Larsen Supports Bill to Undo Hobby Lobby Decision

Jul 10, 2014 Issues: Health Care

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02 cosponsored a bill today that would prevent companies from denying workers basic health care, including contraceptive coverage, based on religious beliefs. The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act responds to the Supreme Court’s recent Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Burwell decision. This decision exempted some corporations from complying with the contraceptive coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of religious beliefs.

The Act prevents employers from denying health coverage to workers that is guaranteed under federal law. It also states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws do not allow employers to refuse health coverage afforded to workers through the ACA. The Act maintains contraception coverage exemptions for houses of worship and religious nonprofit groups.

“The Affordable Care Act was a historic step forward that is helping 20 million people access high quality health coverage. And it guarantees coverage of critical preventive care. I am committed to making sure Congress keeps the promise we made to the American people when we passed this law. That means ensuring women can make health care decisions for themselves and their families, not because of their employers’ religious beliefs.

“The Supreme Court has bestowed too much ‘personhood’ on corporations lately with its campaign finance decisions that have given the wealthiest individuals an outsized influence on elections. Now it has wrongly afforded for-profit companies’ religious beliefs a higher priority than women’s ability to control their health care. This bill will make sure employers’ personal beliefs do not interfere with workers’ access to basic health care,” Larsen said.