Wheaton College won another victory at the U.S. Supreme Court today as a majority of the justices ruled the evangelical university does not have to fill out government paperwork that it objects to as part of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.
But while Wheaton doesn’t have to fill out the required forms, the notice it has already given the government of its objection to the contraceptive mandate amounts to the same thing, the justices ruled: “Nothing in this order precludes the government from relying on this notice, to the extent it considers necessary, to facilitate the provision of full coverage under the Act,” the unsigned opinion states.
Although Wheaton won its point, the college didn’t really get what it wanted.
The ruling grants the government’s wish to have insurers provide the drugs Wheaton objects to in what the contraceptive mandate’s opponents call a “shell game.” Under the Obama administration’s plan to exempt religious non-profits from the mandate, insurance companies will provide the drugs at no cost. But Wheaton and other non-profits say they’ll end up paying for the drugs one way or another because insurers won’t just absorb the cost.
In suits proceeding through the lower courts, Wheaton and other nonprofits say the shell game arrangement forces them to participate in a system that subsidizes and distributes the drugs it objects to.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wrote an almost 17 page dissent to the one and a half page order.