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Obamacare faces another lawsuit over contraception coverage

John Kennedy, a Michigan CEO, says that his Catholic beliefs prevent him from covering contraception and sterilization in his company insurance policy

The Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in June, but that hasn’t stopped several employers from challenging the law’s insurance mandate on religious grounds.

The latest plaintiff to sue the federal government over the law is John Kennedy, president and CEO of Michigan manufacturing companies Autocam and Autocam Medical, who says that his Catholic beliefs prevent him from including coverage of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in his company’s insurance plan.

In a video posted on YouTube, Kennedy says that, although he respects the PPACA’s goals, he “can’t, in good conscience, choose between violating my beliefs and meeting my [workers’] needs.” If Kennedy refuses to cover drugs such as the so-called “morning-after pill,” he would face annual fines of $24 million, according to his lawsuit.

The lawsuit argues that “as a result of [their] sincerely held religious beliefs plaintiffs cannot provide, facilitate access to, subsidize or cooperate with the provision of drugs or services that facilitate contraception…or sterilization, because to do so would be cooperation with practices they sincerely believe to be gravely wrong.”

The complaint names several U.S. Cabinet members as defendants, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Kennedy is seeking a declaration that the law violates his rights, and preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing the government from implementing the PPACA’s mandate.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of the health care law, see:

Hobby Lobby sues not to cover morning-after pill

Your Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to-do list

Supreme Court allows Obamacare to stand

Supreme Court divided on second day of health care hearings


Alanna Byrne

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