Supreme Court deals blow to unions, limits contraceptive mandate

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Supreme Court to rule on whether providers can sue states over inadequate Medicaid rates
Supreme Court to rule on whether providers can sue states over inadequate Medicaid rates

The Supreme Court issued two highly anticipated rulings Monday morning with implications for long-term care providers. 

In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled that the government cannot force private companies such as the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores to provide the broad insurance coverage for contraceptives called for by the Affordable Care Act. The ruling could have a bearing on similar cases, including one brought by the nonprofit nursing home operator The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Also in a 5-4 ruling, the court limited the ability of some public sector unions to collect dues. The case involved home healthcare workers in Illinois, who are considered public sector employees because they receive payment from Medicaid. Under Monday's ruling, nonmember home health workers will no longer have to pay “fair share” fees, which some say could seriously undermine the strength of the unions. 

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