Visa, Chevron, and Pepsi are exempt from the HHS mandate – but not the Little Sisters


Washington D.C., Feb 18, 2016 / 06:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While Catholic nuns are required to obey health care regulations that they say violate the teachings of their faith, large corporations like ExxonMobil are exempt, a new website says.

That fact and other details of the Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell court case are available on the new site:, announced the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the legal group that represents the sisters, on Tuesday.

“This website demonstrates that everything the Little Sisters of the Poor do is motivated by faith,” said Melinda Skea, director of communications for the Becket Fund. “It also shows that the government has very weak claims to force the Little Sisters to violate their faith.”


Not surprised at all, sadly.


“This website demonstrates that everything the Little Sisters of the Poor do is motivated by faith,” said Melinda Skea, director of communications for the Becket Fund. “It also shows that the government has very weak claims to force the Little Sisters to violate their faith.”

As if having “weak claims” has ever stopped this government from forcing its views.


Visa, Chevron, and Pepsi are big political donors. The Little Sisters of the Poor, not so much.


This was NEVER about health care. Sisters and nuns don’t need contraception coverage. It was ALWAYS about forcing Catholics to violate their beliefs. I hope those who support this administration do a serious evaluation of themselves and ask why stand on the side opposed to the Catholic faith.


BREAKING: @EWTN loses #HHSMandate case @ 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Action put on hold until #SCOTUS rules on Little Sisters of the Poor


I agree entirely. It is of no consequence to this administration whether Exxon provides abortifacient and contraceptive coverage or not. It is important to it that it force religious organizations to act against their conscience and their faith.

It isn’t just Catholic institutions, either. Remember the Hosanna Tabor case against the Lutheran Church. EEOC decided it had the authority to determine what a Lutheran minister is or is not, regardless of how the Lutheran Church saw it. Based on its arrogation of authority, the government sued the Lutheran Church. Fortunately, that time the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Lutheran Church.

It is extremely foolish not to recognize religious persecution when confronted with it.


Yes, it was ideology over even political common sense.

He could have quelled much opposition to ACA simply by loosening up when it came to religious freedom, affecting a very distinct minority of organizations. Both Obama and Sibelius should have seen this a mile away, and side stepped it. While Sibelius may have been a decent Gov, she was horrible running HHS.


Well, she was the most ardently pro-abortion governor ever in Kansas.


Precisely. What compelling interest does the government have in requiring EWTN or the sisters to provide these services, but not the big companies listed above? If it was about permitting broader range of access, then Pepsi and Exxon shouldn’t be exempt since they have a much vaster network.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat myself. Our religious freedom is being attacked through the very means of our disobedience; i.e., contraception and matters of sexuality. All Christians taught this was wrong. I don’t care if people roll their eyes at me.


I think the reports about this are deliberately misleading. I’ve seen zero evidence that any of those companies were given a special exemption to the contraceptive mandate. The whole truth is that they have grandfathered health plans which the law itself says are not subject to the same requirements as plans purchased and implemented after passage until 2015 or up to 2017 if their State agrees to an extension and the insurer agrees to continue carrying the plan. If EWTN and the Little Sisters do not have a grandfathered health plan then that is entirely their fault and they can’t point to others who did their due diligence and complain.


The article was clear that “large corporations **like **ExxonMobil are exempt,” which is true. Nothing should have stopped Obamcare from mandating their plans add contraception coverage, in a fair world. Heck, these companies should have been put at the front of the queue, if politics wasn’t the key driver.

Religious orgs should have been given special treatment, not big business.


Is it possible our current open immigration policy will make it more difficult to stop religious freedom violations by the gov’t in the future? Recent immigrants, who tend to be poor and on government assistance, vote overwhelmingly for Liberals, which means more liberal judges.


The article is, frankly, parroting a lie by omission that is floating around in the religious and just right of Attila the Hun corners of the internet. “Obamacare” says that plans purchased and implemented prior to passage are grandfathered and are not subject to the same regulation as those purchased and implemented after passage. If EWTN or Little Sisters do not have a grandfathered plan then that is their fault. It has nothing to do with politics and those companies were not offered anything that wasn’t also available to them.


Little Sisters Of The Poor Learned About Obamacare’s Grandfathered Plans The Hard Way


Their plan changed before the ACA mandate included contraceptives. Recall that the final list of services of the preventative care mandate wasn’t hammered out until late 2011. [2011 Time machine link]:


Even if the plans from big business were simply grandfathered in, it doesn’t change the hostility of the admin in expecting religious organizations to get with the program. The government is god. People will start to discover that it’s a fickle god who accepts nothing less than all of you.

That said, I believe I did some research on the grandfathered issue a few years ago, and I wish I remembered more. I think it wasn’t so cut and dry as proposed. The mandate is most certainly an ideological push.


A related question - how many health plans from prior to the start of the ACA requirements are still in effect? Even changing the premium can cause a plan to lose that status. Moreover, “grandfathered” plans may also fail to provide certain benefits, so being on a grandfathered plan from 2011 isn’t a way to avoid the contraception mandate in 2016.

In my own experience, we’ve seen our plan change twice at my previous job, and even the Marketplace plans we’ve purchased since leaving that company have sent notes at the start of the year to the effect that “due to requirements by the ACA, your plan will be changing.” I’d be astonished if there was still a grandfathered plan in place, but even those that remain will decrease in number each year.


Not sure how many plans, but according to this in regards to grandfathered plans:

The government projected that in 2013, employers with grandfathered plans would cover health insurance for at least 56 million Americans.

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