Two individuals, following in the footsteps of a Connecticut family who fought President Obama over the nationalization of health care and won, have filed their own lawsuits against the federal requirement to pay a hidden surcharge for abortion.
The cases were filed on behalf of Alan Lyle Howe of Guilford, Vermont, and John Doe, a Rhode Island resident.
Both are pro-life activists who must obtain Obamacare from government exchanges because their own plans were canceled, and both object on moral grounds to the fee for abortion built into the health plans in their states.
Doe, who is HIV-positive, and Guilford are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which also represented the Connecticut family. WND reported the Barth Bracy family voluntarily dropped a lawsuit after state officials removed a requirement that all health-plan participants in the state pay an abortion surcharge.
“Americans should not have to pay a special fee for other people’s abortions in order to take care of their own family’s health,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox, who represented Bracys.
“The Bracy family has experience first-hand the kind of deception that was used to pass and that continues to preface this law,” Mattox said. “While we are pleased that Connecticut families will now have a choice to avoid paying this abortion surcharge, it is a shame that other families won’t have that choice, and that most Americans don’t even know that they must pay this secret fee.”
In the new cases, ADF explains the plaintiffs object on faith grounds to Obamacare’s demand that they pay for others’ abortions.
“Under Obamacare, every health insurance exchange plan in Rhode Island and Vermont requires individuals to directly pay a surcharge to cover elective abortions for those in the exchange,” ADF explained.
“Paying for elective abortions should never be a prerequisite for access to health care,” said Mattox. “Neither the Constitution nor federal and state law allow for this type of government coercion. The Obama administration may not value constitutionally protected freedoms, but both federal and state law do. We are asking the court to stop Obamacare officials from running roughshod over these individuals’ rights.”
ADF said its complaints also challenge the mandatory secrecy clauses imposed by the federal government that prevent Americans from learning prior to enrollment if their plans include a hidden abortion surcharge.
Named as defendants in the new complaints are HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Treasurer Jacob Lew and other state and federal officials.
“Our Constitution, laws and history forbid the government penalizing a person for his religious convictions. Yet, the defendants interpret, apply and enforce the Affordable Care Act to impose substantial penalties on Doe because of his sincere religious objection to paying a separate abortion premium payment to be used specifically and exclusively to pay for others’ elective abortions,” one lawsuit charges.
“The defendants have required Doe to purchase a certain type of government-approved health insurance or pay burdensome fines for his refusal,” the complaint, filed in federal court in Rhode Island, said. The Vermont case has similar language.
The Rhode Island complaint notes the government has provided “numerous hardship exceptions to the individual mandate for reasons other than religious conscience, but provide[s] no exception to the abortion surcharge mandate even though Doe and others like him … have no voluntary choice to enroll in a plan that does not require him to pay for others’ abortions.”
Other states provide options, but the Rhode Island citizen “must choose to violate his religious convictions or to be subject to substantial penalties and to the denial of valuable benefits to which he is otherwise entitled under the law.”
Not only does Obamacare require the payments, it specifies that consumers cannot be told about them.
“The government cannot strong-arm Americans from choosing between their health and their values,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Pro-life individuals should be free to obtain the healthcare they need without having to violate their deepest convictions, and the administration should honor its vow to be the most transparent in history by ending its efforts to keep Americans in the dark about what they are paying for.”
The Obamacare mandate was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as a tax, although it was not written that way. But the law’s requirement that business owners pay for abortion-causing drugs was struck down. A third challenge alleges the law is fatally flawed because it allows subsidies only in states that set up exchanges, but customers of the federal exchange, nevertheless, are receiving the subsidies.
Othe court challenges argue Obamacare is illegal because Obama arbitrarily made dozens of changes to the law, and a new case alleges it violates the Constitution’s privacy protections.
Yet another says that since Obamacare was begun in the U.S. Senate, it is invalid under the Constitution’s requirement that taxing bills start in the House.