Judge Blocks Missouri Insurance Law on Birth Control
This is what happens when you give the GOP total control of your state.
A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Missouri law that requires insurers to exclude birth control coverage for moral objectors, ruling that it conflicts with an insurance mandate under President Barack Obama’s health care law.
The temporary restraining order halts the Missouri law just three months after the Republican-led Legislature enacted it by overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.
The state law requires insurers to issue policies without contraception coverage if it runs contrary to the religious or moral beliefs of an individual or employer. The law appeared to be the first in the nation to directly rebut an Obama administration policy that requires insurers to cover birth control at no additional cost to women.
U.S. District Judge Audry Fleissig wrote in her order that there “appears to be an irreconcilable conflict” between the state and federal laws that puts insurance companies in an awkward position. If they were to comply with Missouri’s law, insurers could be subject to federal penalties for not abiding by the contraception mandate. Yet insurers also could face financial penalties from the state insurance department for failing to follow the Missouri law.