Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenges Trump’s ‘tossing to the wind’ of Obamacare access to contraceptives – from hospital

Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenges Trump’s ‘tossing to the wind’ of Obamacare access to contraceptives – from hospital


Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenges Trump’s ‘tossing to the wind’ of Obamacare access to contraceptives – from hospital

Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenges Trump’s ‘tossing to the wind’ of Obamacare access to contraceptives – from hospital

Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenges Trump’s ‘tossing to the wind’ of Obamacare access to contraceptives – from hospital 1

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenged president Donald Trump’s attempts to modify the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive access, from her hospital bed.

Ms Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, on Tuesday, and underwent treatment on a benign gallbladder condition.

A statement from the court confirmed “that she was suffering from a gallstone that had migrated to her cystic duct, blocking it and causing an infection”, but was resting comfortably.


Although she was recovering in the facility, Ms Ginsburg, still participated in the Supreme Court teleconference hearing on Wednesday.

The case that was heard, concerned whether medical insurance companies should have to cover contraception costs, or if there should be a religious exemption.

When the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, was originally introduced in 2010 by the Obama administration, all insurance companies had to cover contraception costs.

However, in 2017 the Trump administration tried to add a religious exemption, but have seen it blocked by federal courts in the years since.

Ms Ginsburg, speaking on a teleconference amid the coronavirus pandemic, told Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who was arguing for the Trump administration, that the law might force women to have to pay for contraceptive care themselves.

“This leaves the women to hunt for other government programmes that might cover them,” she said. “And for those who are not covered by Medicaid or one of the other government programmes, they can get contraceptive coverage only from paying out of their own pocket, which is exactly what Congress didn’t want to happen.”

Ms Ginsburg, who is one of the eight associate Supreme Court justices, told him that if companies were exempt through religious beliefs, then women would be forced to pay for contraception, even if they disagreed with the company’s religious stance.

“You have just tossed entirely to the wind what Congress thought was essential, that is that women be provided these services with no hassles, no cost to them,” she said.

Ms Ginsburg added: “Instead, you are shifting the employer’s religious beliefs, the cost of that, onto these employees who do not share those religious beliefs.”

In his reply, Mr Francisco referenced a 2014 Supreme Court mandate that he believes gave agencies the discretion on whether to give contraception coverage.

He said: “There’s nothing in the ACA as this court recognised in Hobby Lobby that requires contraceptive coverage, rather it delegated to the agencies the discretion to decide whether or not to cover it in the first place.”

Mr Francisco added: “And we think that that also includes the discretion to require that most employers provide it, but not the small number who have sincere, conscientious objections.”

Ms Ginsburg is expected to be in hospital for “a day or two,” according to a statement from the court.


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