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The rules, which California is challenging in court, relax requirements under the health law that birth control services be covered at no additional cost. The new guidelines would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to back out of the requirement by claiming religious objections.
Marc Carr’s attorney says the Department of Developmental Services has been “very resistant” to placing Carr in a mental institution. The hearing on Friday became contentious as the department pointed blame at the sheriff’s office. Judge Lewis Davis said that if Carr isn’t placed within 30 days, “I will impose sanctions.”
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco is allowing the trial to be broken up into two parts, barring the plaintiffs at first from introducing evidence that the company allegedly attempted to influence regulators and manipulate public opinion.
Human Longevity’s complaint had accused Craig Venter of leaving the company with his company-issued laptop in tow so that he could take with him trade secrets to try to set up a competing business.
In a closely watched case, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas ruled that without the penalty for not having health coverage, which Republicans zeroed out with their tax bill, the Affordable Care Act “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax power.” And the rest of the law cannot be separated from that provision and is therefore invalid, he wrote. The judge’s ruling, practically speaking, won’t have an immediate impact on the way the health law operates. With enrollment closing on Saturday, the Trump administration said the court decision has “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, ruling on a suit brought by opponents of the Affordable Care Act, says that the law was invalidated when Congress dropped the tax penalty for not having coverage. Advocates for the law say they will appeal the decision.
The decision drew rebukes from the court’s more conservative judges, with Justice Clarence Thomas saying his colleagues’ refusal to hear the case over Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood was politically motivated. “What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood,’” Thomas wrote.
A Swiss drugmaker is challenging a 2011 change to the law that no longer allows a company to patent an invention if it was for sale for more than a year before filing a patent application. Meanwhile, Congress also plans to focus on the issue of pharmaceutical patents and lawmakers continue to question the industry’s pricing decisions. And as Capitol Hill gears up for potential action on drug costs, there may be some lessons to be learned from China.
The impact of the ruling in the consolidated cases of Wit v. United Behavioral Health and Alexander v. United Behavioral Health could ripple across the country as many providers and patients say that, despite laws requiring insurers to cover behavioral care on parity with care for physical conditions, they often encounter significant problems getting carriers to pay for needed treatment.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia halted enforcement of the law in May, ruling that state lawmakers had illegally considered and passed the legislation during a special session devoted to health care. However, the appeals court on Tuesday ruled that the doctors who had filed that suit had nothing to gain or lose from its enforcement, and thus lacked legal standing to sue.