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(Stephen Coburn)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a source of contention for many Americans since former President Barack Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010, see Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The Public’s Views on the ACA. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, (Jan. 6). Specifically, one of the most controversial requirements of the legislation for employers and employees alike has been the requirement that employer-sponsored health insurance plans provide certain women’s health services including contraceptive, prenatal, and ­postpartum coverage at no cost to the insured.

Although employee-rights and women’s health advocates largely praised these measures, many business proponents ­expressed concern. Small companies argued that such mandates were too expensive and would have a negative impact on job creation. Separately, Christian owners of some closely held, for-profit corporations ­challenged the ACA’s mandate that employer-sponsored health insurance plans cover contraception, as in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 132 S. Ct. 2751 (2014).

Given Americans’ lack of consensus, it was no surprise that the fate of the ACA was debated fiercely throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. Indeed, one of President Donald Trump’s central election promises was to repeal and replace the ACA. Though it is unlikely that a full repeal will happen anytime soon, Trump and the Republicans in Congress appear to be laying the groundwork to make good on this pledge to their constituents at some point in the future.

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