Catholic Benefits Association Granted Temporary Restraining Order Covering 150+ Catholic Employers in Second Lawsuit Against HHS Contraceptive Mandate
Contact: Sean T. Caine, 443-857-4372
OKLAHOMA CITY, July 3, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- On July 1, one day after the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, the Catholic Benefits Association filed its second lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and requested a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive/ abortifacient mandate ("Mandate") against the additional 156 employers and over 1,090 parishes that joined the Association after June 4. After an emergency hearing, the United States District Court granted the Association's request and issued a temporary restraining order.
In the Catholic Benefits Association's earlier lawsuit, the United States District Court granted a preliminary injunction and ruled that all employer members of the Catholic Benefits Association, as of June 4, were exempt from the Mandate. The June 4 injunction exempted around 420 Association members not previously exempt.
The two injunctions acquired by the Catholic Benefits Association ensure that all of its 650 employer members plus 3,165 parishes are exempt from the mandate, and that none of its members are required to participate in the "accommodation" that causes a surrogate third party administrator or group insurer to provide services contrary to Catholic values. The Catholic Benefits Association has acquired judicial relief, on the merits, for 13 times the number of Catholic employers exempted, on the merits, in all the other lawsuits combined.
"The Association filed a second lawsuit," CBA's Director of Membership Nancy Matthews explained, "because many of the Catholic employers joining the Association after June 4 could not otherwise avoid huge fines being imposed on them on July 1. We are grateful that the Court acted so quickly. This means the ministry members of the Association can continue serving those in need, healing the sick, and educating students without violating their Catholic values that inspired such service in the first place."
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers that drop all health care coverage for their employees are subject to a fine of $2,000 per employee per year, while those that provide full health care coverage while conscientiously refusing only the coverage for contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, and sterilization are fined eighteen times as much--up to $36,500 per employee per year.
The CBA is an association of Catholic employers united in their defense of their First Amendment right to witness to their Catholic faith, through their ministries and businesses, by providing their employees with life-affirming health care coverage that is complies with Catholic teaching. In addition to 3,165 parishes, it serves 650 Catholic employers, 39 of which are dioceses and archdioceses. These employers also include religious orders, local Catholic Charities, colleges, nursing homes, cemeteries, retreat centers, and medical facilities. The Catholic Benefits Association also serves for-profit businesses with majority Catholic owners and directors.
The CBA makes it possible for Catholic employers -- both nonprofit and for-profit -- to exercise their religious values through the health coverage they provide to their employees. To accomplish this, the CBA has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, The Catholic Insurance Company and arranged for health provider networks to assist Catholic employers in providing comprehensive, quality health care that affirms the dignity of the human person. The CBA also vigorously defends its members' First Amendment religious liberty regarding such coverage.
More information about the Catholic Benefits Association, including applications for members, is at www.lifeaffirmingcare.com.