Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eden Foods Battles Contraception Coverage Mandate

Despite the fact that Eden Foods markets to liberals with appeals such as ”Organic agriculture is society’s brightest hope for positive change,” the company has sued the Obama administration to exempt itself from the mandate to cover contraception under the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, which stated that "for-profit corporations controlled by religious families" have the right not to provide insurance coverage for birth control and emergency contraception, has boosted Eden Foods' contention that insurance coverage for contraception violates its religious beliefs:

Clinton, Mich.-based Eden Foods, a natural foods company that makes soy milk and other organic products, appears on track to win its fight with the federal government over funding insurance coverage of contraception in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Hobby Lobby ruling.

Last week, after its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a judgment against Eden Foods and sent a lawsuit back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for further consideration.

Eden Foods claims the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is violating the company's religious beliefs by requiring the company to pay for health care services, including contraception. The Eden Foods case was separate from the Hobby Lobby case but argued similar issues.

"We were convinced that actions of the federal government were illegal, and so filed a formal objection," the company said in a statement on its Web site last week. "The recent Supreme Court decision confirms, at least in part, that we were correct."

Eden Foods Founder and CEO Michael Potter, who has compared contraceptives to "lifestyle drugs," is a devout Catholic who does not believe companies should be forced to fund insurance that includes that coverage.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that some family-owned or other closely held businesses can opt out of a federal requirement to pay for contraceptives in health coverage for their workers.


Michael J. Mand said...

I might be a little more inclined to agree with the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision if jobs were plentiful and an employee would feel comfortable deciding not to work for such a company. But jobs are not plentiful right now. In too many cases employees are at the mercy of their employers for their own financial help. In this environment, it is encumbant upon employers to be a little more respectful of differing beliefs - and that's just what they are: beliefs. Actually, I'd never agree with the Hobby Lobby decision. We can avoid all this by issuing a medicare card with every birth certificate. End of problem!

Jeff Tone said...

I'd disagree with the decision even if jobs were plentiful. An employer doesn't have the right to foist his beliefs on an employee who may not share those beliefs and is entitled to her own health care decisions.