National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Court rules Michigan firm exempt from providing contraceptive coverage

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A federal court has ruled that a Michigan-based medical supply company does not have to provide contraception coverage in its employee health insurance plan because of faith-based objections.

The Jan. 5 ruling by Judge Robert Jonker of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids said Autocam Medical does not have to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act. The decision is a reversal of the judge's ruling three years ago.

The right health insurance can change lives

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My NCR colleague Michael Sean Winters has correctly pointed out that the Obama administration should have shared with the public case after case of real people benefiting from new or better health insurance as part of selling the Affordable Care Act to the American people. Every day this was not done seemed like a missed opportunity. Now, after the ACA has been in place for just over a year, Los Angeles Times national health care reporter Noam N.

Court hears arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor appeal, two others

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Speaking on the steps of a federal courthouse Monday in Denver, the mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor said the religious order cannot and "should not have to" choose between "our care for the elderly poor and our faith."

Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire said that is what the U.S. government is demanding by requiring the order to comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

Judge grants Ave Maria University temporary injunction on HHS mandate

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A federal judge in Florida has granted Ave Maria University's motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the Catholic university from being forced to follow the latest procedures that nonexempt religious employers must use to opt out of the contraceptive mandate.

The ruling Tuesday from Judge James S. Moody of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came as Ave Maria was days away from having to pay fines to the government for noncompliance.

USCCB: New rules to opt out of HHS mandate still unsatisfactory

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday urged the federal government "to reconsider" its new rules to allow religious institutions -- and potentially some for-profit companies -- to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

On Aug. 22, the Obama administration issued rules it described as a "work around" to offer religious employers who are not exempt from the mandate a new way to opt out of coverage they find morally objectionable.

The rules also provide some for-profit companies a way to opt out.

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