President Donald Trump’s new “religious liberty” order is battling his party’s healthcare bill for headlines, but his order will work to undo an important Obamacare mandate without repeal.
According to CNN and other news sources, Trump’s “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” order, issued on May 4, will give employers relief for refusing to cover contraception in employee insurance — the core tenant of the famous “Hobby Lobby” Supreme Court case.
Along with loosening tax codes to allow more tax-exempt religious organizations to endorse candidates, the order will likely empower more employers like Hobby Lobby to bar their employee insurance from covering contraception and other aspects of reproductive healthcare despite mandated contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Despite appealing to the “religious liberty” of his base, many religious leaders oppose the order, including the 1,300 clergy members who signed an open letter to the president that says the order will twist “freedom” by “turning it into a weapon to discriminate against broad swaths of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care”. The open letter ran as a full-page ad in Politico while Trump’s order was still in draft form.