Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lawsuit Challenges Health Care Reform As Infringement of Religious Beliefs

Yesterday, the American Center for Law & Justice, on behalf of five plaintiffs, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate imposed by the recently enacted health care reform legislation. (Press release.) In addition to claiming that this portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exceeds Congress' power under the Commerce Clause, the lawsuit alleges that the new law violates the rights of three of the plaintiffs under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The complaint (full text) in Seven-Sky v. Holder, (DDC, filed 6/9/2010) alleges, for example, that plaintiff Susan Seven-Sky, a chiropractor and massage therapist:
15. ... believes in natural forms of healing and trusting in God to protect her from illness or injury and to heal her of any afflictions, no matter the severity of the health issue, and does not need, or want to be forced to buy, health insurance coverage.

16. In addition, Seven-Sky has a sincerely held religious belief that God will provide for her physical, spiritual, and financial well-being. Being forced to buy health insurance conflicts with Seven-Sky's religious faith because she believes that she would be indicating that she is not really sure whether God will, in fact, provide for her needs, so she needs to rely on a health insurance policy as a back-up plan.
Similar allegation are set out as to two other plaintiffs.