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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Wieland sues federal government because of civil liberty concerns over the Affordable Care Act

Posted by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM
  • 13 Replies

ST. LOUIS — Rep. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, and his wife filed suit against the federal government this week, arguing that their civil rights were violated by a recent health insurance change.

Wieland, a government employee, said when it was time to sign up for the Missouri Consolidated Plan this year, he wasn’t provided the chance to opt out of coverage for certain medical provisions for moral convictions.

“In July I got a letter saying that opting out was no longer an option for me, and it really kind of upset me because I’m a devout Catholic,” Wieland told The Missouri Times.

After receiving the letter, Wieland said he consulted a friend who works for an insurance company who told him there was no other option “because of Obamacare.”

Reaching a fork in the road, Wieland said he felt like he was in a no-win situation where he had to choose to cancel his insurance and potentially jeopardize his family, or go against his beliefs, he said. He then wrote a letter to the Catholic Conference, and was contacted by an attorney shortly after.

Tim Belz, an attorney with Ottsen, Leggat and Belz, L.C., and potentially Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, pending the approval of a pro hac vice motion. According to court documents, the defendants include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor, and the case has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

“We will be filing motions for the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and we hope the government would have something to say in response to that,” Belz said about the next steps. “My hope is that we can get in front of a judge soon.”

Belz said he has never taken a case like this, but has worked with cases where businesses, rather than individuals, have filed similar lawsuits.

“To me, this is a stronger case than the businesses are,” he said. “And so far we’re seeing that the court is leaning toward the side of the people, not really the government.”

Belz said before Aug. 1, the addition of this ACA change that removed the opt-out that Wieland is upset about was not in place. For years, he said government employees have has the ability to “check the box.”

“The ACA is coming like a bull in a china shop and it’s disrupted our wonderful system in Missouri,” Belz said. “We hope to go back to how it was before.”

Wieland said he currently is still enrolled in the state insurance program as his legal battle continues.

On the political front, Wieland is the Republican candidate for Senate District 22 in 2014 against Democrat Rep. Jeff Roorda.

by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Aug. 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM
2 moms liked this
What exactly is he wanting to opt out of?
SherryBerry106
by on Aug. 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Sawry - Contraceptive coverage mandate for his family.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Aug. 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

If he believes that strongly they should exempt him and his family

heresjohnny
by Bronze Member on Aug. 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM
5 moms liked this

If he doesn't want birth control because it's against his beliefs, no one is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to take it. BUT, that doesn't legally exempt him from having to pay for it. As an example, JW's are conscientious objectors. It's against their doctrine to raise a gun to another human being, and you won't find a single one fighting in a war. Even so, the JW's still pay taxes....a large portion of which goes to the war effort.

Imagine how quickly our government would fall if people could pick and choose where their tax money goes based on religious beliefs? And yes, I understand taxes and insurance isn't quite the same thing. But it really is when you think about it. It's a money pot that spreads out to benefit others. And insurance, like taxes, is now a legal obligation to pay into the pot.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Aug. 15, 2013 at 9:44 PM
3 moms liked this

 The key to this is the government is FORCING him to buy or be fined for not buying a product that goes against his religious beliefs.

Can you imagine a law that required Muslims or Jews to buy pork?

Della529
by Matlock on Aug. 15, 2013 at 9:55 PM

 Good points

Quoting heresjohnny:

If he doesn't want birth control because it's against his beliefs, no one is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to take it. BUT, that doesn't legally exempt him from having to pay for it. As an example, JW's are conscientious objectors. It's against their doctrine to raise a gun to another human being, and you won't find a single one fighting in a war. Even so, the JW's still pay taxes....a large portion of which goes to the war effort.

Imagine how quickly our government would fall if people could pick and choose where their tax money goes based on religious beliefs? And yes, I understand taxes and insurance isn't quite the same thing. But it really is when you think about it. It's a money pot that spreads out to benefit others. And insurance, like taxes, is now a legal obligation to pay into the pot.

 

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Aug. 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM
1 mom liked this
Muslims and Jews subsidize pork production with money they pay in taxes. If someone was forcing him to use birth control I could see a problem. In the meantime its covered along with many other prescriptions that are standard.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The key to this is the government is FORCING him to buy or be fined for not buying a product that goes against his religious beliefs.


Can you imagine a law that required Muslims or Jews to buy pork?

RandRMomma
by Maya on Aug. 15, 2013 at 11:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Apples and oranges. No one is forcing this man to use birth control. No one forces Muslims and Jews to buy or eat pork. However, some of their tax money goes towards subsidizing farm production like everyone else. Like a PP said,  this is a very slippery slope. Should JW's be exempt from paying taxes because fighting in wars is against their religion? I don't think so. They aren't forced to fight in wars, and this man isn't forced to take birth control.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The key to this is the government is FORCING him to buy or be fined for not buying a product that goes against his religious beliefs.

Can you imagine a law that required Muslims or Jews to buy pork?


yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 9:52 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting stacymomof2:

Muslims and Jews subsidize pork production with money they pay in taxes. If someone was forcing him to use birth control I could see a problem. In the meantime its covered along with many other prescriptions that are standard.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The key to this is the government is FORCING him to buy or be fined for not buying a product that goes against his religious beliefs.


Can you imagine a law that required Muslims or Jews to buy pork?

What we pay with our taxes is beyond our control. Forcing people to buy a product that goes against religious beliefs is wrong. It doesn't matter if that product is insurance or bacon.
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 9:56 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting RandRMomma:

Apples and oranges. No one is forcing this man to use birth control. No one forces Muslims and Jews to buy or eat pork. However, some of their tax money goes towards subsidizing farm production like everyone else. Like a PP said,  this is a very slippery slope. Should JW's be exempt from paying taxes because fighting in wars is against their religion? I don't think so. They aren't forced to fight in wars, and this man isn't forced to take birth control.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The key to this is the government is FORCING him to buy or be fined for not buying a product that goes against his religious beliefs.

Can you imagine a law that required Muslims or Jews to buy pork?


 We are not talking about the consumption of a product.  We are talking about its purchase.  The government is forcing the purchase of a product that goes against religious principles.  It doesn't matter if that product is insurance or pork.  SCOTUS is going to agree with me when it gets to them.  A federal court judge agrees with me too.  You should read the Hobby Lobby ruling.

 

 

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