We have always been willing to meet with representatives of the government to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to our impasse over religious freedom. Our counsel and counsel for the other Supreme Court litigants had a meeting with representatives of the Department of Justice, at which we attempted to engage in the kind of resolution talks that we believe the Supreme Court contemplated in its Order. The government has been slow to offer anything of substance to pursue a negotiated solution, except to mention its openness to future meetings.
Meanwhile, we are aware that the government has made an extremely aggressive interpretation of the Court’s order in the Zubik case and is apparently trying to take over – to force our third-party administrators to include the objectionable coverage in our self-insured plans. We think that is an erroneous reading of what the Supreme Court said. Furthermore, as the government seems to acknowledge, because we are self-insured there is no obligation or authority for the third party administrator to provide the objectionable coverage.
The Supreme Court also made clear that we cannot be fined or penalized for refusing to comply with the government’s current regulations. Therefore, we believe the government’s position is wrong. In order to avoid future litigation, we will try to work through these issues with our insurers, third-party administrators and the government. Our counsel is actively working on this endeavor, and we remain in prayer for a mutually agreeable resolution.