By Jim Harger | [email protected]
on October 08, 2012 at 11:38 AM, updated October 08, 2012 at 12:05 PM
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – John Kennedy, president and CEO of Autocam and Autocam Medical, sued the federal government in U.S. District Court Monday, saying his religious beliefs prevent him from complying with the abortion-related mandates of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Kennedy, a Catholic who said he provides healthcare coverage for 680 employees in his U.S. operations, said the law violates his religious beliefs by forcing him to add abortion inducing drugs to his company’s health care coverage plan.
“This law requires me to violate my beliefs by paying for controversial products that cause abortions, and it does nothing to improve access or eliminate cost for essential medications like insulin and heart medication,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said he hopes the lawsuit will buy opponents of the law like himself enough time to repeal the mandates in Congress. The lawsuit seeks a court injunction to stop the mandates when they become effective on Jan. 1, 2013
“Why is the Obama administration prioritizing life- ending drugs over lifesaving drugs?” said Kennedy, who filed the lawsuit with the support of the CatholicVote Legal Defense Fund and the Thomas More Society of Chicago.
“The Affordable Care Act requires that businesses offer healthcare that covers drugs and procedures that violate the sanctity of human life,” Kennedy said. Failing to provide the coverage could cost his company up to $100 per day per employee – or about $24 million a year, he said.
“Essentially, we are forced to choose between violating our religious convictions, stripping our associates of benefits, or shutting down our business. The Affordable Care Act threatens the right to religious freedom, upon which our nation was founded.”
Because of his family’s belief they are obligated to treat their employees well, Autocam’s employees pay no health care premium, Kennedy said. About 91 percent of their employees take advantage of the plan’s design, he said.
Kentwood-based Autocam makes precision parts and components for automotive fuel systems and medical instruments.