Saturday, July 28, 2012

Honored + Hercules v. Sebelius

Todd Wilken, host of Issues, Etc., recently selected my blog post, Wir sind alle Mörder, as the Issues, Etc. blog of the week! As someone who hasn't even been doing this for a month and who I still consider very intellectually immature, I am honored to have such recognition on an internationally broadcasted and high quality Christian radio program. Hopefully to the new readers of this blog (pageviews have definitely skyrocketed!), you find my thoughts and things that I share worthy of your reading time as I continue to learn how to best utilize this great first article gift of blogging. Thanks in advance for your loyalty!

Now on to more pressing matters. Ever since the HHS came out with its mandate back in January to require employers to include contraceptive (and arguably, abortifacient) coverage in their health insurance plans, even employers with religious objections, I have been glued to the coverage and developments. Even though it wasn't even noticed in the media for about a month, I believe that so much concerning the future prosperity of America depends on what happens with this bill. Why so dramatic? The freedom the government gives to the people to be able to practice their religion howsoever they wish is the very backbone to the freedoms that have been fought for and have made this country as great as it is. Once a nation loses religious freedom, it's only a matter of time before more and more freedoms are removed from us. Singing the concluding words of the Star Spangled Banner, "O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave" would be as dishonest to sing as if I were to sing the chorus of Macho Man. Luckily, I am very optimistic that this is a fight that the First Amendment will win. The mandate goes in effect in part beginning Wednesday (which is coincidentally Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, a response to those who wish to restrict the free speech of Chick-Fil-A's leadership to make public statements on an issue of morality, and restrict the free practice of religion as Chick-Fil-A as a corporation wishes to donate to specific causes that align with their religious morals). Those employers who have religious objections and who primarily employ and serve those who have the same affiliation, which will be a mess for the government to determine, will be exempt for a year. Those who object who don't fall under this category? Well, yesterday saw the first ruling on a lawsuit against the mandate when a federal court ruled against the mandate in Hercules v. Sebelius.

The U.S. District Court for Colorado on Friday blocked the Obama administration from requiring an air-conditioning company in Colorado to provide no co-pay contraceptives to its employees, as the Affordable Care Act directs.

It was, as Sam Baker points out, the first time a federal court has ruled against that provision of the health-care law.

It’s not yet, however, exactly a victory for the contraceptive mandate’s opponents: The injunction is specific to that one company, and it holds only until the judge can reach a verdict on the case’s merits. Still, it could mark the start of a long period of litigation involving one of the health-care law’s most polarizing provisions.

Hercules v. Sebelius is a case brought by Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based air-conditioning company. The four siblings who own the business say they oppose contraceptives — such medications are not included in their current health coverage plan — and “seek to run Hercules in a manner that reflects their sincerely-held religious beliefs.”
As the article points out, the case isn't completely over, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Here's to hoping more progress is made, the mandate is eventually struck from the books, and every school history book adds a 50 page discourse on how irrational this mandate was from the beginning.

Till then...

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