House to debate religious out for contraceptives


MONTPELIER >> Should religious employers be exempt from a requirement that their health insurance plans cover contraceptives? The Vermont House is set to debate that question one day after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about it.

The House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to require health insurance plans to offer coverage for contraceptives and sterilizations — including vasectomies — without high copays and deductibles. When the bill comes up for final approval on Thursday, two lawmakers plan to offer an amendment to exempt religious-affiliated employers like Catholic colleges.

The debate follows by one day arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case in which the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Pittsburgh, David Zubik, is suing the Obama administration over Affordable Care Act provisions relating to birth control.


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