The White House today disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling against the government in Hobby Lobby v Sebelius, saying it endangers women and calling for Congress to “take action” to address the decision.
The Court found this morning that “closely held” companies cannot be forced to provide free contraception coverage for women, as required under Obamacare.
From today’s White House briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest:
Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women employed by these companies . . .
We will work with Congress to make sure that any women affected by the is decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else . . .
We believe the owners of for-profit companies should not be allowed to assert their personal religious views to deny their employees federally mandated benefits.
Now, we will of course respect the Supreme Court ruling and will continue to look for ways to improve Americans’ health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.
Earnest said the White House was not yet ready to outline what steps President Obama might take unilaterally.
We’re still assessing the decision and it’s legal implications. We’re also assessing what practical implications there are from this decision, including what companies are actually covered by this Supreme Court decision . . .
We’re also taking a look at what kind of health care plans these companies have and how many employees are actually affected by this decision. So as we gather some more information, we may be in a position to better consider the range of options that are available to the president.
There has been speculation that the White House will establish some kind of federal regulation to force taxpayers to cover birth control measures if companies refuse to.