There are many aspects of the Affordable Care Act up for debate, but one of the hottest topics out there is the fact that health law requires insurers to offer contraception coverage in their policies or they risk being fined. The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over this specific mandate and it’s making big news. Tom Monaghan is a devout Catholic and believes contraception is a ‘gravely immoral’ practice according to Erica Ritz’s article from December 15th on TheBlaze.com.
The lawsuit was filed earlier in December and it also names the plaintiff Domino’s Farms, a Michigan office park complex that Monaghan owns. They offer health insurance that currently excludes coverage for things such as abortion and contraception. With the health law in place they would have to cover contraception and Monaghan sees this as unacceptable based on his religious views. He believes the law violates his rights since he believes it’s not his responsibility to pay for the habits of his employees. He’s asking a judge to strike down the mandate so he will not have to pay the extra fines if he chooses not to offer this type of coverage to employees.
Monaghan is not the first person to speak out against President Obama’s health law. It comes on the heels of Papa Johns public announcement that the price of pizza would go up if he was required to offer health insurance to all of his employees. Papa John’s founder, John Schatter said it was ‘common sense’ that he would have to implement cutbacks as a result of more regulations on his company and how they conduct business.
The government stands firm that the health insurance requirement to offer contraception coverage protects the rights of women and is a way to possible keep health care costs down over time by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Monaghan insists in his lawsuit that his religious freedom is at risk and he argues that he could be paying for abortions by way of supplying employees with access to emergency contraception such as Plan B according to Stephen C. Webster’s article on RawStory.com. Research from the Guttmacher Institute shows that prescription-only emergency contraception actually prevented about 51,000 abortions in the year 2000.
These emergency contraception drugs do not cause abortions, but they prevent the pregnancy from happening in the first place. Many anti-abortion activists still believe this is a fine line and do not want to be paying for this access. The Affordable Care Act prohibits public funds from being used for abortions and policies bought through government health insurance exchanges must carry higher premiums that the customer pays separately if they do happen to cover abortions. This is such a delicate subject and lawsuits like Domino’s are sure to continue as long as the Affordable Care Act is in place. Women’s rights have to be respected as well and this is why contraception and maternity coverage has been expanded under the new law.
Written by Sam Tabes
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Tags: contraception coverage, health care reform, maternity health coverage, women's health insurance