Federal judge makes contraceptives mandate ruling

Mar 18, 2013

A federal judge has struck down a Missouri law that directly challenges the so-called contraceptive mandate under the federal health law.

The result of the judge’s actions mean Missouri health plans have to include no-cost options for contraceptives. Senate Bill 749, approved after the state legislature overrode the governor’s veto last year, would have required insurance companies to exclude birth control coverage if employers had religious objections. The bill was supposed to take effect at the beginning of the year, but it was temporarily put on hold after a statewide Insurance Coalition filed a legal challenge to the law. Brent Butler is with the coalition and says the lawsuit wasn’t about the politics of the law, but the situation put insurers in a bind.

The way it was set up if you follow the fed law, you’re violating state law and if follow state law violating federal law.so that’s why the challenge was made, so they could do business essentially," said Butler.

A U.S. District court in eastern Missouri has now struck down the Missouri law, ruling that federal law trumps state law in these instances. The Missouri’s Attorney General’s office has not said whether they plan to appeal the ruling.