pdf

O’Melveny’s Dellinger Receives Coverage in Multiple Outlets for Amicus Filing in ACA Contraceptive Insurance Case

March 24, 2014 In March 2014, O’Melveny & Myers partner Walter Dellinger received coverage in various outlets in connection with his filing of an amicus brief in support of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employee health insurance plans cover contraceptives.  The rule has sparked opposition from religious corporate owners who claim the requirement violates their First Amendment right to exercise freedom of religion.

Dellinger received coverage in The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The National Law Journal, and NPR regarding the filing.  Bloomberg quotes Dellinger in a March 20, 2014, article suggesting that employers who do not wish to provide healthcare covering contraception for employees have the option to forego buying health insurance for employees altogether.  “There’s no employer mandate.  It’s a myth.  You do not have to buy health insurance for your employees,” he said.  A March 24 National Law Journal piece also quotes Dellinger on this topic: "it would be a very dramatic step for the court to recognize a religious exemption for these companies when it would impose such a burden on third parties.”

Dellinger also authored a March 24, 2014, Washington Post opinion piece, titled “Contraception As a Test of Equality,” which discusses the history and legal implications of this issue.  “Selectively denying insurance coverage for contraceptive methods an employer considers sinful effectively makes the employer a party to a woman’s medical consultations,” he writes, concluding that “the importance of access to the full range of contraception options should lead the court to reject claims of religious entitlement that so greatly burden the interests of others.”

Dellinger is a member of O’Melveny’s Appellate Practice and resides in the Firm’s Washington, DC office.