The election has made one thing clear: there will be no repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the next four years. Instead of calling for “repeal and replace” measures, however, Congress can seek to amend the ACA, especially to ensure that the new law in no way promotes or funds abortions. States can do some of this work themselves. Missouri, for example, has already exercised an option in the ACA that prohibits any abortion funding in the insurance exchanges that may operate in Missouri.
Another misguided aspect of the ACA is the mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that requires nearly all insurance plans to cover abortion drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization procedures. The exemption for religious organizations is extremely narrow and does not allow a conscience objection for churches that provide services to the general public. Will the Obama administration further revise the rule? Or will the federal courts overturn the mandate as being in violation of the First Amendment?