Health and health care

Two types of HHS mandate cases are at different points in legal process

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is involved in two types of issues related to claims by employers who say they should not have to provide coverage of contraceptives in their workers' health insurance plans because this violates the employers' faith-based moral objections.

Both matters revolve around requirements in the Affordable Care Act that employer-provided health insurance include coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients.

Catholic school students receive free eye care through local partnership

Kayia Birchfield had her eyes examined by Dr. Christy Hayes in the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a mobile vision clinic, during a visit to St. Louis the King School at the Cathedral Dec. 18.

Tayla Porter anxiously sat in a chair as she waited her turn to to see the doctor. The fourth-grader at St. Louis the King School at the Cathedral was about to have an eye exam.

"I've never had glasses before. I want them real bad," she said with a grin on her face. "I want some black ones."

Judge grants injunction, says employer objections to HHS mandate based on religious rights

NEW YORK -- A spokesman for the New York Archdiocese said the archdiocese "welcomes and applauds" a Dec. 13 ruling by a federal judge granting Catholic organizations in the archdiocese and the neighboring Diocese of Rockville Centre a permanent injunction on having to comply with the federal contraceptive mandate in the health care law.

ESPN decides to run 'Hope' ad after all

A message of hope for hospital patients

ESPN, a television network that is known as the worldwide leader in sports, will air a public service ad for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center after first rejecting it, apparently for its religious content.

"We have again reviewed the ads submitted for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center and have concluded that we will accept the original requested commercial," according to a statement on ESPN's website.

Bishops send 'special message' reiterating objections to HHS mandate

BALTIMORE -- In a "special message" released Nov. 13, the U.S. bishops reiterated their objections to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employee insurance include contraceptive coverage and said they remain "united in our resolve to resist this heavy burden and protect our religious freedom."

The message was released one day after the conclusion of the Nov. 11-12 public portion of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fall general assembly in Baltimore. The bishops met in executive session Nov. 13.

Archdiocese refiles lawsuit on health care mandate

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis have refiled a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the legality of the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on health care insurance coverage the Church finds morally objectionable.

A statement from the archdiocese noted that the lawsuit was filed at this time because the U.S. government's implementation of the HHS mandate is approaching and no acceptable compromise respecting religious liberty has been offered.

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