May 7, 2020

Around the nation: Covid-19 forces SCOTUS to air live broadcasts of oral arguments for the first time

Daily Briefing

    The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in a case challenging a rule allowing more employers to opt out of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage requirements—and for the first time ever, the Court broadcasted the arguments live to the public, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Illinois, and New York.

    • District of Columbia: The Supreme Court this week heard arguments in a case challenging a rule issued by the Trump administration that allows more employers to opt out of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage requirements—and for the first time ever, the Court broadcasted the arguments live to the public. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participated in the arguments via phone from Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was admitted on Tuesday to receive treatment for acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition. Ginsburg has since been discharged from the hospital (Gresko/Sherman, Associated Press, 5/6; Liptak, New York Times, 5/5; de Vogue/LeBlanc, CNN, 5/5; Associated Press, 5/6).

    • Illinois: Health Care Services Corp. (HCSC), which is the parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in five states, on Tuesday announced that Maurice Smith will serve as the company's new CEO effective June 1. Smith previously served as CEO of Blue Cross of Illinois and has been working with HCSC for almost 27 years (Modern Healthcare, 5/5; Japsen, Forbes, 5/5).

    • New York: U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction ordering the New York Board of Elections to hold the state's Democratic primary election as scheduled on June 23. Torres issued the injunction in a case brought by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and several New York residents after Democrats on the election board voted to remove all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have suspended their campaigns from the ballot and to cancel the state's primary election because of the new coronavirus epidemic. Yang and others who filed the lawsuit claimed the moves violated their constitutional rights, and Torres in her ruling said they provided sufficient evidence supporting those claims (Cohen et. al., CNN, 5/5).
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