When President Obama introduced the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) there was general confusion as to what implications it would have regarding abortions and tax dollars being spent on morally objectionable services. Yet, the situation became worse towards the end of 2011. That is when it became apparent that not only were abortion services going to be covered by the national health care plan, but that in fact all health insurance plans were going to be required to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and other morally objectionable services and medications due to the mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The HHS mandate, as it has become known, was directed by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. It requires all businesses and organizations (except for a very limited number that are exempt via a very narrow exception) to cover these services. At that point, several organizations filed suit, separate and distinct from the major lawsuit that was upheld this summer by the Supreme Court.
Most employers and Catholic organizations realized that there was no choice but to oppose the mandate on constitutional grounds, as it was morally repugnant to their religious beliefs. Most Catholics believe it is morally unacceptable to comply with the law, and therefore it must be challenged, rather than comply with it.
Fighting Back Against the HHS Mandate:
John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam (Grand Rapids, MI), is one of the brave business owners fighting back against the HHS Mandate. As a Catholic, the things mandated to be covered within the health care plans that John provides his associates are contrary to John’s deeply held religious beliefs. So John, together with CatholicVote, is fighting back.
On Monday, October 8th, 2012, John Kennedy, through the CatholicVote.org Legal Defense Fund, filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, and its Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (a Catholic). The purpose of the suit is to compel the court to strike down the mandate as unconstitutional.
John has also filmed a web-video and television advertisement that informs others about this fight. The video is being circulated to national media, will be featured on the CatholicVote.org website, and will air on television on several stations around the country between now and the election. (See the video below.)
The Origins of the Lawsuit:
Autocam employs over 1500 people world wide, and 680 people in the United States and offers top of the line health insurance that includes no-cost preventative services. Because of the HHS Mandate, John is being forced to choose between violating his Catholic faith by providing the HHS required services in his health plan or dropping coverage from his employees. Neither option is acceptable to John, and that is why he is filing suit.
Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius Resources & Information:
- Date Filed: October 8th, 2012
- Lawyers: CatholicVote.org Legal Defense Fund; Thomas More Society, Co-Counsel
- Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Patrick T. Gillen, Jason C. Miller
- Court & District: United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan – Southern Division
- Press Release: Filing of the Autocam Lawsuit (10/8/12)
- Catholic Entrepreneur Stands Against HHS Mandate (10/16/12)
- Catholic CEO Asks Supreme Court to Protect Family’s Religious Freedom (10/15/13)
- Legal Filings:
- Petition [United States Supreme Court] 10/15/2013: Petition for Cert – Autocam Corp. vs. Kathleen Sebelius
- Complaint [Federal District Court]: Autocam Corp., vs. Kathleen Sebelius, Dept. of Health and Human Services
How you can help:
The lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be expensive. We need your help to make sure that John, his associates, and millions of other people across the country aren’t forced by the government to choose between doing the right thing and violating their religious beliefs.
Watch Video & Read More: