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Administrative Action

  • Trump Administration Rolls Back Birth Control Mandate New York Times by Robert Pear, Rebecca R. Ruiz, and Laurie Goodstein — The Trump administration on Friday moved to expand the rights of employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception and issued sweeping guidance on religious freedom that critics said could also erode civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The twin actions, by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department, were meant to carry out a promise issued by President Trump five months ago, when he declared in the Rose Garden that "we will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore." Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted those words in issuing guidance to federal agencies and prosecutors, instructing them to take the position in court that workers, employers and organizations may claim broad exemptions from nondiscrimination laws on the basis of religious objections.

  • California Suing Trump Administration Over Rollback of Birth Control Rule Huffington Post by Mollie Reilly —  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday he has filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end insurance coverage requirements for birth control. Becerra’s suit comes hours after Trump’s administration announced a new rule that will allow all employers to opt out of including birth control in their health care plans, rolling back an Obama-era mandate that guaranteed 62 million women access to contraception at no cost. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar suit Friday, also arguing the rules violate the Establishment and Equal Protection clauses.

  • How Trump Is Planning to Gut Obamacare by Executive Order Vox by Dylan Scott — With a repeal bill off the table, the Trump administration has drafted an executive order that could blow a huge hole in the Affordable Care Act, according to a source with direct knowledge of the plan. The order would, in effect, exempt many association health plans, groups of small businesses that pool together to buy health insurance, from core Obamacare requirements like the coverage of certain essential health benefits. It would potentially allow individuals to join these plans too, which would put individual insurance marketplaces in serious peril by drawing younger and healthier people away from them. The draft order is also said to broaden the definition of short-term insurance, which is also exempt from the law’s regulations.

  • Even Red States Feel Left in the Lurch by the Trump Administration's Management of Health Care Los Angeles Times by Noam Levey — As it works to roll back the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is letting crucial state health initiatives languish, frustrating a growing number of state leaders, including several from solidly Republican states. Last week, Oklahoma's health secretary sent a blistering letter to senior administration officials, taking them to task for failing to approve a plan state officials drew up to protect their consumers from large rate hikes. Health officials in other states say the federal health agency for months provided little help as they tried to plan for the expiration of federal funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Money for the program, which covers nearly 9 million children, has begun to lapse because Congress failed to hit a deadline of Sept. 30 to renew the program, something lawmakers still hope to accomplish this year.

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