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Franciscan Univ v Sebelius

Franciscan Univ v Sebelius

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Published by Howard Friedman
SD OH decision
SD OH decision

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Published by: Howard Friedman on Mar 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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et al 
., :: Case No. 2:12-CV-440Plaintiffs, :: JUDGE ALGENON L. MARBLEYv. ::KATHLEEN SEBELIUS,
et al 
., : Magistrate Judge Mark Abel:Defendants. :OPINION & ORDERI. INTRODUCTION
This matter comes before the Court on all Defendants’ Joint Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (“the Motion”) (Doc. 23). For the reasons set forth herein, Defendants’ Motion is
. This action is
in its entirety.
 Plaintiffs, two Roman Catholic, non-profit organizations, bring this action challengingthe legality of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (“ACA”), Pub. L. No. 111 –148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), and its implementing regulations. Plaintiff Franciscan University of Steubenville (“Franciscan”) instructs approximately 2,500 students in “a Catholic educationalenvironment” and has 450 employees.
Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Opposition
, Doc. 31 at 7.Franciscan accepts students “of all faiths and creeds” and “does not know the religious makeupof its non-faculty employees.”
. Its employee health plan is “grandfathered” under the ACA,and thus unaffected by the ACA’s Mandate.
Case: 2:12-cv-00440-ALM-MRA Doc #: 68 Filed: 03/22/13 Page: 1 of 13 PAGEID #: 859
Plaintiff Michigan Catholic Conference (“MCC”) is a Roman Catholic advocacy groupthat “sponsors and administers several benefits programs” for employees of Michigan’s sevenRoman Catholic dioceses, as well as Roman Catholic schools and charities across Michigan.
.The primary benefit program implicated by this case is the “Michigan Catholic ConferenceAmended and Restated Group Health Benefit Plan for Employees – Revised (“the MCC Plan”).
. MCC alleges the MCC Plan lost “grandfathered” status under the ACA due to recent changesto the benefits program.
.Defendants are various officials, in their official capacities, and departments of theUnited States Government charged with enforcing the ACA.
B. Relevant Provisions of the Affordable Care Act
 The ACA, with its accompanying regulations, requires “all group health plans and healthinsurance issuers that offer non-grandfathered group or individual health coverage to providecoverage for certain recommended preventive services without cost-sharing.”
 Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss
, Doc. 23-1 at 1. These recommended services include reproductive healthservices specific to women. Defendant Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”)commissioned the Institute of Medicine (“IOM”), a part of the National Academy of Sciencesfunded by Congress, to report on what those reproductive services should include.
. at 5.Among the services recommended by the IOM Report, and at issue in this case, are “the fullrange of [FDA]-approved contraceptive methods, sterilizations procedures, and patient educationand counseling for women with reproductive capacity.”
. at 6. Significant to note is that ahealth plan in which an individual was enrolled on March 23, 2010 remains unchanged by theACA, unless said plan “or its sponsor enters into a new policy, certificate, or contract of 
Case: 2:12-cv-00440-ALM-MRA Doc #: 68 Filed: 03/22/13 Page: 2 of 13 PAGEID #: 860
insurance after March 23, 2010 that is effective before November 15, 2010,” in which case theplan ceases to be grandfathered and is subject to the ACA. 45 C.F.R. § 147.140.In recognition of the fact that a number of religious groups oppose the use of contraception and sterilization, Defendants included an exemption for “religious employers.” Toqualify, an employer must satisfy four requirements:(1) The inculcation of religious values is the purpose of the organization.(2) The organization primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the organization.(3) The organization serves primarily persons who share the religious tenets of theorganization.(4) The organization is a nonprofit organization as described in section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033 (a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.45 C.F.R. § 147.130 (a)(1)(iv)(B). The referenced sections in 6033 of the Internal Revenue Coderefer to “churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches” and“the exclusively religious activities of any religious order” that are tax-exempt under 26 U.S.C. §501(a).Defendants adopted the definition of “religious employer” in the final regulations, butalso created a “temporary enforcement safe harbor” for plans offered by certain entities notdefined as religious employers, but that are nonetheless non-profit organizations with religiousobjections to contraceptive coverage. 77 Fed. Reg. 8725, 8727 (Feb. 15, 2012). The safe harborcriteria are as follows:(1) The organization is organized and operates as a non-profit entity.(2) From February 10, 2012 onward, contraceptive coverage has not beenprovided at any point by the group health plan sponsored by the organization,consistent with any applicable state law, because of the religious beliefs of theorganization.
Case: 2:12-cv-00440-ALM-MRA Doc #: 68 Filed: 03/22/13 Page: 3 of 13 PAGEID #: 861

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