Ohio businessmen sue over health care requirement

A lawsuit challenging part of the federal health care overhaul on behalf of two Catholic business owners in Ohio argues a requirement for contraception coverage contradicts their religious beliefs and violates their constitutional rights.
Associated Press
Jan 25, 2013

The American Center for Law and Justice, an anti-abortion legal group, sued the federal Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury departments and their leaders Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Francis Gilardi Jr. and Philip Gilardi. The brothers run produce processing and transportation businesses in the western Ohio city of Sidney and have about 400 employees between their companies, Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics.

The brothers have excluded contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs from their company health insurance for the past decade but would be required to provide that coverage starting this spring or face crippling fines and penalties — totaling more than $14 million annually — under the health care rule, the ACLJ said.

"The government is requiring them to enter into a contract and to pay for things that they find morally objectionable, and they just want to be able to continue what they've been doing," ACLJ senior counsel Edward White said Friday.

Officials in President Barack Obama's administration have said their goal is giving women access to important care, not limiting religious freedom. The Department of Justice said Friday it had no comment on the Gilardis' case.

The brothers are seeking a ruling that the mandate is unconstitutional and an injunction blocking the mandate from applying to them.

The ACLJ said the case is the fourth similar challenge it has filed to the health care law, in addition to filing support for others' challenges, in the hope that one of the cases will eventually lead to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue.

In one challenge, Ohio's attorney general was among seven who filed a lawsuit seeking to block the contraception coverage requirement on the argument that it violated the rights of employers who object to the use of contraceptives. A federal judge dismissed that case last year, saying they didn't have standing to file it and noting that Obama's administration agreed to work with religious groups to try to address concerns.




Answer the question:

Why shouldn't the Amish be forced to pay Soc. Security, Medicare and ObamaCare taxes?

"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 THESS 3:10)

Pterocarya frax...

Re: "Answer the question". Your corporatist fascism is showing through.

It's okay, though. I don't blame you for being bitter and angry. You were working at the corporate headquarters in Chicago, and they demoted you to Youngstown....and then again all the way to Norwalk. I would be bitter too.

But hey, things might be looking up. I hear your company may be opening a new office in Lorain! Maybe you can snag that plum assignment.

And you always have that extra income from FreedomWorks for all the crap you make up on newspaper blogs.


@ Pterocarya fraxinifolia:

Read up on the subject: http://amishreligiousfreedom.org...

So why shouldn't they be forced to pay it?

"Pterocarya fraxinifolia is a species of tree in the Juglandaceae family. It is commonly known as the Caucasian wingnut,"


"contango" is nothing more than a market ....... as in Wall St. SCAM. A legal one at that!

Erie County Resident

Hey frax it is obvious you know absolutely nothing about the Amish to make a statement like that.
Your pretty funny.


@Pterocarya.......Big difference between the Amish and Americans. Every Amish person works!


If they pay income taxes, then they pay.


The key is in the part of the First Amendment that says (concerning freedom of religion) the government cannot prohibit the free exercise thereof. NONE of these employers in any of the suits filed is attempting to prohibit anybody from following their own beliefs and using birth control or not. They are objecting to being forced against their beliefs to PROVIDE that birth control.

I am in no way opposed to contraception. In fact, I promote the he11 out of it! But forcing a devout Catholic to provide birth control, or those who stand against abortion from a religious viewpoint to pay for abortions (which Obamacare does), is a clear violation of freedom of religion.

I do agree that there's a good sized grey area here as is pointed out by ladydye_5. There are other and perfectly legitimate medical reasons that someone might be prescribed birth control pills having nothing to do with contraception whatsoever.

Don S, for the record, yes, I object to paying for somebody else's Viagra in the same way I'd object to paying for somebody else's plastic surgery. Is it nice? Yes. Is it necessary? No.

Obamacare — the "one size fits all" that everybody has to pay for — wasn't and isn't the answer. Insurance reform? Yes. Healthcare reform? Yes. (Ironically, insurance and healthcare problems are caused by the other.) The elimination of Medicare/Medicaid fraud? Yes. But the problem with "one size fits all" is that it doesn't. And don't even get me started on the boatload of "exceptions" already granted by the feds to various and sundry companies and groups...! Including, by the way, members of Congress. Interesting, that, eh?


@ SA:

Employer paid health ins. makes about as much sense as employer paid auto or home owners ins. or theoretical grocery ins.

Employer paid health ins. is one of the unintended consequences of FDR's wage and price freeze programs.

A "perfect" instance where more govt. incompetence is needed to correct previous govt. incompetence.

(Employer paid auto and home owners ins. products were tried in the private sector and failed.)

The Big Dog's back

wiinie, so glad you are for single payer! :)


@ Dog:

So you'd be all for single payer auto, home owner ins.?

The Big Dog's back

Yes! So you agree with Single Payer, alright winnie.


Good that you acknowledge that you're a Marxist.


@jamo...they are only saying they won't cover the financial cost of birth control, sterilization, and abortion inducing drugs; due to their belief system. If you don't ascribe to those beliefs, you don't have to work there. No one is forcing you or anyone else.

How about the govt. saying Muslims have to serve pork in all their schools, mosques, and office buildings. How do ya' think that would go over? Same difference as far as I'm concerned.

The Big Dog's back

AHHH people, this was already decided by the Supreme Court. America, Love it or Leave it righties.


@ Dog:

SCJ Roberts wrote that it was a tax. Taxes are a purview of Congress. And Congress likes to mess with taxes.

ACA is a complicated boondoggle that'll collapse in its implementation.

The Big Dog's back

Insurance, of any kind, Socialism at it's best!

Yellow Snow

It should be like tooth paste. I brush my teeth, I buy my own toothpaste. It's called responsibility for preventable results.


Insurance companies are starting to charge more for smokers.
I can't wait for them to start charging more for overweight people.

My wag: Two thirds of the comments on here will be against that puppy.


BMI is below 25 here.

My latest physical showed only a Vitamin D deficiency. OTC supplemental tablet is taking care of that.

I once heard the Prez of Cleveland Clinic say that three things caused 70% of the health problems in the U.S.:

Obesity and
Lack of exercise.

FYI: 5% of the population is responsible for almost 50% the health care costs in the U.S.

Did Obama's ComradeKare provide for the funding of the building of crematoriums for use by the death panels?


Winnie, now if only you could get a job.


Eventually all the employers are going to put everyone at 30 hours or less so they don't have to pay a persons insurance, just watch and see


Socialism has always been a derisive label used by Republicans to denigrate new ideas brought forth by Progressives. Republican lawmakers fought vehemently against Social Security and Medicare when they were first introduced by Democrats, calling both Socialist ideas. Time, of course, has proven that both were pretty good ideas, and I don't hear any Republicans in 2013 refusing to accept their Social Security checks or Medicare benefits.

Perhaps we just need to admit that Socialism isn't a bad thing, and that it a lot of people find it to be a better philosophy than runaway capitalism/greed, in which a select few get filthy rich at the expense of the (99%) rest of us. Just read that 49% of Americans age 18-29 have a favorable view of Socialism, while 46% have a favorable view of Capitalism. So, you have a majority of young Americans who have turned their nose up at the economic policies the GOP espouses.

Bobby Jindal got it right when he said that the Republican Party is the party of Stupid.


Socialism hasn't ever worked. Every country has went belly up and quick.


@ coasterfan:

The early 20th Century Progressives understood that it was Fabian Socialism.

Always enjoyed the use of Bolshevik "word magic."

So did Obama's ComradeKare fund for more prisons and work camps to deal with the "malcontents"?

So what are you a "retired teacher" of?

BTW: Been payin' attention to IL? The public union employees may have to eventually sue for their benefits - should be interesting.

The IL Dems own this cow pie, lock, stock and barrel.



49% is a majority??? Poll their parents or the working youth!!! I too was a liberal in college until I started working!!!

The Big Dog's back

So you are mathematically challenge huh goof? 49% to 46%, a majority.


If my religious beliefs include child labor as an important part of the teaching process, does that mean I should be exempt from child labor laws? I don't think so. Unfortunately, the kooky activist GOP Judges on the Supreme Court may see it differently when requiring employers to provide their employees health care. Of course, the conservative GOP judges would never substitute their judgment for the judgment of the people in Congress who were actually elected to make such decisions. That would be judicial activism and we all know the GOP is opposed to that unless it's something they don't like. What a bunch of conservative hypocrites.


jas writes:

"...the kooky activist GOP Judges on the Supreme Court may see it differently when requiring employers to provide their employees health care."

Why aren't employers required to provide auto, home owners, life, short-term disability and grocery ins. to their employees?

The Big Dog's back

I dunno know, why not?