Kennedy, Obama, and Religious Freedom

As many of you know, we joined with John Kennedy, the CEO of Autocam, and filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration on Monday. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the HHS Mandate.

Kathryn Lopez, an occasional contributor here at CatholicVote and well known National Review writer, recently interviewed John Kennedy about the suit. It takes a deeper look at exactly why Kennedy is going forward with this suit.

Since the suit was filed, the comment boxes on our blog, as well as the news sites that have covered the story, have lit up with commentary from people on both sides of the issue. One of the main attacks that Kennedy has faced is people accusing him of imposing his beliefs on his employees.

Lopez asked him about that:

LOPEZ: What business of yours is it what your employees do in their personal lives, with their health care?

KENNEDY: I am not trying to prevent access to anything that’s legal in the U.S. today. I don’t tell my employees how to live their lives or how to make decisions about family planning or abortion. In fact, our employees can purchase anything that the IRS defines as a “medical expense” — including a surgical abortion — with pre-tax dollars through their HSAs (health savings accounts). I’m simply trying to ensure that my family does not spend our money in a way that directly supports conduct that violates our deeply held beliefs.

This really is about principle for Kennedy, and isn’t just some political stunt or soap-box. In fact, Kennedy addresses that question as well:

LOPEZ: Why sue now? Is it an election stunt?

KENNEDY: It’s anything but an election stunt. We’re suing now because, if we don’t obtain relief from the court, we will be forced to choose between the three unsustainable options that I outlined above by January 1, 2013. In fact, we need to make a decision by November 1, 2012, in order to continue to offer health care next year. The mandate does take effect in the midst of the election season, and we hope that that fact will help us raise awareness and influence health-care policy in a way that prevents the violation of our first freedoms and makes it possible for employers like Autocam to offer high-quality insurance.

Go read the article.

Watch the video.

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But most importantly, spread the message. The number one most effective method of informing and changing the hearts and minds of people is always one-to-one contact. So email our post about this issue to a friend or fellow parishioner and then follow it up with a phone call. With only a few weeks left before the election, we need to make sure every Catholic knows what hangs in the balance.

9 thoughts on “Kennedy, Obama, and Religious Freedom

  1. Too little too late says:

    Kennedy knows that he doesn’t pay for these things. The insurance company is required to cover them. Regardless, it’s not his money anyway. It’s his employees money and benefits.

    1. Katherine says:

      The fact he is okay with offering his employees a HSA insurance account that pays for abortions proves his really is not sincere on this.

  2. abadilla says:

    Once again, the Bishops are either lying and misleding 70 million Catholics in this country, or the head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops told us the truth that the Obama Administration is persecuting us with the HHSMandate. As a Catholic, who should I believe, the Obama Administration or our Bishops? For a Catholic the choice should be utterly clear.
    Thank you for your post and the only blind people I see here at CV are the trolls who continually come into CV to put down everything CV stands for.

  3. Rich says:

    And as the Blind lead the Blind……
    Why is this his family money that he is spending as business expense and why is it morally different from the pre-tax spending that they are also earning. Just because he files his taxes as an individual the corporations dollars are not his until all bills are paid. Since his cost for premiums will not rise, he is arguing about dollars he will not be spending anyway. His premiums will go up or down without consideration of this small expenditure for birth control. Even is he wins an (temporary) exemption from the Mandate, he will be covering all medical costs in aggregate anyway, from birth control to perscription pills used for recreational purposes to the Viagra prescribed for the employee that is molesting his own daughter. Cafeteria Morality is a rather strange thing.
    It will be good to see the courts ruling. Again, the fact that this can be contested in court is a sign of active religious liberty. Hopefully there will not be any Conservative Judicial Activist involved.

    1. Maryellen Schroeder says:

      Oh come now, there is BIG difference, rich, as you well know. The FSA account is totally employee financed and not financed at all by the employer. Once the employee earns the money, it is his or her money, they are morally responsible for what they do with it. Your logic would imply that if a person bought a bazooka and fired it into a shopping mall it is the fault of their employer who paid them the wages to buy it. What the person chooses to do with their money once he pays them is their business. Are you suggesting that the employer not pay wages, but rather funnel all the earnings for each employee into certain accounts to pay bills–utilities, grocery, etc? And who decides what they should buy? Only healthy foods, only electric cars?
      Holy mackerel! Talk about even MORE inroads against freedom! Such logic would eliminate all personal freedom in every aspect.

      1. Rich says:

        No Mary Ellen you are trying to distract the topic by going to the absurd.
        The Mandate does not require the employer to do anything. It is the insurance company that is paying this amount in order to reduce outlays later. Since birth control and other woman’s health services actually reduce the aggregate cost of health care, AND reduces the actual number of Abortions. It is counterintuitive to suggest that the Mandate causes any employer to violate anything. And the courts will verify this.
        The entire process proves the ability of a person to challenge a law as a part of a persons religious freedom. If the court would find it to be an ACTUAL – no suggested – violation of religious freedom, it will invalidate the law. That is the necessary process, and actually part of the reality of Religious Freedom. Our government can not just change public policy because a person or even an institution suggests something is a violation of any right. That is why we have the ability to redress grievances in court. But a person really needs to have standing on an issue, and step one is to prove the real harm done to the person suing.
        This will be a very difficult thing to prove. He does not own the insurance company nor the insurance plan. The only Employer (meaning the person) payment for insurance is for their own insurance, and the corporation pays for the corporation part of the premium which is also employee earned. The business owner does not own every dollar that passes through the corporation, even with the corporation chooses to file tax as the individual.
        Insurance was paid to attract good workers when there was a wage cap. It is never something given by the benevolence of the business owner.
        You are certainly welcome to respond to this comment, but please to not just use absurdity to challenge the point. That gets you nowhere.

        1. maryellen schroeder says:

          Sigh….just repeating the same old mantra does NOT make it true. You say that birth control decreases costs. The above statement about contraception and insurance costs comes right from the white house “fact sheet on contraception”, which is the same, tired argument that lacks FACTS. Please supply the scientific studies that justify these statements. I have hundreds, but in the interest of space, here are just a few. A pdf from Duke University by Peter Aridiacono et al from January 2011 titled Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased to Contraception have UnintendedConsequences for Teen Pregnancies? Shows that more birth control access INCREASES teen pregnancies. This is true for an increase in STDs as well.This is also true for “emergency contraception”, see here T. Raine et al., “Direct Access to Emergency Contraception Through Pharmacies and Effect on Unintended Pregnancy and STIs,” Journal of the American Medical Association 293 (2005): 54-62 A ten year Spanish study published in the 2011 edition of Contraception, the International Reproductive Health Journal showed that increasing use of contraception was accompanied by a DOUBLING of abortion rates after pill” during time frame 2000 to 2007 Similar reports from the British National Health Service over the past six years are also available. I am sure you would agree that since 1 in 8 women get breast cancer in this country, anything that increases the chance of breast cancer would increase health care costs. See the following: Hormonal contraceptives increase breast cancer risk See : Dolle J, Daling J, White E, Brinton L, Doody D, et al. Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4)1157-1166 Abortions increase breast cancer risk http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes/ere/workshop-report AND see this one… Daling JR, Brinton LA, Voigt LF, et al. Risk of breast cancer among white women following induced abortion. Am J Epidemiol 1996;144:373-380 AND see this one….Ozmen V, Ozcinar B, Karanlik H, Cabioglu N, Tukenmez M, et al. Breast cancer risk factors in Turkish women – aUniversity Hospital based nested case control study. World J of Surg Oncol 2009;7:37.Free access to IUD and injectable contraception in a October study in JCOG did show a decrease in surgical abortions in St. Louis Area, but what was not detailed in the study was the following: firstly, that the IUD causes early unrecognized abortions as one of its major mechanisms of action, secondly, that the IUD causes chronic inflammation, which is a known cause of heart disease, thirdly, that the injectable method of medroxyprogesterone doubles the risk of breast cancer, (Daling, JR et al. Cancer Research, April 15, 2012), fourthly that the injectable also doubles the risk of transmission of the AIDS virus, (Beaten, et al in The Lancent Infectious Diseases 2011), fifthly that the injectable decreases libido, perhaps permanently, since it is the same medication used to chemically castrate sex offenders…Not to mention all of the health effects listed above associated with hormonal contraception I can go on and on. All of the sources listed are scientific sources and not pro-life.
          Sigh….just repeating the same old mantra does NOT make it true. You say that birth control decreases costs. The above statement about contraception and insurance costs comes right from the white house “fact sheet on contraception”, which is the same, tired argument that lacks FACTS. Please supply the scientific studies that justify these statements. I have hundreds, but in the interest of space, here are just a few.
          A pdf from Duke University by Peter Aridiacono et al from January 2011 titled Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased to Contraception have UnintendedConsequences for Teen Pregnancies?
          Shows that more birth control access INCREASES teen pregnancies. This is true for an increase in STDs as well.This is also true for “emergency contraception”, see here T. Raine et al., “Direct Access to Emergency Contraception Through Pharmacies and Effect on Unintended Pregnancy and STIs,” Journal of the American Medical Association 293 (2005): 54-62 A ten year Spanish study published in the 2011 edition of Contraception, the International Reproductive Health Journal showed that increasing use of contraception was accompanied by a DOUBLING of abortion rates after pill” during time frame 2000 to 2007 Similar reports from the British National Health Service over the past six years are also available. I am sure you would agree that since 1 in 8 women get breast cancer in this country, anything that increases the chance of breast cancer would increase health care costs. See the following: Hormonal contraceptives increase breast cancer risk See : Dolle J, Daling J, White E, Brinton L, Doody D, et al. Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4)1157-1166 Abortions increase breast cancer risk http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes/ere/workshop-report AND see this one… Daling JR, Brinton LA, Voigt LF, et al. Risk of breast cancer among white women following induced abortion. Am J Epidemiol 1996;144:373-380 AND see this one….Ozmen V, Ozcinar B, Karanlik H, Cabioglu N, Tukenmez M, et al. Breast cancer risk factors in Turkish women – aUniversity Hospital based nested case control study. World J of Surg Oncol 2009;7:37.
          Free access to IUD and injectable contraception in a October study in JCOG did show a decrease in surgical abortions in St. Louis Area, but what was not detailed in the study was the following: firstly, that the IUD causes early unrecognized abortions as one of its major mechanisms of action, secondly, that the IUD causes chronic inflammation, which is a known cause of heart disease, thirdly, that the injectable method of medroxyprogesterone doubles the risk of breast cancer, (Daling, JR et al. Cancer Research, April 15, 2012), fourthly that the injectable also doubles the risk of transmission of the AIDS virus, (Beaten, et al in The Lancent Infectious Diseases 2011), fifthly that the injectable decreases libido, perhaps permanently, since it is the same medication used to chemically castrate sex offenders…Not to mention all of the health effects listed above associated with hormonal contraception I can go on and on. All of the sources listed are scientific sources and not pro-life.

          1. maryellen Schroeder says:

            sorry that the copy and paste put some of the information in twice.
            My apologies.

          2. Rich says:

            It may be important to actually read the articles that you quote as the first two do not conclude what you assert. None of these are related to the actual cost to the insurance companies for services they pay. So sigh all you want, if you really have nothing to say, please don’t make it so long next time. I actually thought it was worth reading in spite of your attempt to be cute.
            You certainly do not believe that the Department of HEALTH and Human Services lacks the needed facts, nor that the agreement between HHS and the insurance companies was not worked out because of a net loss for the insurance companies. Drinking the Flavor-Aid is one thing, but to plug in the IV so that nothing but the “company line” exists in your mind is quite another.
            Please feel free not to obtain any Birth Control services, but do not try to say that you actually know what you are talking about with your references.
            BTW you are arguing something quite different from the original posting. Were you distracted by having to consider the truth?

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