A tentative win for religious liberty in Obamacare lawsuit

A federal appeals court said Tuesday it will hold the Obama administration to its promises to change Obamacare’s controversial contraceptives mandate for certain religiously affiliated employers such as colleges. I guess the judges are now part of the “war on women.”

If so, they are joined by the Obama administration itself — which, as the court noted in its Tuesday order:

represented to the court that it would never enforce [the rule] in its current form against the appellants [Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College] or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services. … There will, the government said, be a different rule for entities like the appellants …

But promises aren’t enough. The court said it took the administration’s pledge during oral arguments to create a different rule for the colleges and similar organizations to be “a binding commitment,” and it ordered the administration to provides updates about progress made toward the creation of the new rule every 60 days.

This ruling does not necessarily mean the administration will rewrite the rule completely to the liking of the colleges or other entities that view the mandate to subsidize contraceptives for their employees, in violation of their consciences, as an infringement on their religious liberty. Nor does it mean the colleges would necessarily prevail in the courts if they were to continue their lawsuits after the new rule is introduced.

But Tuesday’s ruling is important because the Obama administration is now legally obligated to follow through with its promise to rewrite the rule to accommodate religious liberty.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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217 comments Add your comment

Dusty

December 19th, 2012
11:33 am

I like that. The court has said that you (the Obama Administration) promised. Now do it.

Telling the truth has always been the best way to go. Here we have a strike for honesty.

Reality

December 19th, 2012
11:35 am

Kyle -

You and the Cons really are scraping the bottom of the barrel if this is the most news worthy item to blog about!

NEWS FLASH – President Obama will do what he said he would do! Let’s declare a victory!

Too bad this same approach isn’t granted to President Obama and the majority of voting Americans regarding taxing the wealthy….

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 19th, 2012
11:36 am

Even the courts don’t trust what comes out of obozo’s mouth, how rich is this?

Uh, Reality...

December 19th, 2012
11:37 am

…the wealthy already pay the highest rates of any taxpayers…just though you would like to know…

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:37 am

Barry living up to a promise, gimme a break!

Uh, Reality...

December 19th, 2012
11:39 am

…and, as Herman Cain said today, Obuma won, so are you liberals really happy with the 5 new taxes that are part of Obumacare?

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:41 am

Are they going to make him live up to the promise of

If you like your insurance, you can keep it.
ACA will bend the cost curve, bringing down the cost of healthcare.
ACA will insure that, 30 million uninsured people, have access to affordable health care.

Pizzaman

December 19th, 2012
11:41 am

It seems that everyone has forgotten about seperation of church and state, the one in the Bible proclaimed by Jesus, not the one in the US Constitution written some 2000 +/- years later.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:43 am

Poll: Obama approval highest since bin Laden killed

oh, that bites…..

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:44 am

Financing/fixing Obamacare, the fiscal cliff, and inability to protect our diplomats must not be that troubling to our elected officials. Galloway has an column boasting about bipartisanship, because Lynn Westmoreland found a Dem he could work with to get a bill passed to help define what type refrigerator a deli can legally use.

Our government is so big and polarized that they can’t ever solve any major problem, but there is no insignificant/minor matter they can’t find time to deal.with. Only in America, do we parry over refrigeration rights. Talking about big government!

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:45 am

Religion and religious freedom is secondary to the concerns of society. Failing to provide contraceptives leads directly to the rise in abortions.

Which way do you people want it?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:46 am

White House threatens veto of Boehner’s ‘Plan B’

Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Of course it would never get past the Senate.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:47 am

Poll: Obama approval highest since bin Laden killed

Proving again, that PT Barnum knew a great deal about humanity.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:48 am

they can’t ever solve any major problem

I believe if we were actually facing one they would come together to work on it. Until then it’s going to be all politics.

Don't Tread

December 19th, 2012
11:49 am

The federal government, and this administration in particular, is adamant about eliminating individual rights in favor of more power to the state. (Constitution? What Constitution?) Time to change the flag…put a big hammer and sickle instead of 50 stars in the corner.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:50 am

Barry living up to a promise, gimme a break!

Rafe needs to join the lobbying arm of the “angry white men” faction in this country. They are a dwindling minority that will need protections in the future.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:50 am

Failing to provide contraceptives leads directly to the rise in abortions.

Its priorities Finn, buy a condom, or get an abortion. What else will a dollar buy. Lets see, a Honey Bun or some safe sex?

Dusty

December 19th, 2012
11:51 am

Reality,

You do know that taxing the wealthy and everybody else is under rigorous consideration right now in Washington? It is in the news every day.

As to a proper blog subject, this one touches many subjects. How about religious liberty, women’s rights, insurance benefits, Constitutional requirements, morals, honesty and a few others. What exactly did you want besides a piece on taxing (robbing) the wealthy?

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 19th, 2012
11:52 am

that will need protections in the future.

We have and use protections, Finn, that is why we are dwindling.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 19th, 2012
11:57 am

Poll: Obama approval highest since bin Laden killed

So says the pmsnbc newsroom.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 19th, 2012
12:01 pm

This is what obozo and his robutts consider a “success” -

Still, taxpayers will almost certainly lose billions of dollars in the $49.5 billion GM bailout. If the government sold the rest of its stock at current prices, taxpayers would lose more than $13 billion.

MANGLER

December 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

What’s the issue here? A religious institution such as a school or a church that has employees should be treated the same as any other institution that has employees with respect to laws. Just because federal insurance programs cover contraception doesn’t mean the employees have to purchase contraceptives does it? The Government isn’t saying you have to buy condoms, diaphragms, sponges, IUD’s, take the pill, or have an abortion. All it is saying is that should you “choose” to, it’s covered. That’s all. I can’t see how that infringes on any rights. If any of these institutions offer insurance now, do they specifically pay for policies that do not cover those items or services? If that’s the case, then fine. Let any Federal insurance offering not cover those options at the choice of the institution or individual. This isn’t about religion, it’s about health care. That being said, there wouldn’t be spending limits so should someone end up on life support, the funding wouldn’t dry up, they could stay alive until a cure is found or nature takes it’s course. Wouldn’t that be something religious people would appreciate?

Matz

December 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

What happened to HIPAA? You know, the law to supposedly ensure our PRIVACY with regard to our own medical records? If you’re an employer of a certain size, you offer a health insurance plan to your employees. Yay, you.

What G–D— business is it of yours what happens between your employee and his or her doctor when he or she access the services of a physician and/or pharmacist with the health insurance that he or she pays into, and is part of his or her compensation package?

Seriously? “I don’t want my group insurance to cover hemorrhoid treatment, because those are the result of in immoral DIET, and I don’t want to pay for somebody else’s self-indulgent choice to eat sandwiches made with white bread instead of righteous, godly whole-wheat!” Geeebus.

How does sticking your hypocritical, meddling, self-righteous nose into somebody else’s doctor visits equate to FREEDOM? Jimminy H. Christmas on peppermint stick, how stupid would a person have to be to think this selective meddling = “religious freedom?” We know very well what this is about, and it’s got nothing to do with “freedom.”

Dusty

December 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

Rafe, 11:44

I couldn’t help but smile over your lines on bipartisanship. So , according to Galloway, bipartisanship has helped “somebody” decide on what kind of refrigerator deli’s can use.

I better get in touch with Galloway. Maybe bipartisanship can tell someone to carry off my old washing machine. It works! Also it is politically impartial and free.. Where’s bipartisanship when you need it?

@@

December 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

It comes down to a put up or shut up mandate from the courts? As he is oft to do, Obama was probably hoping the controversy would just go away. Now he’s forced to work for his pay….$400,000. Coincidence?

From downstairs:

Bingo, breckenridge.

I second that emotion.

Loopholes, tax credits are but another form of taxation on the unsuspecting middle-class. No party favors or favorites.

Rightwing Troll

December 19th, 2012
12:10 pm

I’m fine with not requiring contraceptives (unless medically necessary, which in some instances they are) nor should we force insurance companies to provide viagra.

On a related note, I see Bork has passed… may Nixon’s hatchet man rest in peace, god save his soul.

shnirty

December 19th, 2012
12:12 pm

@@
And you personify the clueless

Shirnty shirnt

carlosgvv

December 19th, 2012
12:13 pm

The world’s population is now over 7 billion.

We have way too many people all competing for scarce resources.

And yet, certain religions and Judges enforce bans on providing contraceptive insurance in the name of “religious liberty”.

This “religious liberty” is actually a war on humanity.

“by their fruits you shall know them”

Rightwing Troll

December 19th, 2012
12:17 pm

If I’m not mistaken there a couple medical conditions that BC pills can be prescribed, other than wanting free love…

Darwin

December 19th, 2012
12:19 pm

If it’s run like a business, business laws should apply. It’s as simple as that. You want religious freedom, go to church.

President Romney

December 19th, 2012
12:20 pm

After the ACA was ruled to be in fact legal under the Constitution of these United States and my resounding EC beat down last month, you libs need to let’s us relish in this small victory….

Lord knows we need one about now…

Great article Kyle…. You get them libs

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:22 pm

John Q: A ban is a ban.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 19th, 2012
12:22 pm

Let’s see how long it takes John Q to go off the deep end this time. He’s already started with one foot over the cliff due to his name calling with no substance posts (one of Kyle’s rules already being broken).

Oh, and Rightwing Troll, to answer your question (yet again) regarding my employment status below, I retired on my own terms a few years ago, I work on rare days when I want to, and do not (yet) receive any government payback of what was taken from me by force (that will be about a decade or so from now). If you wish to know anything else that would prove you wrong about my personal life, I believe the term is – sod off.

Aquagirl

December 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

I look forward to these institutions dropping coverage of fat-@$$ menz like Rush Limbaugh. Why should anyone else pay for his drug and food addiction? If he chooses to cram junk into his body he can pay for it. Sloth and anger are sins, after all.

Why should fat middle age men get a pass on responsibility for their bodies? Hypocrisy bit Republicans on their fat butts last election, apparently they’re wanting another lesson.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

Well that didn’t take long . . . . ;)

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:26 pm

“Failing to provide contraceptives”

Finn: You meant “failing to subsidize contraceptives.” That’s what this lawsuit is about, not the freedom of an individual to purchase them.

Matz

December 19th, 2012
12:27 pm

Rightwing Troll @ 12:17,

You are correct; there are a number of medical conditions treated by this class of drugs. Imagine how mortified a modest, proper, God-fearing lady would (should) be if forced to explain her medical condition to her employer to justify treatment. Gracious! A lady does not discuss the condition of any of her lady parts with anyone but her doctor and close family. The very idea that she would have to produce “proof” that her need is “legitimate” and not the result of some sick desire for “free love…” is an insult to any and every woman.

Medical privacy is a right that should not be up for discussion, let alone egregious political exploitation!

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:30 pm

Matz @ 12:07: What on earth are you talking about? This isn’t about any decisions made in the privacy of a doctor’s office. This is about the federal government telling a religious college or hospital that it has to pay for something in violation of the religious beliefs upon which it was built. It has nothing to do with an employee of one a religious college or hospital being allowed to buy contraceptives.

President Romney

December 19th, 2012
12:33 pm

Kyle

The Catholic Church via some of the entities does in fact offer birth control coverage via their insurance?

Is this done exclusively where they have no choice in regards to state law?

Peadawg

December 19th, 2012
12:35 pm

Do Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College ONLY hire Catholics? Or do they also hire people that aren’t affiliated with a religion?

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:38 pm

Peadawg @ 12:35: That’s irrelevant. Once again, the question is not about access to birth control for individuals. It is about whether someone else can be forced to pay for it in violation of the payer’s conscience.

BenDaho

December 19th, 2012
12:39 pm

Finn McCool (The System isn’t Broken; It’s Fixed)

December 19th, 2012
11:45 am
Religion and religious freedom is secondary to the concerns of society. Failing to provide contraceptives leads directly to the rise in abortions.

Which way do you people want it?

Last time I checked, contraceptives are available at any pharmacy and most gas stations. People are free to purchase it. Why is it that you libs love nothing more than imposing your f@#$ed up will on others and butt in on peoples lives?

Cheesy Grits is gone but not forgotten

December 19th, 2012
12:40 pm

But Tuesday’s ruling is important because the Obama administration is now legally obligated to follow through with its promise to rewrite the rule to accommodate religious liberty.

Should read religious ignorance.

President Romney

December 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

Kyle

Look up Catholic Healthcare West System to see when they started covering birth control and when it was required by state law…

Seems to be a discrepancy there in regards to the “payers conscience”.

There are other examples as well, but I doubt you want to talk about those facts.

Peadawg

December 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

“That’s irrelevant.” – We’ll agree to disagree on that one. I think it is VERY relevant.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 19th, 2012
12:43 pm

I begin to wonder if any of the rights articulated in the Constitution are important enough to keep libs from throwing them out the window.

Dusty

December 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

Well, I want to reassure Finn (11:50) that he need not worry about the “dwindling minority of angry white males”. No indeed.

The 2010 census showed that 72.4% of the USA population were in the white category. Now, about half of those are white men, some angry and many young and vigorous and all doing their part for the country. Same for women.

So don’t you worry, Finn. .All is well!!!

.

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:46 pm

Peadawg @ 12:42: At least I explained why I thought it was irrelevant, whereas you’ve simply asserted otherwise.

Kyle Wingfield

December 19th, 2012
12:48 pm

The real question is: When are all you who defend the mandate going to petition the White House to withdraw its promise to the court to change the rule and fight the lawsuit? At this point, your beef is more with the Obama administration than with me or even the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Or are you all counting on the administration to try to weasel out of it by coming up with a rule change that represents a distinction without a difference?

President Romney

December 19th, 2012
12:49 pm

Kyle

Is there a law in DC that stated all employers without exception that offer insurance, must also cover birth control?

Is that why Georgetown University (catholic based last time I checked) offers coverage to their employees?