Via Wall Street Journal:
The Trump administration said Friday it is undoing an Affordable Care Act requirement that employer-provided health benefits include contraception, a move that will likely spark immediate litigation to preserve the Obama-era mandate.
Federal health officials on Friday formalized a rule that would permit any employer with religious objections to birth control to omit coverage for contraception from their workers’ plans. Non-profit and some for-profit employers raising moral objections to the mandate could also seek an exemption under the new rules, according to officials at the Health and Human Services Department.
In practical terms, the Trump administration’s decision will allow employers to opt out of offering all or some contraceptive coverage, rather than using a “workaround” designed by the Obama administration in which insurance companies provided contraception directly to female workers if their employers had objected to it. Religiously affiliated employers had considered that compromise to be insufficient, because it still used the insurance plans they sponsored as the vehicle for providing coverage.
Though many outlets are portraying this a major “gutting” of ObamaCare, it really isn’t. The rule only effects a very small number of religious employers, but this is great news and represents Trump following through on his pledge to keep the government from chipping away at religious liberty by outlawing expressions of religion outside of a couple of hours on Sunday. (My earlier coverage of the issue here | here | here)