Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Church and State

‘The latest objection to the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court won't derail President Barack Obama's federal health care law but could carve out an exception for religious nonprofits, attorneys and legal experts said.

The court said Friday it will hear challenges by the Catholic Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie and Geneva College, a Beaver Falls school affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, along with six other lawsuits from religious organizations around the country objecting to provisions in the federal health care law mandating the church and its affiliate agencies provide coverage for birth control or file a form opting out.

"This has nothing to do with the particulars of the issue, and that's why the court took it," said Bruce Ledewitz, a Duquesne University professor who studies religion and law.

"This isn't about abortion. It isn't about conception. It's not about Obamacare, either."

The court will instead consider whether the government has the right to dictate what religious nonprofits can and can't do, Ledewitz said.

Bishop David Zubik of the Pittsburgh diocese said the issue is one of religious freedom.

"The insurance mandate, which is one small provision of the Affordable Care Act, would require us to facilitate access to contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients contrary to our teaching," Zubik said in a statement Friday. "We are encouraged that the Supreme Court will hear our case and are hopeful that they will rule to protect not only our religious liberty but that of all Americans."‘ - Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Church Groups’ ACA Challenge, insurancenewsnet.com, 11/07/2015

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