Friday, Jan. 25, 2013
Sioux Chief sues U.S. over Obamacare
Company could face $100 fine each day per employee
By Bethany Bashioum
A large Cass County employer is suing the federal government over “Obamacare.”
Peculiar-based Sioux Chief Manufacturing, which employs 370 people, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Kansas City on Jan. 14.
The company is seeking relief from provisions of the health care act that requires companies to cover abortion and contraception in its self-insured health plan, contradictory to the business owner’s Catholic beliefs.
“The coercion tramples on the freedom of conscience of plaintiffs and millions of other Americans to abide by their religious convictions, to comply with moral imperatives they believe are decreed by God Himself through His Church and to contribute to society through business in a way that is consistent with their religious ethics, deeply held religious beliefs and the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” the lawsuit read.
The lawsuit also stated that Sioux Chief’s plan could not be grandfathered in because it had increased deductibles since 2010, and that the company seeks an injunction to avoid changes to its plan by a Monday, April 1 deadline.
Sioux Chief could face penalties of $100 per employee per day of noncompliance.
The company is being represented by Lee’s Summit lawyer Jonathan Whitehead and Kevin Theriot, a Leawood lawyer associated with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has filed similar lawsuits for companies throughout the country.
Whitehead could not be reached for further comment.