Spearheaded by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), the forthcoming legislation will prevent these businesses from dropping coverage by clarifying that no federal law permits for-profit companies to refuse to follow Obamacare’s contraception mandate. That will override the Supreme Court’s ruling that these businesses can invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to get an exemption from this provision of the health law.
“Your health care decisions are not your boss’s business,” Murray told the New York Timeson Tuesday. “Since the Supreme Court decided it will not protect women’s access to health care, I will.”
A Senate aide told the Huffington Post that the bill may be introduced as early as Wednesday morning. It will go directly to the Senate floor as early as next week, without being considered in the committee.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives. Coloradans understand that women should never have to ask their bosses for a permission slip to access common forms of birth control or other critical health services,” Udall said in a statement. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”
The legislation will not amend or repeal RFRA. It will, however, make it clear that RFRA itself does not override for-profit companies’ obligations to comply with ACA.
And even though the bill has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Democrats hope it will make senators go on record supporting or opposing universal birth control coverage.