The act made it through its second Supreme Court test, but by no means will it end the legal and political assaults on it.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.
Catholic advocates are pressing Congress to make the needs of poor and vulnerable people a priority as legislators hammer out a federal spending plan for 2016.
The advocates told Catholic News Service they want to prevent trillions of dollars in social services spending from disappearing over the next decade as Congress seeks to balance the federal budget and reduce the nation's growing debt.
Their actions unfolded in recent weeks as they learned of Republican plans to remake the way social services such as Medicaid and food stamps are funded.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its previous ruling and review -- in light of the June Hobby Lobby decision -- whether the University of Notre Dame must pay for coverage of contraceptives in employee and student health insurance plans.
The Supreme Court on June 30 said Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which also sued, need not comply with a federal mandate to include a full range of contraceptives in employee health insurance.
It was encouraging to see that the Republican governor of Indiana has decided to provide Medicaid coverage to eligible citizens in his state.
If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal subsidies that have helped millions of people get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, it will be "an incredible cruelty," said the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association.
"[If] you are in any state of the union and you are talking to people who work for a living, who wait on us, cut our hair, drive our taxis, they will tell you this has been life-changing for them," Sr. Carol Keehan said about the federal health care law.
A federal court has ruled that a Michigan-based medical supply company does not have to provide contraception coverage in its employee health insurance plan because of faith-based objections.
The Jan. 5 ruling by Judge Robert Jonker of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids said Autocam Medical does not have to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The decision is a reversal of the judge's ruling three years ago.
My NCR colleague Michael Sean Winters has correctly pointed out that the Obama administration should have shared with the public case after case of real people benefiting from new or better health insurance as part of selling the Affordable Care Act to the American people. Every day this was not done seemed like a missed opportunity. Now, after the ACA has been in place for just over a year, Los Angeles Times national health care reporter Noam N.
Speaking on the steps of a federal courthouse Monday in Denver, the mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor said the religious order cannot and "should not have to" choose between "our care for the elderly poor and our faith."
Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire said that is what the U.S. government is demanding by requiring the order to comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.
Column: This year, more than most, the issues that seemed to be shaping the debate have come and gone like the wind.