Friday, November 22, 2013
Federal District Judge Grants Catholic-Affiliated Employers Temporary Delay in Complying with Contraception Mandate
Herald-Star: Catholics win delay, by Kevin Begos:
A federal judge ruled Thursday that two Western Pennsylvania Catholic groups don't immediately have to comply with mandates in the federal health care overhaul law, and has granted them a temporary delay while the issue is appealed to higher courts.
U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab wrote that forcing schools and charities related to the Pittsburgh and Erie Catholic dioceses to comply with the Affordable Care Act could result in decreased donations, loss of employees and fines that could force the closure of some church programs. The dioceses object to the law's requirement that contraception, including sterilization, be offered in employee health care plans. . . .
H/t: Roz Litman
To be clear, the contraception mandate does not apply at all to "pervasively sectarian entities," including churches and some parochial schools. The Department of Health and Human Services later provided further accommodation to not-for-profit employers such as hospitals, universities, and charities that object on religious grounds to the provision of contraceptive services. These employers are not forced to pay for contraceptives themselves. Instead, their insurance providers will directly pay for the services. But even that accommodation hasn't satisfied some employers. Here is a summary of the exemptions for employers who object to the mandate on religious grounds. Here is a summary of challenges to the contraception rules by both non-profit and for-profit employers.