Judge blocks Trump rollback of Obamacare contraception mandate

The fight against taking away people’s heathcare benefits will be fought in the courts….The Republicans used them against Obama…Democrats and others will do the same against Trump & Co……

A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Friday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new rules that would allow virtually any l objection to Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone granted Pennsylvania’s request for a preliminary injunction, saying the commonwealth could suffer “serious and irreparable harm” from the rules. The long-anticipated policies, imposed Oct. 6, greatly expand the exemptions to the health law’s requirement to provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost.

“The Commonwealth’s concern is absent available cost-effective contraception, women will either forgo contraception entirely or choose cheaper but less effective methods — individual choices which will result in an increase in unintended pregnancies,” Beetlestone wrote in her 44-page opinion. “That in turn will inflict economic harm on the Commonwealth because unintended pregnancies are more likely to impose additional costs on Pennsylvania’s state-funded health programs.”

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover birth control with no cost sharing, with narrow exemptions. The Trump administration, in issuing its directive, has said it was acting to protect individuals and groups from being forced to violate their religious beliefs while downplaying concerns that more women would struggle to afford birth control.

A federal judge in California heard arguments over the same issue earlier this week and is expected issue a ruling soon. Four other states — Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia — have joined California in the motion….

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