According to a press release from Thomas Aquinas College, last Friday 74 plaintiffs in 13 cases around the United States entered a settlement agreement with the federal government in their lawsuits seeking religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate.  The settlement comes after the Trump Administration issued new rules providing broadened exemptions to individuals and entities with religious and moral objections to the ACA mandate. (See prior posting.) According to the press release:Under the terms of the settlement, the government concedes that the HHS Mandate “imposes a substantial burden” on plaintiffs’ “exercise of religion” and, as such, “cannot be legally enforced, under RFRA, against Plaintiffs or their health plans.” The government therefore agrees to treat plaintiffs “as exempt from the Regulations or any materially similar regulation or agency policy.”



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