The Trump administration issued a ruling that expands the entities which can exempt themselves from the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. A federal judge in Boston Monday threw out a lawsuit by Massachusetts' attorney general that attempted to block the Trump administration's rules expanding exemptions from ObamaCare's birth control mandate. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Massachusetts lacked standing to sue and noted that "the record is uniquely obscure" regarding whether employers in the state would take advantage of the exemptions. In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said that she was disappointed in the decision but remained committed to ensuring "affordable and reliable reproductive health care for women." ObamaCare originally required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations.
The debate over what to do about the approximately 700,000 Dreamers – immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children – has often been conducted at a playground level. Democrats are threatening to shut down the government at midnight Friday night unless the Dreamer issue is resolved on their terms. President Trump is reported to have used some kind of obscenity to describe his view of some of the countries Dreamers and other immigrants come from. Immigration activists have freely and openly accused the president of being a "racist" or worse. In this kind of a toxic environment, it will be amazing if both sides can bridge the enormous gap between them.