Vermont Man Sues After Being Forced to Choose Between Pro-Life Beliefs, Buying Insurance

HoweBURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont man has filed suit against state and federal government entities as he says that he is wrongly being forced to choose between his pro-life beliefs and obtaining insurance coverage.

Alan Howe,63, filed the legal challenge after finding that all of the health care plans in Vermont require a $1 per month surcharge that goes to fund abortion coverage. There are no exceptions.

“No one actually discloses to you that you are paying this separate abortion fee because they just roll it into the general premium, but everyone in Vermont is being required to pay this separate abortion fee in order to enroll in a plan,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Casey Mattox told reporters.

Vermont is among several other states—Rhode Island, New Jersey and Hawaii—that do not provide any alternative plans without the abortion surcharge.

“That’s the case in Vermont and a few other states,” he outlined to OneNewsNow. “And people aren’t even aware that that’s the case that they’re being forced to pay for abortions in violation of their conscience.”

While Howe is required to obtain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, he filed suit since he could not enroll in good conscience without being offered a plan that doesn’t require that he pay for abortions.

He appeared in court this week for the first hearing over the matter. According to local television station WCAX, Caroline Wolverton, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, told the court that the Obama administration asked insurance providers to waive the surcharge for Howe, but they refused.

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“No one should be required to violate their conscience in order to receive the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and enroll in a plan,” Mattox told the outlet.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me that an insurer who has the option of not having to charge someone an unnecessary abortion payment that the defendants were forcing them to charge would say, we aren’t going to accommodate this 63-year-old man,” he said.

While the case moves forward in court, Howe is asking that he not be punished for failing to enroll in an insurance plan as required under federal law.

U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss is expected to make a decision in 30 days. In the meantime, both sides will remain in talks to see if a settlement can be reached in the matter.

By the year 2017, all states must offer at least one plan that does not include abortion coverage.

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

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  • weasel1886

    Then why doesn’t he buy private insurance that fits his believes?

    • Harry Oh!

      Why don’t you take some grammar lessons? And if it was the other way around, you and your ilk would be screaming your bloody heads off.

      • weasel1886

        You can’t ask a question without some jerk making an ignorant remark.
        Your faith is evil
        Why are you such a coward that you keep your posts private?

    • bowie1

      It says he was unable to find an insurer that doesn’t cover abortion.

      • weasel1886

        You mean there is not 1 company in the entire nation?

        • Fairuse

          He should have checked with The General!

  • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

    I do not blame him for being up set . Why should he pay one dollar a month for something he did not want ..

    • Fairuse

      Your insurance carrier may indeed FORCE you to pay for ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION treatment YOU don’t use!

      • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

        They should not be able to .

        • Fairuse

          Where do we draw the line? I may have deep convictions regarding obese or lethargic people draining insurance resources or extreme sports enthusiasts doing the same. Should I be able to refuse paying a percent of my premium to those demographics?
          Did Jesus deny aid to those he did not share convictions with? Did he refuse aid to the thief or whore? Or did he only give love to those who shared his conviction?

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead


          • Fairuse

            Is that a reply? I’m not sure I understand if that means you agree/disagree or if you haven’t the ability to process what I’ve posted. I’ve put forth valid questions in a respectful manor and you made some sort of glyph in response.

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

            I do not feel like arguing anymore . I am too tired .

          • Fairuse

            You were arguing? Well, think about my words and what it means to follow Jesus’ example of non-judgemental, all inclusive love and acceptance.

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

            We are to love one another .But we do not have to except other peoples sin . We cam love without compromising what we believe in . I do not want to support abortions if I am not going to have one . Even through health care insurance . Jesus forgave sins but He did not support then . When he forgave He would often say your sins are forgiven . Go and sin no more . I have to get up early so I say to you . Good night may you have good dreams . Like my Dad used to say , don’t let the bed bugs bite . <

          • Fairuse

            Good night, and remember Jesus’ words on abortion…well, I’ll let you look them up yourself.

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

            Jesus never said Abortion is okay !

  • bowie1

    If they do include abortion coverage, the insured, in fact, is heaping burning coals on their (the insurer’s) head – meaning the punishment for the insurer in the afterlife could be more severe should they enter into eternal separation from God.

    • Fairuse

      I’m pretty sure only Believers are subject to fear of Hellfire Damnation. I’d hate to think that my Native Great Grandparents are burning in Hell for believing in Tree Spirits.

      • American Infidel

        Try reading Romans 2:12-16….you’ll see the truth, not what you said.

        • Fairuse

          Again, I don’t subscribe to your belief system. I suppose all the tens of thousands of years of believers in various religions that rose and fell before the Old Testament was compiled from more ancient texts and oral tradition are languishing in the Lake of Fire? Or do they get a pass because they were ignorant savages? Or is that one of the Unanswerable Questions that are too big to fit into your interpretation of Scripture?

          • American Infidel

            Obviously you’re too lazy to research the passage I provided. So typical of your type. See if you can even understand it:
            12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

      • bowie1

        I’ve heard some natives express some fears about their traditional beliefs.

  • BarkingDawg

    OK, then, but he has to pay extra for the prostrate exam charges.

  • Fairuse

    I am SHOCKED that this man is FORCED to seek employment from an organization that includes abortive services in their healthcare plan!

  • The Last Trump

    Abortion is not “health care”. It’s death care.
    Most people don’t mind paying for actual health care practices.
    You know, the business of saving lives.
    But not the “business” of taking lives for financial gain.

    • MisterPine

      Oh Rumpy. You are so hilariously over-the-top with everything you say.

      • The Last Trump

        Yeah, the slaughter of innocent children is pretty funny to you and your liberal left friends.
        Told you Pine. You would have made Hitler proud.
        He would have LOVED your hate machine website too!
        ( “Where haters go to hate! Tell ’em MisterPine sent you and you get an “All Christians should be killed” T-shirt! FREE!)

        • MisterPine

          Oh Rumpy. You are so hilariously full of excrement.

          • Fairuse

            They only preach against murder when it suits their personal confused agenda.

          • MisterPine

            Yup, the life of the unborn is sacred to them, but once they’re born, ship them off to die in a holy war.

          • And the fact the one actually believes these are Christians is disturbing…why? Their own Bibles testifies against them. Jesus clearly said…

            Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

            In other words, you will know if a person is truly a follower of Jesus if he does as Jesus commands and his life is evidence of this fact. And what does He command plainly?

            Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

            This is the first and great commandment.

            And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

            However these men harsh tongues exhibits this fruits…

            VAIN RELIGION

            James 1:26, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

            They cant even keep their own mouths in check or at least allow Jesus, who they claim is Lord of their lives, to do it for them. Like I said, their own Bibles is a witness against them. The fruits of a follower of Jesus is this…

            Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

            Now do you find this true in any of these “pastors” claiming to be Christians? Really?

            It is written…

            2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

            And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

            Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

            This is just as bad as people believing that angry lady from “Wife Swap” was a Christian simply because she claimed it. Well today I claim that I am a millionaire. I wonder how many will believe me…

    • Fairuse

      Why did Jesus never mention terminating a pregnancy was an abomination? It was fairly common with the use of certain herbal concoctions and doctors tools at his time as was documented by 1st century Romans, and both a 2nd and 3rd century Christian theologians.

  • Fairuse

    Abortion is never mentioned in the Bible and only officially condemned by the Church in 1869 by the Pope of the time.

      • Fairuse

        Nothing on that page pertains to the two points I made in my post. Again, abortion is not condemned in the bible. Though MANY babies are killed in it’s pages. And, the Vatican only officially condemned the practice as of 1869.

        • Fairuse

          Also, got a malware warning when I visited it. How very Christian.

        • You said the Vatican condemned its practice and you also said that abortion is condemned in the Scriptures…

          Then explain to me why the RCC is killing babies, right now? They can claim condemnation all day long, but the fact remains..they are actively practicing it and supporting hospitals that do so.

          And does this verse mean anything to you?

          Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.”

          Rather blunt, eh?

          • Fairuse

            Quoting myself from above: “…never mentioned in the Bible…”

            “Again, abortion is not condemned in the bible. ”

            AND: “only officially condemned by the Church in 1869 by the Pope of the time.”

            It took nearly 2000 years for Christians to officially become “pro-life”.

            You need better reading comprehension. I don’t give a flying hoot what hypocrisies the Church commits….because they are innumerable! I’m PRO-ABORTION, ANTI-CHURCH DOGMA.

            Slow down, take a breath and practice reading comprehension.

  • Team

    People engaged in discussions about abortion rarely comment on how they have come to have their strong conviction either for or against abortion. I will share my story. I am a nurse. In nursing school, my classmates and I rotated through the abortion clinic during our maternity clinical At one of the major facilities in Atlanta. Given no choice, and terribly naive, I watched the physician suck the baby out, piece by piece. My classmate and I were given a sieve and told to pour the contents of the suction canister through it in order to make certain all parts were removed. In my hands I held a tiny arm, still connected to the shoulder. The hand was perfectly formed with five fingers. The fingers already had fingernails that we could see. We also held part of the head that had been ripped apart. The baby that I held had been murdered. There is no other word that can be used. I watched it happen. Women who say otherwise are deceived. Men who say otherwise are fools. We must love the sinner and hate the sin. The next time someone screams that it’s a woman’s right to choose, ask her or him how many abortions they have actually witnessed. its easy to defend something at arms length. I have had this memory seared into my mind since 1984.

  • TheBBP

    I pray that this gentleman sees success.

  • UmustBKiddinMe

    It would seem that he should be able to opt-out of that surcharge.

    • weasel1886

      Why doesn’t he just find a policy that doesn’t cover it. There has to some in the USA that don’t