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Judge grants university in Florida temporary injunction on HHS mandate


MADELEINE TEAHAN

Source:
Catholic Herald UK
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
10/30/2014

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ABSTRACT Judge grants university in Florida temporary injunction on HHS mandate Thu 30th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Thu 30th Oct 2014 at 11:39am Home Latest News Features Comment & Blogs Multimedia Catholic Life Spiritual Life Saint of the week The week ahead The word this week Archive Jobs Advertising Subscribe Hot Topics Pope Francis Pope Benedict XVI Papal Visit 2010 Vatican general audience Latest News Judge grants university in Florida temporary injunction on HHS mandate By Madeleine Teahan on Thursday, 30 October 2014 In This Article Archbishop George J Lucas , Ave Maria University , Creighton University , Eric Baxter , Eternal Word Television Network , Father Tim Lannon , Jim Towey , Nebraska Share Share | Related Posts American university criticised for giving benefits to same-sex spouses of workers Morning Catholic must-reads: 06/07/12 Cardinal-designate Dolan says Obama reneged on assurances Morning Catholic must-reads: 11/02/11 Morning Catholic must-reads: 05/11/10 Zemanta As part of the Affordable Care Act, the US Department of Health and Human Services requires nearly all employers to cover contraceptives (AP) 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 non-exempt religious employers must use to opt out of the contraceptive mandate. The October 28 ruling from Judge James S Moody of the US 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. The university’s employee health insurance plan is set to be renewed November 1, which is when fines would have kicked in, at $1,000 a day per enrollee in an employer’s health plan. Moody said his injunction would remain in place pending resolution of an appeal filed by the Eternal Word Television Network with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. A three-judge panel of the circuit court issued an order June 30 barring enforcement of the mandate pending the outcome of the network’s appeal to the full court. Moody said the 11th Circuit panel’s holding in the EWTN case “supported the issuance of a preliminary junction” for Ave Maria. “This is a significant victory,” said Jim Towey, the university’s president. “It is the first federal court case since the US Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case and the subsequent issuance of the so-called ‘augmented’ regulations by the Obama administration.” But “while this victory is significant, the battle is far from over,” he said in a blog post. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the US Department of Health and Human Services requires nearly all employers to cover contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs for all employees in company health plans. It includes a narrow exemption for religious employers that fit certain criteria. To opt out, nonexempt religious employers must follow a procedure to inform the government of its religious objections to the mandated coverage. The government in turn informs a third party — such as the employer’s insurer or the administrator of its plan — that it must provide the coverage at no cost to the employee. Employers who are not exempt, like Ave Maria University in Florida, had been required to fill out a self-certification form – known as EBSA Form 700 – to di.......