MADIGAN JOINS COALITION CALLING ON COURT TO OVERTURN ROLL BACK OF CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE MANDATE
Amicus Brief Supports Lawsuit Seeking a Preliminary Injunction of the Final Rules
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined a coalition of state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit that seeks to stop the federal government from rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.
Madigan and the other attorneys general filed the amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania supporting a lawsuit filed by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The amicus brief asks the court to issue a national preliminary injunction stopping the federal government from implementing new regulations that authorize employers with a religious or moral objection to block their employees and their employees’ dependents from receiving insurance coverage for contraceptive care and services. Madigan has separately joined a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California seeking similar relief and that lawsuit is ongoing.
“Health care decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor – not by her employer or the government,” Madigan said. “Women should have coverage for contraception as part of their health care.”
Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, most employers who provide health insurance coverage to their employees have been required to include coverage for contraception, at no cost to the employee. As a result of the ACA, more than 55 million women in the U.S., including 2.4 million in Illinois, have access to a range of FDA-approved methods of birth control, including the longest-acting and most effective ones, with no out-of-pocket costs.
Madigan and the other attorneys general said in the amicus brief that the new regulations threaten the health, wellbeing, and the economic stability of hundreds of thousands of residents by depriving them of contraception coverage. As a result, states will be forced to spend millions of dollars to provide their residents with state-funded replacement contraceptive care and services. Madigan and the attorneys general further argue that the expanded religious exemption included in the final regulations will cause women in every single state to lose contraception coverage and thus the courts should impose a preliminary injunction.
“Access to contraception advances educational opportunity, workplace equality, and financial empowerment for women; improves the health of women and children; and reduces healthcare-related costs for individuals, families, and States,” the state attorneys general write in both briefs.
In December 2017, California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia secured a nationwide preliminary injunction that stopped implementation of interim final rules; the interim final rules and the current injunction will expire when the final rules take effect on January 14, 2019. Illinois joined that lawsuit in December 2018, and is currently seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the final rules from taking effect. In its lawsuit, Pennsylvania also successfully obtained a nationwide injunction of the interim final rules and is currently seeking to similarly enjoin the new final rules.
Joining Madigan in filing the amicus brief in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania were the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.