Health

Wheaton College Drops Student Health Insurance To 'Protect' Lawsuit Against Obamacare

| by Michael Allen

Wheaton College in Chicago told students on July 10 that it would no longer provide health insurance coverage for 3,000 undergrads and grads because of its lawsuit against Obamacare.

The Christian-based school has claimed in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the Obamacare contraception mandate violates its religious freedom, notes the Chicago Tribune, so it is terminating insurance coverage for students tomorrow.

However, Wheaton College doesn't have to provide contraception coverage. Thanks to an Obamacare rule, the college could simply opt out by filing an application for a religious exemption.

But the college claims that filling out that paperwork, which would make a third party responsible for providing the coverage, would also violate its deeply-held religious beliefs.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents Wheaton and the Little Sisters of the Poor in Colorado, who recently lost a case based on their refusal to fill out the religious exemption paperwork.

Paul Chelsen, Wheaton's vice president of student development, told students last week during an informational session:

We are attempting to protect the larger lawsuit the college has against the Department of Health and Human Services.

The reason protecting that case is so important is because basically what has happened is the government is telling us we have to offer something that we find morally objectionable.

However, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed when when it recently ruled against the school's request for a preliminary injunction against the Obamacare rules while its Obamacare lawsuit continues.

"When Wheaton College tells us that it is being 'forced' to allow 'use' of its health plans to cover emergency contraceptives, it is wrong," Judge Richard Posner wrote in the ruling.

Wheaton College claims that emergency contraceptives such as morning-after pills can cause abortions because these products prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

However, The New York Times reported in 2012 that those claims were not true and actually the result of outdated warnings placed on morning-after pill packaging by the FDA.

“These medications are there to prevent or delay ovulation,” Dr. Petra M. Casey, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic told The New York Times. “They don’t act after fertilization.”

Sources: Chicago Tribune, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Christoffer Lukas Muller/Wikimedia