|…there is a hole in your lawsuit…|
Mrs. Dr. J. brought this headline to Dr. J.’s attention as an aside during our morning cup of coffee as we were discussing the potential problems Catholic hospitals are facing due to the HHS Mandate.
Now, the second salvo has been fired against Catholic organizations. This time it is a class action lawsuit filed by a progressive lawyer rather than a fiat from a progressive cabinet secretary on behalf of her progressive POTUS.
An employee of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Westchester County, New York filed a class action law suit against St. Joseph’s Medical Center, of which St. Vincent’s is a part and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield which administers St. Joseph’s self financed insurance plan in Federal District Court in NYC. The lawsuit goes something like this. ‘Jane Roe’ has had a significant other named ‘Julia’, (just kidding, her name is ‘Jane Doe’) of sixteen years, and married her last year after New York state recognized same sex marriages.
She then applied for health insurance benefits for her spouse and was denied coverage because St. Joseph’s doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage and because they are self financed, and thus exempt from many state laws.
Both they and their attorney state that they filed this as a class action lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of DOMA as it applies to self insured policies in BCBS regardless of whether or not institutions are or or not religious. Interestingly they recognize that victory against a religious organization may be less likely than against self insured policies by companies without a religious affiliation.
The New York Times does a nice job outlining the case. Neither St. Joseph’s nor BCBS commented because there is a lawsuit underway (duh).
But you didn’t tune in here to get a Cliff Notes version of the NYT, you came here for commentary.
Dr. J. has been waiting for this ‘other shoe to drop’ regarding the Catholic Church and marriage. While he is still waiting for someone to sue St. Pat’s Cathedral for refusing to marry them this is yet another salvo being fired against Catholic organizations serving the community and Dr. J. doesn’t like it.
Dr. J. doesn’t like it when the Catholic Church, or its charitable arms, are attacked because people don’t like its beliefs or teachings.
Here’s the deal. The Catholic Church has its beliefs. If you don’t like what it stands for, DON’T WORK FOR IT. There are plenty of hospitals and other organizations that would more than welcome your skill set. Go work there. When you work for someone they offer you benefits, not entitlements. If you don’t like the benefits being offered, don’t work there.
Mrs. Roe and Mrs. Doe were doing fine, apparently for 15 years without being on the same health insurance plan. Other than sticking it to da man, Dr. J. sees no reason for this specific law suit, and in their words, and the words of their attorney, neither to they, other than to be the test case for DOMA and to give Catholic hospitals one more reason to shut down. It is that aspect of this that Dr. J. despises.
Now this is going to be a tougher case for St. Vincent’s to defend as there are differences, as Dr. J. sees it, between this issue (extending benefits to a same-sex spouse) and the HHS Mandate (the organization paying for contraception, abortifacents and sterilizations).
The difference is this, the HHS Mandate requires the Catholics to pay for that which is deemed sinful in the eyes of God. The government has no business forcing Catholic organizations (or even a devout private business like Hallmark as far as Dr. J. is concerned) to compromise their beliefs.
In this case, the attorney for Roe/Doe can argue (with some amount of validity) that Mrs. Roe and Mrs. Doe are no different than any other non-Catholic New Yorkers married in a non-Catholic ceremony. Therefore, if there is precedent for a non-Catholic Mr. Roe who is married to a non-Catholic Mrs. Doe in a non-Catholic ceremony, AND said Mr. Roe’s health insurance benefits that are provided by St. Vincent’s hospital are extended to Mrs. Doe, then one could argue that there is no reason why Mrs. Roe’s benefits can’t be extended to her Mrs. Doe.
That being said, Dr. J. feels that this is grandstanding by progressives and is a more of a disingenuous grievance aimed squarely at Bishop T. Mann (Whitey’s priestly brother).
Attacks by the left on religious organizations are ramping up. Things will get worse before they get better…