The Supreme Court will hear its fourth dispute regarding President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Associated Press reported Friday. The latest case challenging the 5-year-old healthcare overhaul, commonly called Obamacare, involves objections from faith-based hospitals, colleges and charities regarding a process they say forces the groups to be complicit in making contraceptives available, which they say violates their religious beliefs.
The Obama administration devised a process that spares faith-based hospitals, colleges and charities from paying for contraceptives for women who are covered by their healthcare plans, but still ensures those women can get birth control at no additional cost. The indirect process allows for a protocol in which the religious groups inform their insurer of their objection, and the insurer, in turn, provides the coverage directly at its own expense, according to Politico.
The religious groups argue that this violates their religious beliefs by forcing them to participate in a process that could result in their employees' receiving birth control. The Obama administration has countered that it puts no burden on the groups' beliefs.
The Supreme Court justices combined seven similar cases involving a number of groups, one of which being the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns. Seven of eight federal appeals courts have agreed with the Obama administration, with just the one in St. Louis ruling that religious groups might have a right to refuse to comply with the rules. The case is expected to be argued in late March.