- A decision Friday from the U.S. Supreme Court means that Catholic not-for-profit organizations across the U.S. will be able to file lawsuits and almost certainly get temporary exemptions from new federal rules requiring them to provide workers with insurance that covers contraception, a constitutional law expert said. The high court granted an injunction against the federal rules that was requested by a chain of nursing homes run by the Little Sisters of the Poor order of Roman Catholic nuns, plus their third-party insurance administrator. The injunction will stand until the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver can issue a final ruling on the case. “This is an invitation for parties where the religious beliefs are identical to the Little Sisters of the Poor,” said James Blumstein, Vanderbilt Law School healthcare and law professor.
U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Catholic not-for-profits filing lawsuits against contraception insurance, and other briefs
- A Texas judge ruled Friday that John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, should remove Marlise Munoz from life support by 5 p.m. CST Monday. The 33-year-old pregnant paramedic was declared brain dead Nov. 26, but a Texas law prohibiting withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a pregnant patient meant the family could not have her removed from life support as they had wished. The case reignited both pro-life and pro-choice advocates.
- Chris Jennings, a healthcare adviser to President Barack Obama, will be leaving the White House because of a recent healthcare scare and other family issues, a White House aide said. Jennings, a former top Clinton administration healthcare adviser, said in a written statement that helping to ensure the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's promise of affordable, quality healthcare has been “the cause of my professional life,” and he will continue to make contributions to that goal. According to the aide, the administration's healthcare team, as part of the Domestic Policy Council, continues to be strong under the direction of Jeanne Lambrew and with the addition last month of Phil Schiliro.
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