Circuit Courts Divided on Religious Objections to PPACA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has rejected a challenge to a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to cover contraceptive services, deepening a split among the federal circuit courts on the issue.

The Kennedy family, the owners of the Autocam Corporation and the plaintiffs in Autocam Corp v. Sebelius, claimed that in requiring the company-sponsored health plan to include contraception coverage, the PPACA unfairly forced the Kennedys to go against their beliefs as practicing Roman Catholics, or face a heavy fine.

The Sixth Circuit denied the Kennedys' claim, ultimately deciding the PPACA provision affects the company, which the Kennedys have stated to be secular, and not the family itself, and dismissed the case for a lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

The federal district courts have been split on whether for-profit corporations like Autocam can receive a religious exemption from the mandate. The Ninth Circuit had previously ruled for-profit corporations can file claims for exemption based on the religious beliefs of their owners in another challenge to the PPACA mandate. The Third, Seventh and Tenth Circuits have also made similar rulings recently, according to a report in Lexology.

More Articles on the PPACA:

Analysis: 5.2M People Could Fall Into PPACA Coverage Gap
GOP Demands Sec. Sebelius's Resignation, She Stands Firm
Government Shutdown Ends, Deal Doesn't Alter PPACA

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