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.




Simple answer for the ignorant. Because Congress has not passed a law on any of those issues like it has on health care.


An "anti-abortion legal group" is suing because they don't want to pay for contraception. The makes sense. WTF?

The Big Dog's back

Crazy isn't it.


They believe that life begins at conception, except in this case.

It's human life when there is the possibility of more future tithing members, but, not when it stands to cost them money.


The employees who want birth control have the right to pay for it themselves. If the company was firing them for using birth control, THAT would be wrong. If they don't like the fact that thier insurance doesn't cover contraceptives, they can find a job with benefits that better fit thier needs. It's that simple folks!

Swamp Fox

All employers should mandate birth control for Obama supporters, do we really want them to multiple?

"The Amish take nothing from the goverment." Obama supporters more than make up for them...


I wonder who pays for that street the horse and buggy travels on!

The General

.....chicks dig my "mooseknuckle"


Okay, problem solved: Employers will simply stop offering health benefits to all employees. Period. You're all on your own. That's the only way employers will be able to adhere to their own religious principles in some instances, and maintain financial health in pretty much ALL instances. Meanwhile, who's going to suffer? As usual, it's the working man.

And now the idiots in Washington want to offer up yet ANOTHER amnesty program that will see over 11 million illegal aliens be eligible for various and sundry benefits! The only good news there is that the sooner Obamacare crashes and burns, the sooner it'll be proved unworkable and we can move on. The bad news? 11 million illegals given amnesty, and an economy that will take YEARS to recover from the nightmare that is a business-curbing, wealth-hating, entitlement-happy Obama administration.

Just freakin' awesome...

The Big Dog's back

Gee, if we had single payer none of this would be a problem.


We DO have single payer, at least for some segments of the population. It's called "Medicaid" and "Medicare." Both are mismanaged, inefficient, and bankrupt. Next bright idea?

The Big Dog's back

What? Where's your proof. And no, right wing sites are not proof.


Try googling "medicare fraud." I did, and got over 5 million hits. As for solvency and sustainability, maybe you should ask the state of California about that... Estimates on a NATIONAL level suggest the program will be bankrupt sometime between 2016 and 2024. Depends on who you ask, but that's the range provided by studies including those conducted by the government.


The last I read, the estimated waste, fraud and abuse associated with Medicare and Medicaid was $60B annually.

Just raise taxes to cover the gap. :)

The Big Dog's back

Oh and sam, remember that thingy called an election in November? People want Medicare and Medicaid.


It's say people want Medicare and Medicaid regardless of the election results. Same's true for Social Security. That doesn't mean they don't need to be reformed, fraud minimized, etc.


No personal or fiscal accountability is the liberal mantra.


Most fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs is committed by the medical professionals in the system, not the recipients of medical services. Stop blaming the poor for fraud and place it on the professionals who actually do most of it.


@ jas:

So your answer is what?

Hire thousands more highly compensated bureaucratic paper pushers to watch the thousands of other highly compensated bureaucratic paper pushers?

Study Deming – the system is corrupt.


That thingy that anyone can vote in, even if you do not pay any taxes to fund it! That thingy?

Quotation: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."


Heard this one of Frederic Bastiat's repeated by RT's Max Keiser the other day:

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."




Bestiat also said something else that's just as appropriate here:

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone." Or, in this case, the half of us that actually pay taxes.

I sure wish some people (most notably those in government) would remember what Margaret Thatcher said: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Yup. And sooner rather than later if more people decide it's not worth their while to actually work when nobody HAS to.


Thanks for all the laughter here! Watched as many in buSINess took handouts...er tax abatements, write-offs, subsidies, etc. Oh that's capitalism. Watched as they had healthcare but had nothing for the employess doing the physical work. Nice.


Let the workers get a job where this is provided for them. They new full well that these things were not provided when they took their jobs. Furthermore, we are not hearing any negativity from the workers. They understand full well that if the employers are forced to provide what ios in the Health care Bill they are the ones who will ultimately pay. We are passing these costs on to the workers or 30 hour work weeks or closing our doors are about our only options.
The Amish have become low class individualy with many hidden problems in their communities. They pay no taxes, social security, property or probably a few taxes I missed. Thjey are a complete drain on us. As if thius isn't enough, they don't serve in the Military, they use our roads, hospitals, police protection, court system, then; they have expanded outside of their community to take construction jobs form union workers. They make about all the aluminum boats and trailers. Sylvan, Starcraft, and I think Lund Boats and more. Haulmark, US Cargo, Wells Cargo or Fargo trailers and about all the aluminum boat trailers. Amish cheese and food products is a huge business.
Does anyone realize the trickle-down effect of any cost to a company or corporation? Charge them, fine them, tax them, who is ultimately going to pay? It's either the workers pay or the companies close their doors; China and Mexico are waiting, they just love us!


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Title VII allows churches and religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of religion.

According to the SR article, with Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics employing ~400, and given both businesses are "for profit" businesses, they cannot hire or fire personnel based on religious beliefs. As an example, if a current Freshway employee was found to be divorced and without a marriage annulment, or if an employee was found to be in a long-term relationship with a same-sex partner, Freshway could not terminate said employee because of their either being legally divorced, but not annulled, or with a same-sex partner.

I'm not a lawyer. Not even close, *BUT*, as I ponder Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, I'm struggling to understand how Freshway hasn't challenged Title VII yet is challenging the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Maybe is the issue that they will offer health insurance but simply don't want to have birth control as an option in the coverage?

Perhaps one option to make all of this a moot point would be for insurance companies to offer a defined-policy option to employers that does not include birth control. Of course if insurance companies would do this, it would open up the Pandora's box of insurance companies having to develop customized plans, which would not give insurance companies yet another excuse to raise rates, but would give all sorts of fits to the insurance company actuaries.


OSU, how would they do that when oral contraceptives are sometimes prescribed for medical treatment instead of for birth control? Many women and teenage girls take them for irregular periods, heavy bleeding, severe cramping, PMS, acne, etc.


out of pocket....they are really cheap.


Too bad campaign funds have a "no return" policy. :)

"Labor Unions Finally Read Obamacare Fine Print, Realize Costs Set To Spike, 'Turn Sour' On Obama"


The Big Dog's back

Get a job.