Oct 11, 2013 / 05:14 pm
The owner of a U.S. manufacturing business is filing an appeal to the Supreme Court over the HHS mandate, both because it violates his religious beliefs and because it interferes with his ability to treat his workers justly.
“I’ve never checked my faith at the door when I walked into the for-profit business arena” John Kennedy, owner of Autocam, told CNA Oct. 8, explaining that the company’s generous health care benefits are “part of our mission as employers … to treat our employees justly.”
Autocam is an automotive and medical tool manufacturer based in Michigan and owned by a Catholic family. The company currently employs around 600 people in the United States, and will face fines of about $16 million a year if it fails to comply with the HHS mandate.
The mandate was issued under the Affordable Care Act and requires employers to provide and pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs and procedures in employee health insurance plans, even if doing so violates the employer’s conscience or religious beliefs.
The family had filed suit against the federal government, and the case was dismissed by the sixth circuit appeals court on Sept. 17. The Kennedys have announced they will appeal the dismissal to the Supreme Court.
Kennedy explained that while he and his family object as Catholics to the provision of contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, his ability to provide the best possible care for his employees is also of grave concern.
“When you start talking about compelling interest” for the governmental intrusion into his company’s health care policy, “what we provide is so outside the norm,” he said.
Employees at Autocam earn an average of $53,000 a year, the “higher end” of skilled work, Kennedy explained, in addition to receiving a generous health benefits package. All employees are enrolled in Autocam’s self-insured Health Savings Account, and Autocam contributes $1,500 towards employees’ $4,000 deductible. …
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