Notre Dame sues federal government over health care overhaul's birth control mandate

  • Article by: TOM COYNE , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 3, 2013 - 3:55 PM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday filed another lawsuit opposing portions of the federal health care overhaul that forces it to provide health insurance for students and employees that includes birth control, saying it contravenes the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

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ericgus55Dec. 3, 1311:22 AM

While I don't believe that employers should be able to impose their religious beliefs onto their employee's health care plans, I won't shed any tears if the courts allow them to do so. Once the doors are opened for employers to decide based on their own beliefs (religious or otherwise, because who can determine 'religion'?), it will be the beginning of the end of our ridiculous employment-based health-care system and a Europe/Canada-style single-payer system becomes inevitable (which is what 'liberals' have wanted all along). Remember, this mandate/penalty idea was the 'conservative' alternative to single-payer "Hillarycare' from the 90's. Democrats gave up on single-payer and eventually adopted the old Republican plan (first called 'Romneycare,' then 'Obamacare'), and now Republicans are going to kill it. Ultimately, we're likely going to get the 'public option' or 'single-payer' system after all.

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julio57Dec. 3, 1311:29 AM

I am not a lawyer or legal expert, and my personal beliefs on this matter are irrelevant, but here is my two cents: The Supreme Court, as expressed in Chief Justice Roberts' opinion on the ACA's constitutionality, ruled that the ACA is a 'tax' and is legal. The govt. uses our tax money everyday to fund Planned Parenthood and other similar entities, even though many are strongly opposed. Along the same line, since the ACA is a tax, and it applies to everyone 'equally' (not entirely true) it must be applied equally. Also, I don't believe the Supreme Court will side with Notre Dame (or Hobby Lobby) because of the huge can of worms it would open and the countless number of lawsuits it would precipitate.

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buckthornDec. 3, 1311:44 AM

Good for Notre Dame, I hope other schools do the same

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johnelDec. 3, 1312:00 PM

Employer provided health insurance is compensation - just as wages are compensation - earned by the employee. Once earned, they belong to the employee, not the employer. Employers don't get to cite religious beliefs in order to justify their ignoring wage regulations - such as the minimum wage or overtime requirements or those prohibiting child labor. They shouldn't be allowed to use religion to justify their ignoring regulations regulating forms of compensation other than wages.

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theagonybhoDec. 3, 1312:01 PM

More fallout from a horrible law.

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fredwillbeDec. 3, 1312:02 PM

Let's see if I have this about right. God cares for every person. God has a master plan. Right? Therefore, if someone gets ill that is part of this plan, isn't it? Therefore, if you are a religious-based organization, why would you provide any health care plan? Isn't that actively going against the master plan?

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bogie246Dec. 3, 1312:11 PM

Imposing a tax and mandating employer paid healthcare provisions are entirely different issues. The Supreme Court ruled narrowly that the mandate to pay for health insurance can be levied under taxing authority. Forcing a company or other entity to offer and pay for precise coverage(outside the government)was not authorized and will need to be determined. The provision could crater ACA so it will be an interesting case to watch.

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texas_technomanDec. 3, 1312:15 PM

How does Notre Dame feel about accepting federal money in the form of student loans...figure they should probably not accept that either, as that evil Federal Govt. promotes birth control.

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ericgus55Dec. 3, 1312:19 PM

fredwillbe - That's the Christian Science healthcare belief in a nutshell, and what if a believer in that religion were your employer? What if your employer were a Scientologist (Tom Cruise, perhaps) and your kid needs ADHD, anti-depressant, or anti-psychosis (Schizophrenia) medication? Once the doors to 'religious' objections are opened, they won't ever be able to shut and the employment-based system falls apart. Hello, Europe/Canada-style system!! (And that's fine by me)

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mwibachDec. 3, 1312:25 PM

I'm kind of surprised that ND isn't already exempt, as a directly religious organization (like a church) is. This seems to be a different situation than Hobby Lobby, who is a for-profit corp.

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