An appeals court panel’s decision that an individual has the right to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s mandated coverage of contraception means that case is back at square one.
State Senator Paul Wieland (R-Imperial) and his wife, Teresa, say because they are Catholic and have religious objections to providing insurance coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs for their daughters, they shouldn’t have to as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
A U.S. District Court refused to consider their arguments, but an appeals court panel ruled unanimously it has to, according to Thomas Moore Society President Tom Brejcha.
“Is Obamacare a violation of their religious liberty right or not? I think that’s what the court must face squarely now,” Brejcha told Missourinet.
Wieland said the ruling that Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to provide such coverage to his employees should provide precedent.
“It would make sense that our relationship with our daughters is a lot closer than an employee-employer relationship, so I would think that logic tells us that we should win at the end of the day,” said Wieland.
That “day” could be a long one, though. Wieland said he doesn’t foresee himself, or the Obama Administration backing off of the case, so he would not be surprised if it would wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I would be shocked if we’re still not in litigation after the next presidential election. I have a feeling things will be appealed and appealed until it’s finally resolved.”
He said the stakes in the case are high.
“Any Catholic or any person with any kind of religious convictions that does not believe in abortifacient drugs would be able to say, ‘Hey, I want a plan that doesn’t include that,’ and that was one of the [Affordable Care Act’s] premises, was that all plans will have these abortifacient drugs in them.”
The decision this week reverses a dismissal that was made in November, 2013. The federal government could still ask that the full appeals court consider the appeal of the lower court’s dismissal.