Thursday, July 02, 2015

7th Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction In Wheaton College Challenge To Contraceptive Mandate Accommodation

In Wheaton College v. Burwell, (7th Cir., July 1, 2015), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction, upholding the Obama administration's accommodation of religious non-profits' objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate. Wheaton College argued that the government is using its health plan to get around its objections to furnishing contraceptive coverage. Under the regulations, when the government informs the non-profit's insurer of the organization's religious objections, the insurer must offer coverage directly to plan participants.  The court said in part:
We can’t order the U.S. government not to ask particular insurers to insure Wheaton’s students and employees— especially the insurers that are experienced in dealing with the members of the Wheaton community. As for Wheaton’s apparent preference that the government discover through its own research the names of Wheaton’s insurers, we cannot imagine that insistence on this roundabout path to imparting essential information to the government could justify a preliminary injunction, at least in the absence of any explanation by Wheaton of why it thinks the difference between direct and roundabout identification of its insurers pertinent to its religious commitments. 
[Thanks to How Appealing for the lead.]