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.



The Big Dog's back

Religious beliefs are not part of the Constitution.


First Amendment to U.S. Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances

I do think that the amendments are still a part of the constitutuon

Pterocarya frax...

So clearly you are referring to the part about prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion). If I am not mistaken, it is a violation of Catholic doctrine to use birth control. Therefore these business owners should not use birth control, because I am sure they follow all other tenets of Catholic teaching.

The question becomes whether they should be able to withhold contraceptives from their employees. Perhaps we should look to the bible for answers. After all, in Genesis chapter 4, after Cain killed his brother, comes this passage:

"And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?"

That is the real question here. Most biblical "experts" would say that Jesus would answer that question with a yes, and quote the Matthew verse about "I was hungry...you fed me...blah, blah blah, and probably a few other verses as well.

But from what I see, most conservatives these days do not want to follow those principles, except when they think they can score some points against the Kenyan in the White House.


Kinda confusing the Cain & Abel story and Jesus with Robin Hood ain't ya?

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

Pterocarya frax...

I am not the least bit confused, but apparently many Republicans are. I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of "Christian" conservatives.


Reads more like you're "pointing out" the lunacy of using the beneficent message of Christianity in order to justify Marxist authoritarianism.


anthras...so what happens to all those who are NOT of the catholic faith who work for this company. Are they only to abide by the catholic doctrine? Should this company not think of their rights as well? Would it not be better to allow the benefits and let those who want to use them to use them and those who do not, not use them. To each his own choice? I see this this as more of a "save the money" idea than anything else.


Why should a company be forced to provide birth control at no cost when the employee can get the pill for about $9.00 per month? Birth control is not needed to live however my pill that I need to take daily for my heart cost me a co pay of $41.00 for a 90 day supply. Also I did spend $3,000.00 for my hearing aids why not mandate that employers provide hearing coverage??

I guess if the person really needs the pill with no co pay then they should find employment that does provide that as many companies do provide divergent coverages.

If you are a full time employee with health coverage at Lowe's and either you or your spouse needs open heart surgery and you would wish to have it at the Cleveland Clinic as their reputation is one of the best then no matter which Lowe's you are employed at maybe in Texas Lowe's or any other Lowe's in the country then Lowe's would pay the cost for transportation for the employee and the employee's spouse to the Clinic, pay for a room for the spouse and provide transportation back home. To me it would be a far greater benefit than a $9.00 per month pill.

I feel sure that other employers provide unique benefits to attract good employees.

Erie County Resident

Forced health care isn't in the Constitution either puppy so what's your point?


Neither is the pill, maybe free Viagra too?


In addition to the birth control and Viagra maybe the insurance company should also pay for the motel room


Hey Big Dog,

Neither is Welfare, SS, and Medicade but you don't have a problem with those.


Neither is welfare, SS, and medicade but you like those


Not if Progressives get their way. The Bill of Rights stands firmly in the path of their Socialist agenda.


What I want to know....If Obamacare wants to make it easier for women to receive care why doesn't the GOVERNMENT themselves cover it.....no insurance no, questions, no worries. I also wish they could call it something else...not everone takes it for BIRTH CONTROL. It also controls hormones that mess with ALL Kinds of things....acne, pms, excessive bleeding, anemia, migraines, etc.


double post

Don S

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


You can push Nina turner out of your bed now. Even her own contituents think she is a kook.


Boy, sounds like you have a lot of anger in your heart. What makes someone a "pig" just because they don't agree with your views?


The owners call themselves Catholics, but are their employees catholic as well? If not how can they say what their empoyees can or cannot do with their own bodies?


The same way an employer can say that a person cannot use drugs. An employer doesn't have to pay for alcohol or any other harmful thing that a person wants to do to their body. If someone wants to use birth control, or get an abortion, let them pay for it. Maybe before it's all over, the taxpayers will be paying for people to get tattoo's (because they WANT one) or maybe we can start paying for piercings, etc. I can see paying for something if it affects your health, but not just because you don't want to be "bothered" and want "free sex".


They are not saying what thier employees can or cannot do with thier bodies. They are saying contraceptives are against thier beliefs and should not be forced to pay for it


@jamo. What many people don't understand is they ARE NOT TELLING ANYONE WHAT THEY CAN OR CAN'T DO WITH THEIR BODY. There, did I say it loud enough. They are not saying they CAN"T take BC. What they are saying is their insurance WONT cover it based on their religious background and practice, which being the owner of a business, they should have EVERY RIGHT to do so. Thats it, nothing more, nothing less.


What I want to know is: When's Pres. BHO gonna demand that the Amish pay Social Sec., Medicare and ObamaCare taxes???

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."


I agree, the fact that they aren't forced to means that the US is sponsoring a religion. Why the special treatment of the Amish?


From what I understand (and I am no expert), the Amish do not pay into SS or healthcare because they don't use it. I have HEARD that they take nothing from the government. No unemployment, no free healthcare, no SS, nothing. The community takes care of all their people. You might want to check these facts out, but that is what I have heard.


That is what I was always taught and understood also. They do not pay in, they do not take out.


Last time I checked, the Amish use our roads. Who pays for that?


@ grandmasgirl:

So why is not the same "courtesy" extended by our govt. to other religious denominations or individuals?

What makes the Amish so "special"?

Pterocarya frax...

This is pretty amusing since Amish are the only religion anymore that seem to really follow christian principles and take care of their fellow man.

If you are so desperate to not pay taxes, then go join the Amish religion.