Christian author and radio host Dr. James Dobson has been granted a court order halting an Obamacare rule that requires his ministry's health insurance to cover contraceptives.
A Federal judge in Colorado issued the temporary injunction stopping the mandate Thursday. Dobson filed the suit last December, taking the position the mandate amounts to an unconstitutional violation of religious beliefs. Dobson, who founded the conservative organization Focus on Family and now is head of Family Talk, hosts a syndicated radio show and his ministry has 28 employees.
Dozens of similar lawsuits have been filed nationwide and the U.S. Supreme Court is considering cases brought by Hobby Lobby Corporation, and Conasauga Wood Company.
In a note to his friends, Dobson wrote, "We are celebrating and thanking the Lord this morning. Victory is ours. We won our case against [former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and the Obama administration."
"The mandate requiring that we provide abortifacients such as the morning after pill would have begun on May 1st. After that, if we hadn't prevailed, fines amounting to $800,000 per year would have kicked in," he said
Dobson said he would have to close the doors to his ministry if they had not won.
The Obama administration announced last thursday that enrollment in insurance made available through the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," has exceeded 8 million. Many are concerned with the average age of the enrollees, though. In order for the ACA to work, 40 percent of the enrolles must be less than 35.
Kathleen Sebelius, former secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) went on the record before her departure and said only 25 percent who have picked plans are between the ages of 18 and 34. That's compared to about 33 percent who are above 55, and 37 percent who are somewhere in between.
The controversial contreceptive mandate may become a non issue if independent organizations like the Kaiser Family Foundation are correct. They point out that just under 40 percent of people who eventually sign up through the marketplaces will need to be young and healthy for premiums and costs to remain stable in the insurance groupings. These figures add to growing concern that the ACA may not stand the test of time, and if it does insurers will be forced to raise cost to continue with the program.