July 24, 2014 Justia.com - The effects from the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby are now rippling through the country. Most recently, the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner applied the decision in a way that further undermines women’s access to reproductive health care and that violates the Constitution. 

A Short History of Women’s Health Care Coverage

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception mandate was not a new innovation in health care law. Health insurance plans in many states—when health insurance was still primarily a state power—did not fully cover many important medical services for women. State by state, health advocates pushed governments to require insurance companies to include within coverage health care ranging from mammograms to contraception. Many states did so, including Wisconsin, which enacted WI Stat. § 609.805 and § 632.895(17), which mandate the provision of reproductive health care to women.

Conservative lawmakers in Wisconsin have tried to enact a religious exemption to this provision of women’s medical care but have so far not succeeded. Thus, the law of Wisconsin is that women must be provided contraception coverage in health care plans.

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