Finally, Some Good News from Missouri! Judge Blocks State Law to Deny Birth Control CoverageS

Under what circumstances do you think you'd be induced to cheer (in a restrained way, no doubt) for the insidious insurance company that Roy Scheider runs in The Rainmaker? A federal judge may have (indirectly) answered that very tangential question for you on Friday by allaying certain insurance providers' fears and blocking a Missouri law requiring health insurances to offer plans that exclude contraception coverage if employers or individuals object to contraception on the grounds that a magical being living in the sky frowns upon any impediments to the breezy salmon-run of human sperm to a patiently waiting egg.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissing wrote that a law drafted by Republican lawmakers in Missouri to require health insurance companies to offer plans that exclude contraception seems to conflict with the new federal health care law, which includes a much-fretted over contraception mandate. The Missouri Insurance Coalition, a nonprofit whose members include insurance companies that do business in Missouri, asked Fleissing to block the Republican-concocted law on the grounds that it directly interfered with the federal law.

Fleissing determined the Coalition's argument that the Missouri law is invalid will probably succeed "given what appears to be an irreconcilable conflict" between state and federal law. She added that, during a hearing, the Missouri Department of Insurance "could offer no response to how there would not be a direct conflict" between the state and federal laws, since an employer would be violating the federal law by not offering a health plan that included contraception coverage.

Federal judge blocks Missouri's law to deny birth control coverage [Reuters]

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