California officials are keeping a close eye on two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday that challenge a piece of the Affordable Care Act. Two businesses — including lead plaintiff Hobby Lobby, Inc — say the law’s requirement that their employee insurance plans pay for contraception violates the owners’ religious beliefs.
California already requires insurance plans to include coverage for contraception. Gov. Gray Davis signed the Contraceptive Equity Act into law in 1999. It requires that private insurance plans which cover prescription drugs must also pay for contraceptives. That law will remain in place, not matter what the Supreme Court decides.
But California’s attorney general’s office says the bigger issue is whether corporations can claim religious rights the way people can. If so, that raises troubling questions for other state laws that govern land use, housing, and employment. Continue reading