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Dayville Family Claims They Will Be Forced To Subsidize Abortion

by Christine Stuart | May 6, 2014 11:00am
(16) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Civil Liberties, Courts

As devout Catholics, Barth and Abbie Bracy don’t want to pay for health insurance that covers elective abortion, but because they may have to purchase a plan under the Affordable Care Act they wouldn’t have a choice.

The Bracys filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Access Health CT, Connecticut’s insurance exchange.

In the lawsuit, the Bracys claim their previous insurance plan will be terminated because of the Affordable Care Act and they will be forced to purchase a plan on the exchange. In order to make the plan affordable the Bracys will need to avail themselves of the federal subsidies.

“However, in order to avail themselves of any of those subsidies and avoid the draconian penalties Defendants would impose, the Bracys must also pay a separate fee to be used solely to pay for elective abortions for others,” the lawsuit states.

“There is no opportunity to opt out from paying this fee if one’s plan includes elective abortion, nor is there any religious exemption from this requirement. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act forbids a private insurer from permitting an individual to opt out of the separate abortion fee or the inclusion of abortion coverage if such coverage is otherwise included in the plan.”

According to the lawsuit the Bracys investigated the cost of off-exchange insurance plans and discovered that “the cheapest available off-exchange plans available to him in Connecticut would be almost double his current premium.” The Bracys have four children and going without insurance coverage is “an untenable choice.”

At the moment all of the plans on the exchange cover therapeutic and elective abortions. Connecticut is not one of the 21 states that have restricted coverage for abortion in its plans and it does not yet offer a multi-state plan.

In the lawsuit, Mr. Bracy, who is the executive director of the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee, claims he was unable to verify even at the point of enrollment whether elective abortions were covered under the plan he wanted to purchase on the exchange.

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan disputed the allegation Monday in a statement.

“Every plan offered on the exchange is posted with Plan Design Documents,” Counihan said. “These documents identified that both therapeutic and elective abortions were covered. This information is available during the anonymous shopping experience to all consumers who visited our website and compared coverage plans.”

Counihan said the state is working to offer a multi-state plan in 2015.

“Access Health CT does not currently offer a multi-state plan, because the Office of Personnel Management of Federal Department of Labor did not submit the necessary paperwork in time to get a multi-state plan on the exchange for the 2014 open enrollment period,” Counihan said. “However, last year, Access Health CT promised to offer a multi-state plan on the exchange in 2015, and is currently working to make this happen for the open enrollment period which begins November 15, 2015.”

The Bracys are seeking declaratory relief that the government violated their religious freedom and an injunction. The Bracys current plan will expire in December 2014.

The lawsuit is similar to others filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom in other parts of the country.

The Bracys are represented locally by Michael DePrimo of Hamden.

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(16) Comments

posted by: mmal231294 | May 6, 2014  11:41am

This is so old news. SCOTUS has ruled that the charges resulting from the ACA are in fact a tax. Do I as an opponent of war get to refuse to pay taxes due to the federal govt’s involvement in war? No. Sorry all you fetusphiliacs ya gots to pay.

posted by: Matt from CT | May 6, 2014  12:11pm

They’re not objecting to the tax penalty, so mmal’s point is moot. 

They don’t want to pay a penalty invoking the tax portion, they want insurance.

They’re objecting that there is no insurance available to them that does not include it.

You know, that whole if you like your health care plan, you can keep it promise.

posted by: ASTANVET | May 6, 2014  1:49pm

mmal - a representative government is not set up so that we may be “ruled” by nine people in robes.  That was not the intent of the framing of our government.  There has been a lot of mission creep in the ‘judicial review’ portion, but you seem to be quite content and willing to accept ‘rule’ from the judicial branch.  They are just as politically driven (if not more so) than the other branches.  The answer is in the sovereignty of the states.  This abhorrent law should be left to the purview of the states.  Just so you remember… if it is a tax, the bill should have been passed in the HOUSE not the Senate, and not been born out of reconciliation… the court didn’t address that little nugget (conveniently for the proponents of the bill)

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 6, 2014  2:21pm

I’m a pro-choice only in the first trimester person, but if it wasnt for the lie that Obama told the 6 Pro Life Democrats in the House to get their votes on that last day, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

The number of lies he told JUST around Obamacare to get it passed and his executive orders to modify the law that was passed for his and his parties political protection and to get elected is impeachable. However we don’t have the politicans in this country that will put country first and do the right thing. A big part of that reason is they all lie, in both parties, and don’t want to be held to any kind of moral standard.

posted by: LLL | May 6, 2014  2:39pm

Insurance isn’t generally cafeteria style.  You pay for an insurance plan and if that covers services you don’t need (or choose) then so be it.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 6, 2014  8:51pm

These people are against this due to their religion. Here is what John Kerry said in the last day or so.

“Some people believe that people ought to be able to only do what they say they ought to do, or to believe what they say they ought to believe, or live by their interpretation of something that was written down a thousand plus, two thousand years ago. That’s not the way I think most people want to live.”

This is one of the most powerful men in our government saying “screw you” to the beliefs of millions of Americans.

His comment is offensive and maybe the liberal media wont care but millions of Christians will.

In some of the other comment sections some of us have argued about facism. We have seen this play out before in history.

When the leaders of a nation condemn the faith of its people, we are not far from fascism.

Its bad enough that we have the breakdown of the family but now you have young depressed actresses doing videos of them having an abortion, because it aint so bad. Like I said before I am “accepting” of abortion just in the first trimester but this girl that did this video and I guess there is story in Cosmo coming out is a depressed actress abortion counselor who refers to how cool it was to know she created a life. Huh? I thought the pro-abortion people thought it wasnt a life?


I think I’ll cling to my guns and religion thank you.

posted by: skydragon | May 6, 2014  11:59pm

I realize our planet is seriously over-populated, and I am morally opposed to religions that oppose family planning.  Why should my insurance premiums pay for the pregnancies of people who violate my morals by breeding like rabbits?

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 7, 2014  1:28am

gutbomb86

@joe - his comment is offensive to you, but not the majority - and has absolutely nothing to do with this story, thanks for wasting our time. You’re just pushing an agenda against an imaginary fascism boogeyman who doesn’t exist but still manages to scare you into spending tons of time commenting anonymously from the coddled safety of a suburban castle somewhere. Let it go. Spare us the apocalyptic nonsense.

posted by: skydragon | May 7, 2014  2:36am

gutbomb86, enjoy the Faux News Bubble.  The rest of the world will get along very well without you.  wink

posted by: GBear423 | May 7, 2014  5:33am

GBear423

Family planning? Abortion and Pro-Choice have become terms too close to the mark? 
So now if you oppose your Government contributing to the death of an unborn child, you are against “family planning”.
Your ideology is pretty weak when you have to keep relabeling it to deceive or make it sound more palatable. Socialist, liberals, progressives, etc, same deal. 

Why can you not be satisfied that you won the right to kill your own children?  You now insist those who abhor the idea finance it as well?  Its wrong. 
If we are mandated to buy Insurance then there should be policies that represent the needs and VALUES of the consumer. That is all these people are asking for and should be provided.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  6:05am

It has everything do to with this story. A big issue on Obamacare is the religious liberty aspects and what was done just to pass it by lying to religious members of Congress in the Dem Party, and to America.

The SCOTUS will decide this in the next month or two and we’ll see what side people are on.

This fact remains historically accurate.

When the leaders of a nation condemn the faith of its people, we are not far from fascism.

Now this IS getting off topic a bit.

What about his comment about Israel being an apartheid state?

This guy seems to have something against religious people of faith?

I guess he practices the new religion of climate change or progressivism.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  6:09am

Skydragon, where does that appear in the Constitution?

I understand what you are saying about population growth being an issue because I think its a huge issue. However, that has no standing legally.

Cant wait to start drinking that new stuff called Soylent. I guess they didnt see the movie with that word in the name.

posted by: mmal231294 | May 7, 2014  8:51am

After giving this some additional thought, I wonder why they don’t come up with a “morally superior” choice within the exchanges like we offer “green choices” amongst our electric suppliers. Of course charge them extra $$ for the label. Insist that it not cover, birth control, abortion, gender re-assignment, vasectomies, drug/alcohol rehab etc. Call it the Rush Limbaugh plan. It would work IF such people were truly complaining about THEIR money being used for such purposes. But its a red herring. These same people will simply pick another arena to fight the same battle. So why bother.

posted by: skydragon | May 7, 2014  12:28pm

Joebigjoe, I think you missed my point.  The concept of insurance is based on shared risk.  If we all have the freedom to pick and choose what parts of the risk our premiums cover based on our morals, there will be no insurance for anyone.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  2:21pm

Trust me I understand insurance risk. I dont agree with your statement as it relates to risk, because in property and casualty they do it all the time in allowing policyholders how much coverage they want, what may be required by a lienholder,  what kind of deductible and whether or not in the case of auto do they want comprehensive, collision, etc.

My Gut feeling, not to be confused with Gutbomb feeling, is that if the government said, “people in their 50’s get a break for not getting coverage to make a baby, people that are tea tollers dont have to pay for drugs and alcohol treatment, and eople who ae against abortion dont have to pay for that, Obamacare is off the radar for repeal. The positive poll numbers would make this a non-issue. Its not though and why? Because its all about control and agenda.

However, the discussion is not about that. Its about what you said about “morals”. This is not morals. This is about established religions and the Constitution not allowing the state to interfere with that. When the government forces someone to go against their religious beliefs that have been around for a few thousand years, it’s a problem.

We will see how the SCOTUS deals with the Hobby Lobby case.

posted by: GBear423 | May 7, 2014  2:54pm

GBear423

People can breed like rabbits if they can afford the care of the bunnies they make, that was the old school of thought before we all had to support the rabbit makers. I am certain there is a way to discourage that while not tossing families on the street.
People can be pacifist (Conscientous Objector) and not go to war. The equating freedom of established and widely practiced Religions can not be marginalized by the examples given. It is widely held by all major Religions that Life begins at conception, and its also held that breeding like rabbits is smiled upon (more believers).
Abortion is anti-medical, its the destruction of life, and it really has no place being in any Insurance policy. Certainly there are exceptions where a mother may have to choose her life or her child’s, then allow exceptions. 
Contraception in most cases if not all, has a medical purpose beyond the primary use. No argument against that I can see.