Health Highlights: March 23, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Supreme Court Hearing on Employer Birth Control Coverage Law May Have Little Effect

It’s unclear how an Affordable Care Act regulation that requires many employers to provide free birth control coverage for their employees will be affected when the Supreme Court considers a case challenging it on Wednesday.

The plaintiffs in the case, Zubik v. Burwell, claim the mandate violates a federal law protecting religious freedom, The New York Times reported.

In a related case argued in 2014, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to limit the mandate. The argument in that case was that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for birth control coverage violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month, was part of the majority in that case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. His death means the new case could end in a tie vote, which would fail to resolve conflicting court decisions and leave a national legal patchwork on the issue, The Times reported.

The new case challenges an accommodation offered by the government to nonprofit groups such as schools and hospitals with religious objections to the mandate, allowing them to avoid fines if they tell insurers, plan administrators of the government they want to be exempted from the birth control coverage requirement.

However, many religious groups oppose the accommodation. They argue that filing the required paperwork makes them complicit in conduct that goes against their faith, and want the same outright exemption offered to places of worship such as churches, temples and mosques, The Times reported.

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H-E-B Grocery Chain Recalls Canned Tuna

Another recall of potentially undercooked canned tuna was announced by the Texas-based grocery store chain H-E-B.

The latest recall is for 224 cases (10,752 cans) of Hill Country Fare brand 5 oz. Chunk Light Tuna in Oil. The tuna could cause life-threatening illness if consumed. To date, no illnesses have been reported, according to the company.

The recalled tuna was sold at H-E-B Texas stores in single cans between Feb. 24, 2016 and March 16, 2016. The UPC code is 0 4122065335 5, the product lot code is 6O9FZ SCEES, and the Best By date (on the bottom of the can) is 2/9/19.

Customers can return the recalled tuna to the store for a full refund.

Similar recent recalls included more than 2,700 cases of Chicken of the Sea tuna and more than 31,500 cases of Bumble Bee tuna.

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