Autocam & CatholicVote file lawsuit against Dept. HHS to fight mandate

For all media inquiries, please contact Kristina Hernandez, 703-373-0632, or Peter Robbio, 703-683-5004 ext. 116,

Autocam Video – “In Good Conscience” :

What is the HHS Mandate?

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 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 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:

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.

Help us today and do your part to protect religious freedom!

Press & Media Coverage:

This page is dedicated to Autocam’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (Dept. HHS). The HHS Mandate went into effect on August 1st, 2012. The page will be updated as developments occur in the lawsuit, and as new information becomes available.


Categories:Feature Health Care

  • John Guzman Sr.

    I do not understand why Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a supposed Catholic has not been excommunicated by the Bishop? The same applies to Vice-President Joe Biden, also a supposed Catholic who supports Abortion (not merely a woman’s freedom-of-choice).
    Is Kathleen Sebelius express support of HHS not in direct violation of church teachings? Is her mandate not a sin so repugnant as to warrant excommunication?
    Perhaps our Catholic leaders only need to be reminded to act on their faith?

  • John son of John


  • Nick

    I don’t believe Catholic should still be standing. They are as corrupt as the The Federal Government.

  • Oppie

    The idea that an individual can choose to have reproductive services covered by their insurance just by adding it onto the employer provided plan, but paying for it out of their own pockets, further confuses the issue between “insurance” and “healthcare”. That individuals money is going to the same insurance company as the employers payments do, the insurance company puts it in a pool with all the other money, and provides services from that pool of money. If you want to believe you are doing your religion justice by forcing someone to cover their own reproductive services using the same company you use to provide them with healthcare insurance, you might want to reconsider your faith. By paying the very same company with your “Holy” dollars, and helping them stay in business, you are supporting the very business which is providing reproductive services.

  • Fr. Tyler

    Let’s try to articulate the problem instead of just automatically gainsaying those who disagree with us;

    I am a priest. Let’s say I have a Catholic School attached to my parish. The school, for better or worse, serves about 50% Catholic Students and 50% non-Catholic Students. Many of my teachers are Catholic, but a good portion of them are not, nor are most of the support staff (janitorial, lunch room, etc . . .). Prior to the passage of Obamacare, I provided my teachers with exceptional insurance, paying 100% of the premiums. This policy, however, did not provide for contraceptive, abortion, or sterilization coverage. Employees were not, of course, forbidden from adding such things to their policy, but they had to pay the extra costs associated with it.

    As the law exists now, I will be required to pay for those services. While the federal slight of hand suggests that the insurance carrier will absorb these costs, everyone knows that these costs will be passed along to the purchaser of the policy. As a result, I will be paying directly for a service that I believe to be objectively immoral. As a result, I can not pay insurance for my employees and face millions of dollars worth of fines by the end of the school year. I can fire all the non-Catholic teachers and support staff and expel all the non-Catholic students, or I can close my school. The mandate of my religion does not allow any of these three options in good conscience.

    How exactly is this not a violation of my conscience?

    • Rich

      2 things – 1) Since the School is part of your parish ministry and will be exempt from the mandate any way. (Otherwise you would already be “paying.” )
      2) The addition of contraception will not add to the cost for the insurance, but will likely lower it. Which is why the insurance companies en masse are not raising a stink. The passing on of cost is really a poor argument anyway, there is no way to sort out which dollars go for what, and you are likely to see much more cost for the person who chooses to eat or drink or smoke too much only to wait until later for the insurance to pay for the bypass (heart or stomach)
      Insurance has always been built upon the collective and not the individual. Your administrative part of insurance is also a collective cost, so unless the company does not have any abortion covered or contraceptive covered plans, you are already violating your conscience with every check you send for premium.
      Still, it is not you that are paying in either case. The teachers work for the school with is paid by tuition and other support. But it is not the Business that you can say “I built it” Besides the teachers earn their salary and benefits. Insurance as a benefit was given to employees when there were wage caps, but corporations still wanted to attract good workers. it is really not that different for the worker who already are adding things to their policies and paying for it out of their paychecks. The line of which part of their earning are you responsible for is arbitrary, and perhaps too paternalistic when assuming your responsibility for the not just the possible cost, but the actual use of the benefit.
      There is no FDA approved Contraception that is abortion. So it is only the birth control that your teachers are already using. Their is no reason to expect that your employees will change their morality just because of insurance. In most probability the only time your employees would seek the morning after pill would be if she were raped.
      If contraception is shown to reduce the actual number of abortions annually in this country, would it not violate your religious mandate to go for that rather than a unproven hope that the law will change to make abortion illegal? In other words, real action to lower the number of abortions or keeping your money away from contraception and maintaining a higher level of abortions. Surely you would not equal the “evil” of keeping a sperm from fertilizing an egg with the removal of a fetus.

      • Fr. Tyler

        To your first point, this is as yet, an unclarified issue. If the parish and school are a single entity, the parish itself may have to provide these services because of the number of non-catholics it serves. If they are separately incorporated, (as they often are) they are not exempt.

        This is not just a passing on of cost. We will forced to buy, for our employees, that which contravenes our own consciences. What you suggest is like Russia putting money in a checking account for Syria and then claiming that they didn’t help them buy weapons.

    • abadilla

      “As the law exists now, I will be required to pay for those services. While the federal slight of hand suggests that the insurance carrier will absorb these costs, everyone knows that these costs will be passed along to the purchaser of the policy. As a result, I will be paying directly for a service that I believe to be objectively immoral.” Thank you for the clarification but some of these folks are literally hell-bent in promoting their lies, so, no matter what you, I, or others say, including the bishops of the United States, they will continue to spread their confusion among the faithful.

  • abadilla

    It’s amazing! The article explains clearly what the HHS Mandate is and several folks here play crazy and ignore the bishops and some of us who call it what it is, the HHS Mandate.
    Should not trolls read an article “before” they react and have the nerve to question some of us because we call something by its name?
    I guess John Kennedy and his lawyers must consult the trolls here at CV before they continue with their lawsuit because, apparently, the bishops and many of us are lying and there is no such thing as an HHS Mandate.
    Sometimes I think I’m living in the Twilight Zone!

    • Rich

      A few lawyers are gonna make some good money from Kennedy.
      He is probably fighting the larger issue of feeling he may have to cough up money to keep his employees healthy. Or else he is too invested in hating Obama that he doesn’t really care. But this is not a real Pro-Life issue, but just a cloud cover for republican operatives like the CV bloggers to use and misuse.
      Fall for it if you want. Truth only matters to those that seek it.

      • John

        “The plaintiffs are represented in the suit pro bono by Patrick T. Gillen of the CatholicVote Legal Defense Fund, Tom Brejcha and Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society (Chicago, IL), and Jason C. Miller, of Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.”

        Per the Thomas more Society, Kennedy is paying nothing. Your assumption is incorrect. You also make a broad assumption of Mr. Kennedy’s intent, which you are in no position to judge. I am thus confused as to your true purpose in posting this comment if it is based off of incorrect and baseless assumptions.



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