Last month, we told you about a Denver court appearance by attorneys for Little Sisters of the Poor, a charity challenging Obamacare's contraception mandate. But three Colorado companies are already off-the-hook: A federal judge has ruled that the firms don't have to pay for certain contraception-related coverage owing to the religious beliefs of their owner, Stephen W. Briscoe. Learn more about them, and him, below.
As noted by the Associated Press, the companies in question are Continuum Health Partnerships, Continuum Health Management and Mountain States Health Properties; they're in the business of operating and managing nursing homes, assisted-living centers and the like. The affiliated operations are based in Greeley, and an introduction on ContinuumHealth.com definitely has a religious tone, beginning with its slogan:
Serving is our Highest Calling.
Continuum Health Management offers a complete spectrum of senior care services. Whether you're looking for an assisted living center, independent living, rehabilitation centers, Alzheimer disease care or nursing homes, we can help.
Continuum Health Management believes every health care provider is interdependent on other providers as team members for providing the very best care throughout a resident's continuum of care. Senior living communities form strong relationships with physicians, residents, families, hospitals and community agencies.
Continuum Health Management provides management services and consultation with the philosophy of leadership through example. Our Mission is to Serve Others. Serving is our Highest Calling.
The subtext of faith is made explicit in a U.S. District Court document from 2013 included below in regard to Briscoe's lawsuit against assorted federal agencies, including Health and Human Services. The order specifically refers to Briscoe as an evangelical Christian.
In addition, the document alludes to what would become known as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a 2014 Supreme Court ruling in which the justices determined that the owners of for-profit corporations are exempt from following certain laws if they contradict their religious beliefs.
The judge in Briscoe's case applied the same standard to him and his companies and the federal government is said to have agreed to the order -- meaning that if his employees want or need contraceptive care, they'll presumably have to pay for it themselves or do without.
Here's a look at the aforementioned order regarding Briscoe's lawsuit.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.