By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
Washington (CNN) - By Friday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare. But in keeping with the great American tax tradition, they may have found a loophole.
The company is facing $1.3 million a day in fines for each day it chooses not to comply with a piece of the Affordable Care Act that was set to trigger for them on January 1. The craft store chain announced in December that, because of religious objections, they would face the fines for not providing certain types of birth control through their company health insurance.
The penalty was set to go into effect on the day the company's new health care plan went into effect for the year.
Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. said in a statement released through the Becket Fund that, "Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months."
The statement continued that "Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."
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Last month Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the company's appeal for a temporary relief from the steep fines while their case made its way through the lower courts.
Hobby Lobby announced a day after the ruling that it "will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs."
In September, Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.
The lawsuit says the companies' religious beliefs prohibit them from providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs. As of August 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, requires employer-provided health care plans to provide "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the regulation and a narrow exemption was added for nonprofit religious employers whose employees "primarily share its religious tenets" and who "primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets."
The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that "fails to comply" with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an "excise tax" of "$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement." It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move last month.
White House officials have long said they believe they have struck an appropriate compromise between religious exemptions and women's health. The White House has not commented specifically on the Hobby Lobby case.
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The Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales. It is still privately held by CEO and founder David Green and members of his family.
"The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles," a statement on the Hobby Lobby website reads, adding that one outgrowth of that is the store is closed on Sundays to give its employees a day of rest.
MORE BACKGROUND: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare
The Hobby Lobby case is just one of many before the courts over the religious exemption aspects of the law. The case represents by far the biggest for-profit group challenging the health care mandate.
Part of the reason Sotomayor rejected their appeal to the Supreme Court she wrote was because their case is still pending in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
A spokesperson for the Becket Fund said on Friday a date has yet to be set for the case to be heard in the 10th Circuit.
I understand that Hobby Lobby is providing certain types of birth control but not others such as the IUD. Unfortunately, the IUD is the only device which can prevent heavy menstrual bleeding which can cause severe anemia in some individuals. When there is a medical necessity for a certain type of birth control, it should definitely be provided.
This is a private business , it's like the gov coming into our homes!
Tyranny in action–that's more or less what the Left is all about.
basically, half of you here just got outed for getting paid to act like you care about contraceptives. That can't be good for business. ;-)
It sure seems that way. I have never seen so many people that seem to be promoting their view in order to sell more of certain pharmaceuticals.
You've never been to a town that has buildings of more than 3 stories, either.
Allen,, sounds like Tom just admitted that he is a shill.
AlienShorts, you should get together with Jennifer. It would be a sweet relationship. You two can be dumb on the internet together. She can misspell "you're" all day while you post conspiracy theories and short blurbs on how you're the king of debating. If you work together there exists the possibility your team could produce a properly constructed, thoughtful, impactful sentence. However that same chance exists for a team of wild turkeys, so don't get your hopes up. Gobble, gobble!
So End Religion, basically, you are an underpaid troll who is embarrassed that you got called out for being a shill and you are spewing insults hoping to save yourself further embarrassment. That about sums it up.
AlienShart: if you knew the truth of the matter you'd be embarrassed and understand you have failed your interview. You are destined to a life at McDonald's and/or Radio Shack. Perhaps you can write an article on the next Mayan end of times scam.
actually End Religion, I am pretty sure I just outed you and three of your friends as shills, had you arguing against an article and thinking I wrote it (lol) and now, not only are you outed as a shill, but you are playing yourself and pretending to be a big money boss. Don't think for a second that I want your crummy job, but if I were you I would think about finding a new one soon, because you guys got played like b1tches tonight and I am sure your boss ain't gonna put up with too many disgraceful performances like tonight again.
AlienShart: "actually End Religion, I am pretty sure I just outed you and three of your friends as shills"
This is why you're a halfwit: you outed no one, on a topic that is no secret, to people who don't care. What have I even advocated tonight? Basically the whole night has been spent using you as a chew toy. What am I shilling for, toys?
You're "pretty sure" because you don't have a fucking clue.
"had you arguing against an article and thinking I wrote it (lol) and now"
At first I wasn't sure if you wrote it or were maybe helping the web site spam the link, since it was all you were doing. It didn't take long to realize you had trouble writing a paragraph and so *couldn't* have written the article. While the article was intelligently written it still had too many "facts" which is a sign it was fake, in addition to the problem that it just didn't add up. That meant either you were spamming for a web site or just some moron who thought he discovered a secret of the universe.
"not only are you outed as a shill, but you are playing yourself and pretending to be a big money boss. Don't think for a second that I want your crummy job,"
Look, lunatic, I was just spending an evening having fun. You presented yourself as a target and I attacked. Don't feel bad. There are many, many dull crayons like you in the box. This is entertainment, not work. Writing seems like work to you because it is hard for you to string thoughts together.
" but if I were you I would think about finding a new one soon, because you guys got played like b1tches tonight and I am sure your boss ain't gonna put up with too many disgraceful performances like tonight again."
You guys, who? Name the people being paid to post and show your evidence for it. For the record, I don't have a boss, I can't be fired from my career, my career is not writing. You on the other hand have likely been fired and/or will be fired multiple times from your future jobs which will likely be fast food service or selling insurance perhaps (if you can scrape together enough to buy a nice suit). NY is full of tiny shops that need minimum wage boobs like you to man the register.
Plan B is not an "abortifactant like RU-486". It is simply a single high does of a normal birth control pill. As you know the Birth Control pill works in two ways. It primarily is to prevent ovulation. However, it also is designed to prevent implantation in the cases when ovulation and fertilization does occur. It does this by impacting the lining of the uterus. Plan B (the day after pill) is specifically designed to cause the lining effect to occur. Once you get to the morning after, the ovulation issue is already passed.
You would be surprised how many "debaters" in the CNN forum are really shills working in boiler rooms taking all their talking points and arguments from papers their boss gave them. A quick internet search will teach you all about their little known but thriving business.
Plan B isn't an "abortifactant" (sic). Spreading a lie won't make it true. Plan B prevents pregnancy. It prevents abortions.
But you'd rather lie about it because you're religious nut-job.
That's simply not true. Please do some reading about how plan B and ovulation in general works.
Tom, you obviously do not understand how Plan B works. Plan B is a single or maybe two doses of a high dosage Birth Control pill. It is specifically designed to impact the lining of the wall of the uterus to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. (THe normal pill also does this as a second line of defense if it does not stop ovulation). Whether or not preventing implantation is an abortion is a semantic argument. However, it is murder if one believes that a fertilized egg is a living human.
Kiki, it is true. Of course, Plan B would not be needed if the person was using birth control in the first place. It seems that you do not understand the basic workings of the BC pill itself. It is designed to stop ovulation, and as a backup it impacts the lining of the uterus to discourage implantation.
Wrong, ptneely. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You *obviously* are a clueless anti-choice zealot who thinks you can snow others by pretending to have facts. You can't. You're lying.
How does Plan B One-Step® work?
Plan B One-Step® is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for several decades. Plan B One-Step® works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy from happening. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).
in case you were wondering "preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb)." means that the newly conceived child is murdered.
No, it doesn't.
Plan B works mainly by preventing or delaying ovulation. It may also interfere with fertilization of an egg. It might prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus by altering its lining but this has not been scientifically proven and some studies have said this is not the case. There have been many studies done and the info is avaiable if you care to educate yourself.
Chad your post demonstrates a complete lack of rational thought and common sense.
My post consists of information from the plan B web site, and the observation that life begins at conception.
When chad says "observation" of course the rest of the world should understand his redefined term as "belief."
Bet you money that all the people arguing this matter....CEO, CFO, Legal Counsel, etc, etc, etc, all have top of the line company paid benifits, including dental, vision, and every other add on imaginable!!! And furthermore, I'll bet it's all paid for as part of their benefit pkg!!!
So do the rank and file employees. There's just one particular class of care that the owners of the company don't want to fund, because they have religious objections to such. (Nor should they be forced to pay for things they're morally opposed to).
I will boycott Hobby Lobby.
If you have a political opinion about contraceptives, you are probably not getting the chance to use many of them.
I, on the other hand, will not only continue to shop at Hobby Lobby, but will shift additional spending to their store and encourage my friends to do likewise.
I support hobby lobby in their decision.
One more day, one more delay, before our once great country is handed over to an authoritarian regime and the fools that support it.
is this the same authoritarian regime beneath which you freely post your thoughts on a blog?
"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
Fundies will never make any sense on this issue until they can come down to earth and get real on the issue of encouraging people to use contraception.
I wish there was a Hobby Lobby in my town so I could boycott it.
Good-Bye Hobby Lobby. It was nice knowing you. But you aren't the only place we can buy materials for our crafts and hobbies.
I have a feeling that if it were a Muslim company refusing to pay for these drugs, the same people on here proclaiming their intent to 'boycott' Hobby Lobby would be bashing anyone who dared to infringe upon the Muslim 'right' not to have to pay for anything that goes against their religious belief. Stay away from Hobby Lobby if you like,Beth. Chickfila hasn't gone anywhere because of their beliefs, neither will Hobby Lobby.
So, if I don't like a law, just claim by religon does not support this law. I guess we can't have any law if someone has a religous view that does not support the law. Simply create a church that opposes any piticular law you don't like. And there you go, we could be completly without any laws.
On the other hand, we could simply be clear, no religon can be used to ignore a law. If you want religion as law – move to Iran.
there are a bunch of paid shills working this forum right now spreading whatever information their boss contracted for them for the month.
As another possibility, your religion should guide you – inside the law of course. Your religion should not in any way be used to force a lawful decision onto another person. Your religion should not be used to take away the freedom women should have. We already have enough nuts in this world demanding a lack of freedom for women.
Paid shills – give me a break. Are people that want freedom from someone else's religion and freedom for women creating a problem for you?
Charlie, a quick google search and you will see that there is a whole business where people come to forums such as CNN, Face Book, ect and type the arguments that their boss gives them. The boss makes a small fortune and the "debaters" don;t do that bad either.
chuck, poor AlienShorts sees ghosts under every bed. He'll soon begin ranting about secret cabals and New World Orders. Give him time.
Hobby Lobby isn't even paying for the contraception. The insurance companies in the group are. And they're doing it because it's cheaper for them to give thousands of women in a pool birth control pills for five years than to pay for a dozen pregnancies and deliveries. The tax-payer isn't paying for it. The company isn't paying for it. The insurance company is. The only reason Hobby Lobby doesn't want contraceptives covered is that they don't want women to have any say in the control of their own bodies. That's it in a nutshell.
@Tazzle. That is a rediculous claim. Are you saying that you dont have control of your body now? Hobby Lobby isn't controlling anyone's bodies and neither are all the other anti-abortion organizations. You can go get your drugs somewhere else. That unborn child should have the same rights you have. The right to live and not be murdered. just because it wasnt born yet doesnt make it any less of a living being.
A couple of months ago, there was some research done to see if providing oral contraceptives free of charge and making them widely available would have an effect on the number of abortion and of unplanned pregnancies. The result was that abortions AND unplanned pregnancies dropped quite a lot. Unplanned pregnancies consti tute the majority of all pregnancies, and result in lower birth weight babies, more premature deliveries, and in more babies born with disabilities.
How can providing health insurance coverage that includes oral contraceptives be harmful?
there are a few of you working this forum right now by the way.
still peddling that link, eh? It's marketing, like you're doing. Commercials are how companies pay for things that appear to be free to you.
Sharky's feeling low. He got his ass handed to him and now he's annoyed.
Puttngyou on the spot for the evening gives me a little smile.
i spot you fools a mile away.
If I read your post correctly is it not the unplanned pregnancies via the wronged usages of oral contraceptives resulted in lower birth rates and malformed babies?
but like I said, it is easy to look at my debate record here and see I am no chump. I schooled all of your best debaters. If they want to hire me in NY, I am open. By the way, I am not like you where I need papers in front of me. I chumped you guys again and again just from raw talent.
No, you idiot. Not only can you not write your way out of a paper bag, but you can't read, either.
AlienShorts: have you heard from your Illuminati contacts lately? Personally, you seem so incredibly dim I couldn't see why anyone would part with money to have you support anything for them. With supporters like you, who needs detractors?
Honestly Tom, I am not here to rub elbows with the paid help, you can have your boss get in touch with me through a forum that does email response because I have better things to do than to smell you here all night.
lol, that is a hoot. A complete village idiot gets on an anonymous public blog looking for work. OK, I will admit I am looking for good writers. Please post your contact info: no names please, this is super secret. Just your email.
Here. Maybe you can get it through your thick head if your read it out loud and move your lips, LL.
Why don't you answer my question about contraceptives, you cowardly, dishonest reprobate?
Who are they to force this type of coverage on businesses. Birth Conrtol is against some religions!
Beat it, Sharky. Beat it good.
Wow. Jennifer, with that comment you exceeded my lowest expectations. "Birth Control is against some religions." I didn't know birth control was capable of having an opinion. Or did you mean that birth control is effective against some religions?
How old are you?
Tom my opinion on contraceptives has nothing to do with politics lol. End Religion, I bested all you guys for years on here and name calling doesn't affect me in the slightest. My head is made of 24" reinforced concrete.
What are you, 15?
You seem to be a very bitter person, Tom.
I think I'll be praying for you tonight.
Maybe use less criticism.
You will go a lot further in life!
you call me 15, but you are the one who just got outed for getting paid to act like he cares about contraceptives.
that can't be good for business.
"Contraceptive study in St. Louis coincides with drop in abortion, teen pregnancy"
A 20% reduction rate of TEEN pregnancies is nothing of worthiness. Why not teach TEEN tramps the art of profiting in their acts as well? Oh, the tramp teens cannot become ladies of the evening but they can search for love in all the wrong places? TEEN tramps are just that! Tramps! If you by chance have a daughter can't she be told of her body cycles for when to and when not to do the dirty deed?
Gee, Jennifer, the high school freshman, is giving advice on how to go "far in life."
You and Sharky ought to get together. Between the two of you, you might develop a single thought.
Oh, and to the both of you: I'm female. I'm also over 50. I already have a pretty good career.
Good luck with that GED, you dears.
So, Lunatic, girls are tramps. Great. I take it you were a virgin on your wedding night? Oh, wait, no, you couldn't have been. You had that fling with your brother, didn't you? Good job resisting temptation, dude. Really honorable of you. You surely have a corner on the market as far as virtue goes, don't you?
You're beyond insane. You ought to be locked up.
AlienShorts: "I bested all you guys for years on here and name calling doesn't affect me in the slightest. My head is made of 24" reinforced concrete."
And yet you can barely string a sentence together, and the sentences you do manage to cobble together are basically:
1) "People on blogs have agendas." This is no earth shattering secret.
2) The link you've been spamming
If you're so friggin' awesome why have you been drawn away from your main objective (spamming your link) into a debate with "paid shills?" It seems if this is the case, you don't know your own tactics being used against you. Could it be you're just another idiot with conspiracy theories?
"I have better things to do than to smell you here all night."
If you had better things to do, you'd be doing them.
So what your saying is suppose to be impressive? "Your really a girl"
Hmm...WOW, you really are SO impressive!!!
It's "you're", Jennifer. Stay in school. Don't reproduce.
Your so sweet!!!!
So very glad to have some support from "the bitter!!!"
Who knew bitterness could care SO much about one's education!!
Your really wonderful!!
Also I am SO relieve your really a women with a great career!
Knowing all that, I should sleep like a champ!!!
Who knew bitterness could give me wind beneath my wings!!!
Always happy to help the disabled and less fortunate. You're welcome.
End Religion, make no mistake about it, the link is just my way of saying hi. Now that I have your attention I don't need it here. I have successfully shut down the best Pro Israel guys as well as shut down the worst anti Israel trolls. I bested atheists as well as evangelicals. I slammed any racist on this forum through a brick wall at will just for fun. Don't take my word for it, look for yourselves. Get back to me when you are ready.
My life is near completion and brother and I are living together. I've supported him for the last 5 or so years that he has not worked. We live together and I will bend over backwards to help him, even buying his cigarettes and sometimes his alcohol. I even bought his gifts for his kids and grandkids without charge. Whatever your jealous about regarding my brother and I is your own problem. I live for my brother's sakes, not yours.
Ok, I'll leave YOUR bitterness alone now!!! but I have to admit It was kinda fun.... LOL!!!!!
I know YOUR blood pressure is rising and I would want to harm your health in any way.
Sorry, I know your blood pressure will go up one more time with your reply!
AlienShart: I have a feeling you couldn't shut down a lawn mower. What would I get back to you for, simpleton lessons?
Oops, I meant, I wouldn't, I know your grammar is well up to par!!!
I thought you figured out that I am not interested in you. You cannot help me or harm me at all. I used you as a tool for the last hour and a half. I guess you can kind of call that my business card bro.
AlienShart: why are you still addressing me at all? Could it be, when an hour ago you claimed you had better things to do, you were instead upset about something and are still here looking for a way to get a shot back in? Could it be you do not indeed have anything better to do, and are as lame as you seem to think we are? Is it possible, claiming you are in the paid troll business, that you are so stupid you don't see what's going on here? Please look into meta trolling. You are being used in the same way you claim to use others. I was looking to hire but your smarts are lacking, sorry. I just don't have room for dullards on staff.
Hobby Lobby will probably go IPO sometime next year.
Hobby Lobby's self righteous hypocrisy: they profit from goods almost exclusively made in a country that enforces mandatory abortion after one child. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess......
ignoring those atrocities helps HL make money. Fighting this law helps HL make money. It's the christian way!
Does Obamacare mandate employers to provide abortion coverage? If not, abortion inducing pills are part of abortion coverage which employers are not required to cover. That is my understanding.
Plan B is a contraceptive. It does not cause abortions. It prevents them from being necessary.
I vote for that Hobby Lobby is doing, and if the employees don't accept that then they can try to go and find another job in this Obama economy where business are only offering part time jobs, thanks to Obamacare.
And you're free to move to another country that doesn't have Obamacare.
And the owners of Hobby Lobby are free find other methods of employment rather than running their own business.
I like this game!
I agree with you 100% Al. People know when they apply to work at Hobby Lobby that medical benefits are provided but not with abortion coverage due to religious beliefs. So if they don't like that kind of medical coverage, they should just look elsewhere for employment. Of course these same people probably don't complain one bit about Hobby Lobby's other religous policy of not having to work on Sundays.
This posting format needs to end. It's not user friendly.
I hope people stop buying anything from Hobby Lobby. I know I will.
"look into my eyes... you're getting very sleepy... very lazy.... very stupid.... you're not able to pay for anything yourself...."
You're talking about women who work full time and pay huge Insurance premiums...
I doubt tils earns a living wage at Mickey D's.
And who else would employ someone so ignorant?
The truth is that employers provide the opportunity for employees to PURCHASE health insurance through a group at a discounted premium. They do not "provide healthcare." The part they do pay is in compensation for services provided by the employee. How, again, does an employer have the right to dictate what an employee does with compensation?
Mickey D's really Tom! That isn't proper grammar!!
Please practice what you preach!
Your quick to correct everyone else!
When you figure out how apostrophes work, Jen, alert the media.
You mean, "you're quick" Jennifer? Don't be pedantic if you don't check yourself first.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.