise by Republican President Donald Trump.

Trump in May signed an executive order asking for rules that would allow religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to deny their employees insurance coverage for services they oppose on religious grounds.

On Friday, officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the agency was proposing to broaden those narrow religious exemptions to include moral exemptions for both non-profit and profit companies.

Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, employers are required to provide health insurance that covers birth control, but religious houses of worship are exempted. Some private businesses sued regarding their rights to circumvent such coverage, and the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that they could object to the rule on religious grounds.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups said earlier this year they would challenge the Trump administration if it proposed such a rule.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by David Gregorio)

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