Several US states and municipalities filed a law suit earlier this week challenging “conscience” regulations, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which allow individual health care providers to deny health care information, access, and coverage based upon objections related to personal “conscience".
Five parents have filed a lawsuit in response to an emergency order issued last week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration declaring a public health emergency and requiring all residents within certain Brooklyn zip codes to be vaccinated against measles or face a $1,000 fine. According to news reports, the action was filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the New York City Department of Health, and alleges that the order exceeds the powers of the Public Health Commissioner. It also claims that the City's measures are too drastic in light of its reasons for issuing the order. A judge denied the parents' request for an emergency injunction yesterday, but the parties will appear in court on Thursday.
Trump Administration Moves to Withhold Federal Funding from Clinics Providing Abortions or Abortion Referrals
Last week, the federal government issued a rule to withhold federal funding for family planning from groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals. To receive federal funding, clinics will need to physically and financially separate any services that receive government funding from organizations that provide abortions or referrals.
The US Supreme court will not hear two cases stemming from state efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving funding under Medicaid. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito voted to hear the cases, but Chief Justice Roberts and the newly-confirmed Justice Kavanaugh voted with the Court's liberal justices to turn the cases away; four votes are needed to hear a case. This split among the conservative wing of the Court may reflect Chief Justice Roberts' intention to keep the Court out of hotly contested issues, and of Justice Kavanaugh's willingness to follow along, at least for the time being.
The ACLU in Michigan has filed a lawsuit on Rachel Peterson’s behalf against the supermarket company, Meijer, citing that Peterson was a victim of sex discrimination after her prescription was denied by a pharmacist at the Meijer store located in Poteskey. Rachel Peterson was prescribed Misoprostol by her doctor after suffering a miscarriage in July. She drove three hours to the Meijer store in Poteskey, but the pharmacist, Richard Kalkman, refused to provide her with the medication. Kalkman cited his Catholic beliefs as the reason behind his refusal; he thought that Peterson wanted to use the medication to terminate her pregnancy and did not accept Peterson's response that her doctor said the pregnancy was not viable. Peterson also stated that Kalkman neither let her speak with another pharmacist or a supervisor, nor did he allow her to transfer her prescription to another pharmacy. Peterson was on vacation at the time of the incident and drove back three hours to a pharmacy near her hometown to get the prescription filled.
State politicians believe that the chemicals may harm the coral reefs and marine ecosystems in Hawaii, a critical part of the state's economy. However, corporations and doctors have questioned the law's impact on consumer health.
A handful of states have joined California and the other original states who filed a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration exception to the ACA's contraceptive mandate that would allow any business or corporation to deny contraception coverage based on any religious or moral ground. The case is currently before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced a high-profile lawsuit against Sutter Health for allegedly engaging in anticompetitive conduct that has driven up health care costs for patients and employers across the state. Sutter is one of the largest health care systems in California, and one study has shown that its hospital costs are 25% higher than other providers.