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January 11th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Hobby Lobby finds way around $1.3-million-a-day Obamacare hit - for now

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts • Faith Now

soundoff (4,609 Responses)
  1. llmasucci

    The health insurance I receive from my employer is part of my compensation package. Once I earn the benefit, my boss no longer has any right to control how I spend it. If I were to get an abortion, the only difference is whether my employer-provided health insurance covers it or whether my employer-provided paycheck covers it instead. I earned both the insurance and the paycheck, so they no longer belong to my employer. If I take my paycheck and buy a stockpile of guns, and my boss is in favor of gun control, has he been "forced to pay for my guns?" No, because once I earned the paycheck, the money wasn't his anymore. No one at Hobby Lobby is being forced to get an abortion. The rights that need to be protected here are the rights of all employees to be free from employer interference as to how they spend their earned compensation.

    January 13, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • ldavid69

      Could not have said it better myself.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Poleski

      To llmasucci
      Earned benefit my Axx. That benefit is determined by the company that’s paying for it, not the gov’t and not the employee and not by you. If the employee wants a different benefit they have the freedom to work somewhere else and so do you. Amazing stupidity and logic.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • llmasucci

      Poleski, since you're copy/pasting silly insults not based in any fact, I'll go ahead and copy/paste my earlier response to you: Poleski, do you live in America? You seem to be unaware that we have a minimum wage here. My employer is not allowed to just pay me whatever they want in America. There is a legal minimum both for wages and now for health insurance. If I worked for a week, and then my employer decided not to pay me because they thought I was going to spend the money on something they disapproved of, they would have no legal standing. I'd sue their pants off, because I had EARNED that money. We're not serfs here.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Poleski

      To llmasucci
      Yes I’m an American. Fought for it. How about you fool?

      Amazing stupidity from the Progressives. Change the subject when you can’t progress the argument. Try something else. That tactic doesn’t work with me.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • llmasucci

      poleski, I didn't change the subject. I just couldn't believe anyone who lived here could remain unaware that we have a minimum wage, and that therefore wages are not determined, as you stated, solely by the person paying them. The government does indeed have a say, I notice that in your response you ignore that point and instead change the subject to military service, which is in no way related to the point at hand, as well as calling me a fool for daring to disagree with your provably false statement. Is that typical of conservatives? To claim someone else is changing the subject as you change the subject?

      January 13, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  2. The0racle

    Hobby Lobby sells (and profits from) merchandise produced by a country that provides birth control and abortions to help control its' population.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Poleski

      As does most consumer companies in the U.S. and you buy it. The U.S. gov’t has products produced in China. You have no point.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • The serpent

      The point is that Hobby Lobby is employing a double standard. Pretty simple stuff. Maybe you should spend a little more time in school, and a little less time in church.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Pupster

      The point is that they are hypocrites by being willing to sell products made in a country, by employees, who use abortion as a form of birth control, and profit off those products.

      It's clear that Hobby Lobby is avoiding Obamacare mandates purely for monetary reasons, and not because of stated religious objections. If they were true to their convictions, they would not sell any items made in China or any other country in which abortion is used or is legal.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Poleski

      To Pupster. OK. It’s really difficult to deal with stupidity. You said. “Hobby Lobby is avoiding Obamacare mandates purely for monetary reasons”. How much money is it costing them to fight murdering babies? Amazing.
      So you support and advocate murder. Look at the link below.
      http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/index.htm
      Are those dead babies or not fool?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Pupster

      They are paying a one-time fee to fight not having to provide birth control coverage for 16K employees (and their familiies) forever. They are doing it for the money.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Poleski

      To Pupster
      You would be doing it for the money. Your morality. They are doing it for a different reason that you can't understand.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  3. weneedforesight

    Most insurance plans don't cover hearing aids or glasses. Has the government declared a war on the hearing-impaired and the visually-impaired? One could easily argue that they are necessary for the health and welfare of those with hearing loss and vision problems. BTW, the government option that was being proposed excluded hearing aids for adults. Why should the government get to decide who gets help and who doesn't when it comes to health care?

    January 13, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Poleski

      Weneedforesight
      We have been giving up freedom for centuries now but if we just focus on the last 40-50 years we see a dramatic deterioration of morality in supporting things that a century ago would have been considered criminal. Think about people supporting MURDERING babies in the year 1900.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Bill

      If your insurance doesn't cover vision then you have crappy insurance....Might I suggest getting better insurance!

      January 13, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • The serpent

      Abortion does not murder "babies". Get educated. And honest. You are calling something that is NOT murder, murder. You are no different than those people from PETA calling the consumption of meat murder. It is dishonest, and indicates a lack of education,, and emotional control.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Really??

      the serpent
      What part of abortion doesn't fit the definition of murder.
      Abortion is purposefully ending the life of a organism with human DNA. with malice aforethought. Why don't you think that is murder?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Pupster

      This ban against forms of birth control unduly punishes women, because Hobby Lobby is refusing to cover the needs of their female employees. Has Hobby Lobby objected to covering Viagra and Cialis, which is also covered by most health insurance, or prostate exams?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Poleski

      Excuse me Bill. Medicare doesn’t cover vision!!!!! Does the gov’t need to supply better insurance coverage for its seniors?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Molly Winston

      Poleski, yes, I also consider it somewhat shocking that our country has done a complete 180 in supporting some things that were considered criminal only 40-50 years ago... Like interracial marriage, gays in the military, coed dorms, and desegregated public schools. I call that progress.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Pupster

      A fetus cannot live outside a woman's body. If it can't live on its own, then it needs the consent of the host body, the woman's, who can refuse to be a vessel for a cluster of cells.

      A tumor also has human dna. As does a wart or a mole or all sorts of things that a human body produces. Are you going to outlaw removal of those things and call it murder?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      Great name for you. Did you look at the link? Nope. That might prove me right and your ignorance. Let me try again.
      http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/index.htm
      Are those dead babies or not fool.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • The serpent

      To really... Murder is illegal. Abortion is not. Also, abortion is a surgical procedure that removes a parasitic growth. Nothing more. An acorn is not an oak tree.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      Interesting argument. If you disagree with The Serpent YOU are “dishonest, and indicates a lack of education, and emotional control.”
      Let’s get this straight fool. MY IQ is tens more than yours. I make over 6 figures a year. How about you fool? I have over 7 figures in investments working towards 8 figures. How about you fool? You want to get into calling names you are bringing a knife to a gun fight. You lose.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Really??

      the serpent
      You claim that a living organism with humand DNA is a parasitic growth. Rediculous. It is undergoing a normal part of life, a part of life that ALL humans that have ever lived have gone through, that no human has not gone thorugh. It is not a parasitic growth, it is a human life.To intervene with intent to end that life is murder.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      Wow. Now we are into “acorns”. The stupidity is amazing!!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • The serpent

      Again your dishinesty shows..... I didn't say that you are dishonest for disagreeing with me. I maintain that you are dishonest for calling abortion murder. Murder is illegal. Abortion is NOT classed as murder, except in your personal opinion. As for your ignorance and obvious lack of education..... The fact that I had to explain the reasons as to why abortion is not murder to you, stands on it's own. Lastly, It is obvious that your IQ is minimal at best, and your claim that you make alot of money can not be taken seriously. It is not verifiable, and since you have shown your willingness to lie, should not be taken seriously. Also, even if it were true that you make alot of money(and I am quite sure that it's not), that would not meann you are smart, sane, or right. And don't worry.... This isn't a gun fight. with the likes of you being involved, this is a form of entertainment. LOL!!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Poleski

      To Molly Winston
      Amazing stupidity from the Progressives. Change the subject when you can’t progress the argument. Try something else. That tactic doesn’t work with me.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • The serpent

      To really??.... The fact that you do not like the idea that it is a parasitic growth, does not change the fact. It IS a parsite in so much that it is attached to a living host and requires that host for life. It is NOT murder to remove it. YOU may consider it murder, the same way that some folks consider eating meat murder, and that's your right. But the fact remains that abortion is NOT murder. Murder is illegal.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Really??

      the serpent
      Parasitic growth would be correct if it was an alien life form, or a mutation as in the case of cancer. Then you would have a point, but since it was naturally produced by one human, and ithe whole point of it is to continue the species, your parasite argument falls flat. It is not a parasite, it is a human life. Abortion is legalized murder.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • The serpent

      To Poleski..... The acorn comment is called "anology". It is something we grown-ups use to illustate a point to you less educated hicks. Obviously your home schooling didn't cover that. Sorry, next time I won't use such complicated processes. Apparently they are over your head.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      You are right about one thing. This is entertaining making a fool out of someone that evidently thinks he’s better than everyone else. NOTHING you say is VERIFIABLE fool. Progressive’s changing the subject again. Let’s get back to the acorns.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Really??

      the serpent
      your acorn thing, while it is an analogy, it is a poor one. Once germinated, the seed of the oak (acorn) can begin to grow and take root. It is life as soon as it begins the first cellular mytosis. It is an oak at that point, just as a human is a human from the first mytosis.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • The serpent

      To Really??..... I stand by my claim. by definition, it is parasitic. Look it up. YOU may consider abortion murder. But that doesn't make it so. My suggestion to you is to not have an abortion(If that fits). But that doesn't mean you may keep others from exercising their right to have one.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      "anology". I’m proud of you. You even spelled it correctly. When you get out of school come see me and we’ll have a conversation educating you on the real world.
      I’m really sorry that I can’t get down to your level. I just can’t be that stupid.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Really??

      the serpent
      I never crossed that line. I was just making the point of why abortion is murder, by definition. I never said one way or the other what the legal definitions are, just the scientific ones. I actually don't feel I have any right to legislate on someone elses body.
      And I would not ever be with anyone who would consider an abortion as a form of birth control.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • The serpent

      To Poleski.... Poor little dullard. Everything I have posted is verifiable. I can use links to provide definitions, legal terminology, case history, etc.... You are losing here in a big way. That's good though. The more I demonstrae your ignorance, the less effective your other posts may be. Keep posting. Showing your ignorance is a great way to provide insight into the mind of the anti-choice crowd.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • The serpent

      To Poleski.... Yes, "analogy". LOL!!! I'm sorry you missed the joke. You'll understand when you grow up.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • The serpent

      To Really........ If it were murder, it would be illegal. Your scientific definition would make removing a tumor murder. I am glad you would not try to legislate choice. I wouldn't try to convince you to have an abortion either. That is YOUR choice, as well as whom you would have a relationship with.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  4. Poleski

    Amazing. Here we have a group of people trying to justify MURDER and FORCE other people to pay for it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services." all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity,"
    Do you have any guts? Go to this site to see what murdered babies look like and see what you are supporting.
    http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/index.htm
    See a doctor to discuss your morality issues.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • The serpent

      No one is trying to justify murder. Your asserion that something YOU disagree with is murder, is dishonest. I stopped reading after that. If you want to be taken seriously, don't lie.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      Great name for you. Did you look at the link? Nope. That might prove me right and your ignorance. Let me try again.
      http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/index.htm
      Are those dead babies or not fool.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • The serpent

      I saw your link. I'm not impressed. Thoses pictures are shock tactics that sucker the emotionally hysterical folks like you to go wailing about like some emotionally stunted child. I'll repeat the truth for you so that maybe you'll get it this time..... Abortion is NOT murder. If it were, than it would be illegal. A fetus is not a baby. Therefore, no one is "murdering babies". That's a term the dishonest and uneducated use. If you had a valid point, you would have to resort to ignorance and dishonesty. You lose.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      Interesting argument. If you disagree with The Serpent YOU are “dishonest, and indicates a lack of education, and emotional control.” And also “uneducated”.
      Let’s get this straight fool. MY IQ is tens more than yours. I make over 6 figures a year. How about you fool? I have over 7 figures in investments working towards 8 figures. How about you fool? You want to get into calling names you are bringing a knife to a gun fight. You lose.
      “Abortion is NOT murder” according to you. Look at the pictures fool. You are too stupid to understand what you are doing OR just have a lousy morality. Would you like to take the place of one of those murdered babies?

      January 13, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • The serpent

      Again your dishinesty shows..... I didn't say that you are dishonest for disagreeing with me. I maintain that you are dishonest for calling abortion murder. Murder is illegal. Abortion is NOT classed as murder, except in your personal opinion. As for your ignorance and obvious lack of education..... The fact that I had to explain the reasons as to why abortion is not murder to you, stands on it's own. Lastly, It is obvious that your IQ is minimal at best, and your claim that you make alot of money can not be taken seriously. It is not verifiable, and since you have shown your willingness to lie, should not be taken seriously. Also, even if it were true that you make alot of money(and I am quite sure that it's not), that would not meann you are smart, sane, or right. And don't worry.... This isn't a gun fight. with the likes of you being involved, this is a form of entertainment. LOL!!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  5. Reality

    Who pays for 33 cent a piece condoms and inexpensive Pills is minor issue. Those who do not use them properly is !!!

    Only for new members of this blog–

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
    Followed by:
    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    January 13, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • The0racle

      nice work; is there a cogent point in there somewhere?

      January 13, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Reality

      All the "free" contraceptives will not end the abortion and STD epidemics because said contraceptives are not used properly.

      January 13, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  6. Resident of Oklahoma City

    We have Hobby Lobby here in OKC and I refuse to go there anymore. I shop at Michael's – they have similar items without all the religion. They are right across from Chic FiL A, and I don't go there either. Those of us who feel what these businesses are doing is wrong, can vote with our wallets.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Judith Nixon

      I don't shop at Hobby Lobby as I don't believe a company has the right to tell its employees what insurance coverage they can have. . In addition, on several Sunday's I have seen Hobby Lobby trucks on the interstate. I guess the drivers don't get to spend time in church or with their families!!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • The0racle

      when a wallet votes at Michael's does it know from which country the goods for which it voted are from? Does the wallet see beyond the glitter and glamor of Michael's into the dark birth control policies of said country?

      January 13, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Poleski

      To Judith Nixon
      Amazing stupidity. Hobby Lobby is NOT telling employees what insurance coverage they can have. They have the freedom to buy whatever coverage they want. Hobby Lobby refuses to PAY for insurance that MURDERS BABYS. Evidently you have a problem with truck drivers working on Sunday but no problem with murdering babies. Take a look at the murdered babies at this link and then tell me that can be ordered by your Imperialistic Gov’t.
      http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/index.htm

      January 13, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Dan

      So what you are saying is that you are going to exercise your right to choose, but Hobby Lobby and Chic-fil-a do not have a choice to do what they want? What makes you better than them? I'm not a religious person, but in your honor, I will have breakfast at Chic-fil-a tomorrow morning. Enjoy the rest of your 'I'm better-than-you day.'

      January 13, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Poleski

      Sorry Dan. You are right but that could never sink in to Resident of Oklahoma City or Judith Nixon.
      Their freedom gives them the right to tell everyone else what to do because they say so. Stupidity logic.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • The serpent

      I also wil never go to hobby lobby again, and already don't go to chik-fil-a. I do not support those who try to force their religious beliefs on others.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Poleski

      To The serpent
      But you have no problem with supporting those that murder babies?

      January 13, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  7. weneedforesight

    If being opposed to abortion is considered a religious belief, then forcing people to pay for them is also a religious belief. The government is the one imposing it's religious beliefs in this case. Suppose Republicans gain control and declare that guns are necessary for personal safety. Are you going to object when they start forcing employers to pay for guns for their employees?

    January 13, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • llmasucci

      Health insurance is an earned benefit. It's no different from a paycheck. If an employee gets an abortion without insurance, they'll be using money that came from the paycheck, so the employer will ultimately be providing the funds for the abortion either way. This whole issue is a tempest in a teapot. The basic issue is, it doesn't matter what my bosses' religious beliefs are; they don't get to decide what I do with my earned benefits. After I earn the benefit, the money no longer belongs to my boss; it belongs to me.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Poleski

      To llmasucci
      Earned benefit my Axx. That benefit is determined by the company that’s paying for it, not the gov’t and not the employee and not by you. If the employee wants a different benefit they have the freedom to work somewhere else and so do you. Amazing stupidity and logic.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • llmasucci

      Poleski, do you live in America? You seem to be unaware that we have a minimum wage here. My employer is not allowed to just pay me whatever they want in America. There is a legal minimum both for wages and now for health insurance. If I worked for a week, and then my employer decided not to pay me because they thought I was going to spend the money on something they disapproved of, they would have no legal standing. I'd sue their pants off, because I had EARNED that money. We're not serfs here.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • The serpent

      Being opposed to abortion may not be a religious belief in itself. But declaring that you are not providing contraception benefits becuase of your religious beliefs, changes that. This employer is stating that he is refusing to provide an insurance that provides complete contraception based solely on his religious belief.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Poleski

      To llmasucci
      Yes I’m an American. Fought for it. How about you fool?
      Amazing stupidity from the Progressives. Change the subject when you can’t progress the argument. Try something else. That tactic doesn’t work with me.

      January 13, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poleski, you got served. The argument presented was valid and you have no comeback.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  8. Travis

    You know there is a lot of pushing and shoving coming from the insane far right. I'd be real careful just how far you push because if you can't stay in your lane you might get hit.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:23 am |
  9. ignatzz

    They don't cover the drugs. They cover insurance, and their employees can FREELY decide what to use their own insurance for.

    Does this company think insurance is a pay-as-you-go system?

    Does the insurance coverage that includes these drugs even cost more? Probably not.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Pupster

      It's because of this kind of unreasonable pressure of employers into the freedoms and lives of their employees that we need to decouple health insurance from employees. If we all had single-payer insurance (ie. Medicare for all) you wouldn't have employers foisting their religion on their employees and denying them services that everyone else in society has.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • llmasucci

      ignatzz, I doubt that plans covering BC are more expensive. They may actually cost less, since one pregnancy costs far more than a year of BC.I wholeheartedly agree with Pupster–this needs to be none of my boss's dang business!

      January 13, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  10. Travis

    Hobby Lobby needs a leson. Get em' IRS sock it to them. You can't mix religious values and choose for your employees. This really opens the door up for employee law suits. Plain and simple. They may have found one way out but they opened up the door for potential employee law suits.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Josh

      I think you missed your "lessons" in school.... If the workers do not like the aspects or beliefs of the job then they are free to find another one. This is not an area in which the government needs to cram its agenda down the throats of the private sector.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The government regulates all KINDS of things in industry, whether it's private or not. How ignorant can you be? Do you think private companies can ignore safety laws under OSHA?

      What a dumb comment.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  11. mb2010a

    I hate Hobby Lobby and will never shop there. I can't find anything in their stores that was NOT made in China...

    January 13, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • Cool Blue

      where do you shop for goods not made in china?

      January 13, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Travis

      Hobby Lobby just wrote themselves a ticket to get sued. Attorney are going to swarm all over any employee who wants to sue there employer. It is not legal for them to choose for their employees rights. Watch the law suits pour in. They are playing with fire with this one.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  12. Randy

    SOOO Hobby Lobby uses it religious beliefs to try avoid paying the fines AND because of their relegious beliefs the employees are penalized for it as well. Good thing the company is not one of those relegions that refuses blood transfusions or the employees could be denied that as well. This is NOT about relegious beliefs but being able to provide ALL people with the same healthcare benefits. No more hobby wobby for me! YOU CANNOT FORCE YOUR RELIGiOUS BELIEFS NOR DENY YOUR EMPLOYEES EQUALITY BASED ON YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS – EVEN IF YOU OWN THE COMPANY!

    January 13, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • Saraswati

      By their logic, if they were Christian scientists they could deny almost all care. people defending this really haven't thought it through.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:19 am |
  13. verg

    I have a question for all those who so strongly support this company's right to impose their beliefs on their employees and object to "Obamacare" in general – "big government" is total evil, but big business; they can do what they want.
    How about I impose a new policy at my company – On purely religious grounds, I object to the sin of gluttony. So all employees will maintain a healthy body weight and exercise on a regular basis. And no smoking or drinking either. We will do weight checks and drug tests monthly. Somehow I don’t think I will get the same support Hobby Lobby is getting from the anti-government crowd. My rights as a business owner will be trounced by my employees’ right to be as unhealthy as they want in the privacy of their own homes. It is only the issue of birth control and abortion in which our government, churches or businesses can tell a woman that she has no rights at all.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Saraswati

      I don't approve of having more than two children. So my business will fire anyone who has a third.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Resident of Oklahoma City

      I really liked your post about gluttons. Its funny how these fanatics like to "pick and choose" what sins they will attend to.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  14. caw

    Whew glad I saw this. I needed to fix a clock and had thought about stopping at Hobby Lobby to grab the parts. Nope....That store is off limits to my dollars.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:51 am |
  15. weneedforesight

    If you were a vegetarian employer and the government forced you to purchase meat for your employers or face millions in fines, would you say the government was justified? If the governent declared that meat was a necessary part of your diet to maintain good health, they could do exactly what they are doing here. This is about conscience rights. It goes beyond a tax and forces them to directly purchase something they oppose. Hobby Lobby isn't taking away a woman's right to choose, it is just refusing to pay for something they morally oppose. People are confusing the right to do something with the right to make others pay for it.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:44 am |
    • Saraswati

      Insurance payments aren't Hobby Lobby's money. It is money earned by the workers and part of a complete compensation package. Employers just make a bulk purchase on the employees behalf to get a better rate and provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:24 am |
    • llmasucci

      My employer does pay for all of my meat, because it's all paid for using the money I got in my paycheck. After they sign the check, it's none of their business what I do with that money. My insurance should work exactly the same way. I earn the health benefit, and my employer pays their share. After that point, what I do with the benefit is between my doctor and I.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      @llmasucci,
      Very well put.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  16. khrog

    related news: Jesus was dirty rawkstar like Marilyn Manson

    January 13, 2013 at 6:16 am |
    • James Watson

      I know your scared to admit it or say it publicly but Muhammand was a dirty pediphile as well. If your going to speak of only one religious figure just say something of all of them,fuc@#ing lib.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  17. Bernard Webb

    Why are employers given religious power over their employees? This is nuts. I personally would never patronize any business that I find is run by a right-wing nutjob.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • Rob

      That's your choice. The owner should have his right to choose observed too. If the employees want the coverage, then let them find a job that supplies it. As a privately owned company, the owner has the right to his beleifs. TNo one should be forced to aid in abortion. Planned parenthood help kill over 335,000 inborn babies this year alone and we are forced to set back and let our government spend our money to help them, which again is wrong. Again, you have the right not to shop at Hobby Lobby, I applaud them and will shop there often. It is a shame you and others like you are so will to let your right of choice and beliefs be taken away by a bunch of socalistic left wing nutjobs

      January 13, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • Charlie

      Because this is America and we have the right to religious freedom. If you don't like the rules of your employer find another job. Why should you commies be bale to tell a Corporation, (that is not a person) what to do.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Rob: The employer does not speak for their employee's. The employer is being forced to follow the same law that every other employer is required to follow.
      As for abortion...Roe vs Wade already cleared that one up, so the opinion of anyone via use of their belief does not matter.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • Travis

      @Rob Your wrong. No employer has a right to choose and impose it's religious beleifs on ithe employees. The employees now have a right to sue their employer. They may have found a way out of it one way but they opened the door for lawsuits. So if my employers beliefs say that I can't drive a car do you think that means I can't either? Your logic is flawed.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • llmasucci

      It's not up to my employer what I do with the benefits I earn. My boss might be morally opposed to alcohol, but I'm legally allowed to buy as much beer with my paycheck as I want, even though that paycheck was signed by a teetotaler. Likewise, once I've earned health insurance benefits, that's just another part of my compensation package. What I do with that benefit is my business, not my bosses'. The right of the individual trumps the right of the corporation. Instead of saying "if the employee doesn't like it, they should find another job," we should be saying "if an employer doesn't like their money eventually funding things they don't approve of, they should stop having employees."

      January 13, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  18. Don Jones

    Boycott Hobby Lobby!!!!

    January 13, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Consequence

      Can't afford your own abortions, eh? You have to force someone who believes it is a gross sin to kill the unborn to pay it for you. Frankly, since it is his big idea, I would have Barack cut you a check from his own account.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • aryugaetu

      Hobby Lobby has long been the local "Chick-fil-A" years before a Chick-fil-A ever came to town. They were widely known for firing Gays for extremely lame, albeit, barely legal reasons. The funny thing is that when you walk (or shoved) into a Hobby Lobby, the first thing you notice are the dated store fixtures and "design", and you think, "They definitely need a Gay man on their store design team." It's as if it was designed by a large committee of 70 year old straight men who were ousted by KMart 40 years ago… and kind of smells that way, too. Visit your locally owned hobby store for much better service and the very latest products.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:47 am |
    • Travis

      @Consequence Since you think an employer has a right to do that. Then I suppose cities have the right to ban their business from local terriotories. This is another Chic-Fil-A story. And it will end the same. People will boycott it and eventually it will lead to the demise of the business. When you make stupid choices like this your right there are consequences for that. While Im against abortion I'm also against business or people imposing their beleifs on others. Spreading gods word is one thing but playing god is blasphemous.

      January 13, 2013 at 7:21 am |
  19. Jim Jones

    This is one of the many reasons we should have a single payer system. Decouple health insurance from employers entirely. It's good for employees and even better for employers. I'm not sure how or why employers ever got into the business of providing health care in the first place. It just doesn't make sense. What's next, employer provided car insurance, homeowner's insurance, pet insurance? How about employer provided groceries. No, employer should provide cash payment for services rendered, and limit benefits to things like paid vacation and sick days, maybe a pension or other retirement plan (though I'm not sure I think even that makes sense, particularly in light of the fact that few people stay with one company for their entire career these days), and perhaps some small perks, like free coffe and tea, free parking (if in an urban setting), etc.

    January 13, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • Bernard Webb

      And the employer could withhold your groceries if he doesn't like what you picked out to eat. This is a crazy system.

      January 13, 2013 at 6:02 am |
    • Chris

      Actually, as of a couple years ago, my employee does provide health insurance!

      January 13, 2013 at 6:13 am |
    • llmasucci

      This is the most logical thing I've seen here. Having my health insurance linked to my job makes no sense, as I don't belong to my employer and my health is none of their business in the first place. I think our American system is a vestigial remnant of the "company town" mentality that workers used to be trapped in. I'm looking forward to a day when access to health care is treated as a basic human right here.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  20. 666dorado

    guess what? my religious beliefs says my tax dollars shouldn't be spent on war or killing people. does that mean i don't have to pay my taxes?

    January 13, 2013 at 5:56 am |
    • Dandude

      Insurance is not tax

      January 13, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • Realityblowz

      The Supreme Court says that Obamacare is a tax.

      January 13, 2013 at 8:17 am |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.