Hospital Pension Plans Seek Salvation at SCOTUS

March 27, 2017, 3:44 PM

The oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court over the ability of religiously affiliated hospitals to treat their pension plans as “church plans” amounted to a 60-minute catechism on statutory interpretation and legislative history (Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, U.S., No. 16-74, oral argument 3/27/17; Saint Peter’s Healthcare Sys. v. Kaplan, U.S., No. 16-86, oral argument 3/27/17; and Dignity Health v. Rollins, U.S., No. 16-258, oral argument 3/27/17).

Despite lurking questions of agency deference and church-state entanglement, the justices and attorneys on March 27 stuck closely to the question presented by the cases: Must a...

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