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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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

soundoff (4,609 Responses)
  1. phuckem

    I am going to shop at Secular Lobby. Enough 'religulous freedom'

    January 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  2. barbarianofgor

    If they were really "Christian" perhaps they'd have stuff, and I mean virtually ALL of their stuff "made in the USA" using their power and wealth to buy back factories and scream for "Tax breaks and subsidies" that are supposed to benefit companies that hire Americans, not export jobs...? That of all the places they'd outsource to is CHINA that's openly Communist/Atheist and oppresses CHRISTIANS? That almost everything is made in China there, except the "Traditional Chinese Ink" that's made in Taiwan?

    (seriously, LOOK, Traditional Chinese Ink – made in Taiwan, but then look to the flags and crosses, CHINA...)

    January 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Really now?

      Uh, you do know about Taiwan, don't you? It's the informal name. Their formal name is the Republic of China. Mostly Chinese loyal to Chaing Kai-Shek who fled the communist takeover in 49. Island off of China. Used to be part of greater China, and mainland China still claims it.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
  3. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    The SCOTUS has already decided on the Consti tutionality of the ACA. There's no debate as to whether HL is "within its rights" as far as compliance goes. RL is baying at the moon. Too bad it will avail him and HL nothing whatsoever.

    January 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Yeppy

      That's the bottom line. All that is really happening now is Hobby Lobby may have delayed paying their fine for breaking the law. Then again, that's only their attorney's opinion, and the government may come after them on it. Just like RatLib, having an opinion doesn't make that opinion law.

      And even the loophole only lasts a few months. Then the fine will hit them. Jesus or money? Guess which they will pick as their true lord?

      January 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course they will choose to fold. If profit weren't their real God, they'd have paid the fine or they'd have moved overseas. RL wants to say that they're nothing more than good old conscientious objectors and patriots.

      Fine. If they are, they should stick by their guns and let the chips fall where they may. Instead, they looked for a loophole in the law of the land they choose to operate in.

      Really moral, aren't they?

      January 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  4. Referee

    RL
    If you haven't figured it out yet, tom, tom just likes to name call and assert that everyone is ignorant if they don't agree with her. She is the kind of person that yells at the neighborhood kids if they step on her lawn, and likely shoots squirrels from her rocking chair. She is nothing but a bully and best ignored.

    Tom, Tom
    I know you'll respond to this because you always want the last word, so have at it, no one cares what you think either.

    January 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Guess again, loser.

      RL wants a fight. I'm not going to give him one. Don't like it? Stick it up your azz. I'm not under any obligation to debate with you or your little sock puppet.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Moronspotter

      Referee = Chad

      January 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Or RL.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Referee

      sorry ...not Chad...care to try again?

      January 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why? You'll lie about it anyway. And really, who gives a fvck?

      January 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Referee

      Just because you wouldn't know the truth does not mean I would lie. You are just too easy.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What you don't seem to grasp, my dear, is that I really don't care who you are.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  5. Maria Rodriguez

    Since Hobby Lobby sticks to their believes, I will stick to mine and never buy anything at their store. That's it. In fact I think they could go a step further: Hobby Lobby should ask all their customers if they believe in abortion and if so, they shouldn't even be allowed in their store to shop. That way Hobby Lobby won't be hyprocrites taking money from nonbelievers!

    January 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Really??

      Maybe they could find an automated way of doing it, like Chick-fillet installing gaydar in all of their stores.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Epidi

      A most excellent comment and I agree 100%.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Bob

      idiots

      January 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  6. Moko

    Very noble of this company but how about they have employees that are nice to the people that spend their money there?

    January 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Basically

      When you treat employees like crap and give them crap pay, you get crap employees.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  7. No one is pro-abortion

    Plan B does not cause an abortion – it is a birth control pill. Taken in a timely manner – it can greatly reduce the number of abortions in this country. That surely is not something that most Americans would find a problem with.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • George of the Urban Jungle

      These are Christians. Facts are not part of their process, or they would have a problem with the "complete and utter lack of evidence" thing and the "absurdity and impossibility of the Bible" thing.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Who cares whether most Americans would have a problem with it? Hobby Lobby have a problem with it and it's their company.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • No one is pro-abortion

      Hobby Lobby would have a problem with fewer abortions? I think you misunderstood.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what? Does that mean they get to hire child workers? Have unsafe working conditions? Refuse to allow their employees lunch and restroom breaks?

      This isn't China, much as some azzwipes would like to pretend it is. We have all kinds of laws regulating workers' rights and benefits. This is no different.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Nobody is being forced to do anything, unlike in China.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. They're being denied the rights workers in other companies have because those other companies are abiding by the laws of the country in which the owners chose to set up shop. HL is trying to skirt those laws for religious reasons.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Ed T Duck

      It all depends on what you define as abortion. To those who consider life starting at fertilization, preventing implantation is then effectively abortion.
      It should also be pointed out that the mechanisms by which the emergency contraceptives on the FDA list work are not fully known, and it's suspected that some or all of them prevent implantation.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Kiki

      Ed they have tested drugs like plan B and there is no proof it prevents implantation. None. In fact when scientist took fertlized eggs left over from IVF and put them in a dish with uterine cells and added Plan B it did not stop the fertlized eggs from attaching to the uterine cells. Do some homework and learn the current science.
      " recent evidence strongly suggests that Plan B One-Step and Next Choice do not inhibit implantation" Mayo Clinc research

      January 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  8. Jeffro211

    Anything always comes down to the bottom line with the so called "religious right," the bottom dollar... So much for following a God that states "where you store your treasure is where your heart will surely be." I am never surprised by their outright and underlying hypocrisy anymore.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bob

      It is not the bottom dollar that HL is fighting, everyone has the right to live. They also have the right to run their business as their faith leads them. HL should not have to pay for people to use abortions as a means of birth control. They are not stopping them from doing it just that they shouldn't have to pay for it. Way to Go HL. And can also say I will not be paying one dollar in tax money to pay for it either.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bob

      Good thing this pill wasn't around when your mother had you. We might not be hearing from you right now.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Ed T Duck

      I think that's an unfair generalization. Besides, you must agree that a $100 fine/employee/day is unsustainable.

      If they are to stand by their convictions and remain in business, their only viable course of action is to take the fight to the courts and hold off paying the fines as long as possible.

      Personally, I think ACA is great, but I wish they left the emergency contraceptives off the list. Not enough is known about their mechanism of action with regards preventing ovulation vs preventing implantation (which some consider abortion).

      January 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  9. Rational Libertarian

    Tom Tom

    I have to believe you have no answer to my question about what relevance OSHA has to Hobby Lobby. You frequently criticize Christians for making irrelevant, illogical and zero evidence based claims (and rightly so) yet you bring OSHA in to an argument to which I can see them having no relevance to. So I ask again, what is OSHA's relevance here?

    January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      RL, I don't care what you would like to debate. I'm simply not interested. Go find someone who is.

      I believe, and the SCOTUS agrees, that the ACA is Const intutional. If you don't like it, too bad. Go fight with someone else. The fact is that the government regulates safety issues, worker benefits and all kinds of issues that public AND private industry must abide by. This is no different.

      Your mileage may vary, but I really don't give a crap if it does.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You don't like to debates points you made? That's very hypocritical considering the frequency you do it to others on these blogs.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tough. Sue me.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm not a liberal, I don't sue people for not doing everything I demand. Now I realize why we should never have tried to behave more amicably to one another. You're incapable of engaging amicably with anybody who doesn't have the exact same opinions as you have.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It's a shame. We probably could have been friends but for politics.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      RL seems to think I care about his "amicable" overtures. I don't need your friendship, you ninny. I don't care if you want an answer or a debate or an argument or a hug. Last time I checked, there were no LAWS here that require me to give you any answers just because you want them, you needy little pup.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Call me whatever makes you happy, RL. If it's a salve to your injured ego to call women cvnts, have at it.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @RL and TTtPS -

      Sweet merciful crap! You two are at it again? RL, as I see it, TTtPS was employing a loose analogy to demonstrate that business must comply with federal law regardless of the principals philosophy. I can't imagine she was asserting that OSHA and PPACA regulations are analogous.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Really-O?

      typo..."principal's philosophy". I apologize to either or both of you if I've misunderstood your position.

      Cheers

      January 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He likes to argue about pinheads and angels, Really-O.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ..."principals' philosophy". DOH!

      January 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  10. cdansell

    Far easier to just eliminate the health plan, send the workers to the exchange, reduce the staff size, or franchise the units to get under the 50 employee limit. Eight groups were already exempt or excluded (including illegal aliens who will still get all of their health care off the backs of workers) from the law, additionally the Slumbama regime gave exemptions to the entire law to thousands of companies and union organizations. This is already a law that applies only to some while cronies and campaign contributors do not have to follow the law.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  11. jb1111

    GET YOUR WALLETS OUT, KIDS.

    HERE COMES OBAMACARE !!

    **

    January 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Frankenfurter

      Odd how people actually believe that. Do they not notice that costs were skyrocketing under the old system, and it was only a matter of time until it became unaffordable? Have they not been looking at their bills? Have they not been sick and found out that the things they thought were covered are now claimed to not be covered?

      Anyone who liked the old way better wasn't paying attention. Not that the new way is going to fix it all that much.

      Singel payer, especially since it gets rid of the egregious insurance company middle men who are adding so much cost and so little value.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • myintx

      Lots of studies out there that say that Obamacare will cause premiums to go up MORE than they would have without Obamacare... Plus numerous employers are already making plans to cut hours or reduce staff to avoid providing healthcare... Medical device companies are cutting back to cover the stupid Medical device tax. Obamacare stinks.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Frankenfurter

      That's all unfounded hypothesis and regurgitated propaganda. Nobody knows what the long term effects are, but insurance companies have been telling people a lot of misinformation. Under the old system, rates were regularly going up 20% a year. Even the most mathematically challenged idiot knows that is unsustainable.

      You hate something you do not understand and know almost nothing about. That, by definition, is ignorance.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Waddle Canal

    When the loophloe ends and it is time to choose between Jesus and money, I wonder which lord will be chosen. They are certainly rich enough to choose Jesus and pay that fine for a looooooooooong time, so will they?

    Jesus or money: which will Hobby Lobby pick as their lord? We will soon find out.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • jb1111

      JESUS CHOSE "LIFE" NOT ABORTION !!!

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Melanie

      So now "rich" is bad.
      "Rich" people have money to hire people and pay wages and benefits to other people.
      Can "poor" people hire another person and pay wages and benefits to him?
      Can poor people hire many people, hundreds and thousands of people, and pay wages and benefits to them?
      Can rich people buy goods and services from other people that give other people money, wages and benefits? Are rich people "bad"?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      jb111, so Jeeebus knocked up a girl?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Melanie

      Muslim-owned private companies, thousands of them in the USA, follow strict Sharia Law, as is their right.

      Now that my company includes contraceptives in the Plan, my health care family premiums have gone up $2,500.00. I'd rather pay for it myself like I have always done, and save myself $2,400.00 a year. Or I can go to Planned Parenthood or any clinic and get it for free.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Justin

      I don't know of any business that can afford to voluntarily pay 1.4 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY and be around.
      As an athiest I don't understand this decision but I can respect it.

      The real question is... how is this not discrimination against the NON-Christian workers? What if an employee WANTED the medical care Hobby Lobby feels is unneeded. What if my DOCTOR said "you need this or you will die"... Hobby Lobby is now a decider of MY life... imposing their belief systems via my workplace unto me?

      People need to quit worrying so much and get back to rebuilding America.

      Hard battle... funny Hobby Lobby is the one to battle it.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Melanie is correct.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  13. jb1111

    MOST OF YOU POSTING HERE ARE SO DARN IGNORANT ABOUT THE BILL OF RIGHTS !!

    Start by re-reading The Bill of Rights.

    These rights belong to you also.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      waaahhhhhh I'm a crazy wing nut and all I want to do is troll and nobody will argue with me!!! waaaaaaahhhhhh

      January 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  14. pvs1

    no sense in getting mad. if you support their decision, then patronize their establishments. they'll need the business since us non-bible thumpers will certainly boycott these greedy wingnuts

    January 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Melanie

      Now that my company includes contraceptives in the Plan, my health care family premiums have gone up $2,500.00. I'd rather pay for it myself like I have always done, and save myself $2,400.00 a year. Or I can go to Planned Parenthood or any clinic and get it for free.

      Why demonize the company? A company or person must make money in order to pay other people wages. 13,000 people have jobs with this company. They are a private company who employ people. It is very difficult for people to get full time jobs and health insurance, and they are happy to have these jobs. Would you rather they be on the unemployment line? Or on Welfare? Obviously the people who have these types of jobs are not lawyers and doctors or accountants- they need this type of job and Hobby Lobby provides it and Hobby Lobby or any company has to make money in order to pay 13,000 people wages.

      This week many individual franchise owners, including Dennys have said that due to Obamacare, they cannot afford to hire full time workers, and will be putting many of their workers on part-time basis because they cannot AFFORD the obamacare act provisions. So who loses- the worker who can least afford to lose the hours pay is the loser. Before you cast aspersions why don't you try building a company and provide jobs and health insurance to 13,000 people like Hobby Lobby does? As you can see what is happening, the people who pay wages, who provide jobs to other people are being made to be the bad guy, the enemy. That is wrong. Most people's health insurance premiums are going up not down because of these onerous rules that add costs. Anyone can go to Planned Parenthood and get the morning-after pill for free, so why attack this company?.. You have to see through the veneer of Liberalism and Socialism to see its real effects on people.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Melanie

      These "greedy wingnuts" pay 13,000 people wages and health insurance benefits- you should try getting a full-time job nowadays with benefits, or why don't you try PAYING another person a wage and benefits, and then criticize others.. Are you going to boycott Muslim-owned companies that follow Sharia Law as well?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You bet I will. Why don't you list all of those companies who operate in the USA, Melanie, dear?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      pvs1, "greedy wingnuts"?

      Insurance propaganda folks see a vast market of potential prosperities for their stockholders and company execs! Giving the shaft of laws to enforce the wantonness of insuring common laborers the ways and means to decrease unneeded children via abortive contraceptives is pure democide!

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Jen

      So you believe that covering contraceptives is the SOLE reason your health care premiums have increased. Wow....just wow

      January 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look, the Perverted Lion roars, albeit weakly, yet again, on subjects he knows nothing about.

      This idiot wants all the girls (um, he calls them sl*uts) to be forced to have the babies conceived by their "sinful antics in the bedroom" through their "dumb inability to know their cycles" so that the wages they earn will go toward the SS funds that support him and the brother he abused.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Kiki

      Melanie. contraception lowers costs since it reduces pregnancy and subsequent pediatric expenses which are enormous. If your premiums have gone up its not because of contraceptive coverage. .

      January 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  15. MS

    "abortion-inducing drugs"

    I'm guessing they failed Biology 101.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Stephen

      The zealots normally do. As it shows when they reject evolution, natural selection, and an Old Earth. Not that they all automatically do that stuff, but this should be grouped in with that.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • jb1111

      You are WRONG, ms !!

      January 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dear, she isn't. Plan B does not cause an abortion. YOU are the one who is wrong.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Bobby Bob Crossuck, Christian

      You hell-burnin' atheieiests. jb's right, MS. We didn't fail Biology 101, because they never got far enough to even take it.

      Big fail for you!!!! Nya! Nya! Nya!

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Homer10

      The silley thing about all this is that RU486, and other drugs like this are redally available everywhere (even in the Somillia of the US, Mississippi). Also it's fairly cheep, and it's a one time dose. So basically this is a temest in a tea pot. The whole thing is political, and politics and business don't mix very well. The sad part of this is that Hobby Lobby just alienated 47% of their customers (maybe it's more). So a lot of people will be loosing their jobs because of this foolishness. If you want to fight this, then bribe (Oops campaign contribute) your congressman. But this is a loose loose situation.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Kiki

      Homer this isn't about RU 486 which does induce abortion but about plan B which is emergency contraception and has zero effect if you are already pregnant.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Sue H

      According to WEBMD, Plan B is an abortion-inducing drug. Where are the rest of you getting your information on abortion and contraception. You must not understand how the drug works.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Kiki

      Sue you need to find more current and reputable information. Plan B is not an abortion drug.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      http://www.webmd.com/s3x/birth-control/features/plan-b-11-questions-11-answers

      WebMD says NOTHING of the kind, you liar.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Replace the "3" with the letter "e". You are a lying azz. Web MD does NOT say that Plan B causes abortion. ANYWHERE. If you have to lie to make a point, you have no point.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • JZ

      FROM WEBMD:
      Plan B or Plan B One-Step is not the same as RU-486, which is an abortion pill. It does not cause a miscarriage or abortion. In other words, it does not stop development of a fetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So it will not work if you are already pregnant when you take it.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  16. TD

    So if you step outside the politics of the debate, why should birth control be covered by health care programs and not an optional benefit to be selected and paid for? And before anyone goes ballistic, I do not mean those situations when birth control is prescribed for other reasons and related to the argument that birth control is used to treat a variety of women's medical issues. In other words, if a doctor prescribed it for a specific need, its covered. But if it is solely for the purposes of preventing or terminating an unwanted pregnancy, why should that cost be spread across every single insured? I'm curious as to a rationale that supports this not the political propaganda from the left or the right.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Gary

      TD - you've made the mistake of asking a reasonable question, founded on logic and not rooted in unthinking nastiness. Unfortunately, it will probably be met by hysteria, and ad hominem attacks.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Precedence and cost.

      For the past several decades insurance companies have been paying for birth control because they recognize that s3x and the prevention of pregnancy as part of the human condition. AND they'd rather pay a few bucks now than about a hundred thousand over the course of eighteen years.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Gary, do you really think that it's correct when a company decides not to follow a law set forth by congress? Do you really? Are you an anarchist?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Stephen

      Because it's been considered a normal part of prescription care since it was invented. That zealots want to take it away is unacceptable.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • TD

      Moby, I thought that most companies had always made BC part of their plans. That was evident after the Sandra Fluke uproar when most media outlets reported that what she was whining about was already provided. So it seems that the issue some of these companies have, like Hobby Lobby, is based on the requirements to provide what they call abortion inducing drugs under their health plans. That doesn't seem unreasonable if it is truly against their beliefs.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Henderson Filed

      Similarly, why should employers be the gatekeepers for health care?

      Single payer: it's only a matter of time.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      One word, "Democide".

      January 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jen

      Agree with Moby. Aside from that, what would stop women from telling their doctors they need birth control to alleviate extremely painful menstrual cramping (if that is covered and other scenarios are not)? That's often a medical condition that doctors prescribe it for (and can't be verified as pain tolerance is variable).

      January 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Ah, so now you're going somewhere completely different, TD. I wonder why.

      A company doesn't have beliefs, TD. That's stupid. A company follows the law set forth by congress. A company OWNED by christian scientists is not "christian scientist" and therefore gets to refuse to follow all the laws and not provide first aid kits in their offices.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Jen

      Plan B is not an abortion inducing drug. Look up the definitions of pregnancy and abortion.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • TadPole

      I liked your question. Not often that this board is used to communicate. So, here is my personal answer: I believe that it shoudl be covered, because like many bodily issues, pregnancy requires heath care. All those checkups, ultra-sounds, etc. If you actually don't want to become pregnant, then "the pill" (or other means) would do a lot to prevent it. It is in my opinion similar to saying you wanted a flu vacine. It also seems to me to just fit in to what a health care plan would be. To have to make exceptions for contraceptives would complicate it all so much. You go in for an exam, or whatever, and then want to renew your birth control prescrition but have to do it on a separate plan? Just seems way too complicted.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • TD

      Stephen, that is not a logical rationale. You call them zealots because you disagree with them. So why is it not an acceptable argument for those who don't want, need or believe in that benefit to have to help pay it for everyone who does?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Wow, TD, you're really all over the place in your responses.

      Do you understand how insurance works? You don't seem to. The whole point of insurance is that everyone's money is going to what everyone needs. It's not about "I won't pay for what I won't use" because that wouldn't be insurance. Why are my premiums paying for people who eat fried food nonstop and don't exercise? You see?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Gary

      Moby - as JFK once noted, Americans are free to disagree with laws, but not to violate them. At present everythink is happenning within the law - a suit has been brought, injunction requested, etc. That isn't anarchy.

      What's at issue in the legal wrangle is whether certain provisions of the law are in conflict with the "freedom of religion" acknowledged and protected in the Bill of Rights. This is analogous to challenges to other laws, like the DOMA, segregation laws, etc., and consistent with civil disobedience as advocated and practiced by HDT, MLK, and Gandhi.

      If the company ultimately loses its challenge, it will probably choose one of three options: it will provide the insurance coverage mandated by the law; it will continue to operate but pay the fines required by law; or it will decide to close shop. All of these options are within the law, and not anarchistic.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Which makes all your previous ridiculousness irrelevant, Gary. Thank you.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Gary

      Moby - I don't follow whatever "logic" is behind your ill-bred response to my comment.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      HA!!!! That's even better, Gary!! :)

      January 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Gary

      TD - Sadly, told you so.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • TD

      Moby, it never ceases to amaze how once the logic of someone's position breaks down, they have to take it personal and try to challenge the other side's motives or intelligence. And yes, I understand insurance very well and how insurance is priced based on risk. I also know that insurance comes with many options and depending on the level of insurance needed, is priced accordingly. In other words, not everyone pays the same price for insurance.

      I also understand benefits and that they too, often carry different options depending on a particular individual or family's needs. Hence, my question as to why in the cases of medication and medical care, one person should have to pay more because of personal choices made by others.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense and malarkey, TD. I pay more, perhaps by a minuscule amount, for health insurance because a bunch of people choose to be fat, to smoke, and to drink. There's no difference. The risks are spread over a number of employees and therefore the costs to all are lower.

      That is the whole point of group insurance.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • TD

      Gary, yes you were correct.

      @Jen, I stand corrected. I did a quick search and now I understand the Plan B drugs a little better. That said, my question was less about abortion than it was about there being a seemingly rational argument not to require a "benefit" that was specific to a personal choice made by individuals.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I really don't care about what does or does not "cease to amaze you" since I have not "taken anything personal" or "tried to challenge the other sides motives" or anyone's "intelligence."

      You don't SEEM to understand how insurance works or how the law works. I'm not attacking you or your intelligence; I'm making an observation based on the questions you're asking.

      Had you refrained from making unfounded accusations about me and my motives, I would have enjoyed continuing our conversation. Now I have no such impulse. Enjoy your day. Goodbye.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      That Gary's initial prediction was decidedly INCORRECT is proved throughout the replies above this post. Evidence is what counts, not the opinion of those who get their feelings hurt when there's no cause to do so.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • TD

      Tom Tom that is not a reasonable rationale for anything. It is just really too bad that people can't separate their politics from the evaluation and resolution of any issue anymore. Yet so many people make their arguments based on a party line position or party specific hatred. They just choose the reason for their thinking based on what fits best as to ever bothering to acknowledge there is a legitimate rationale for an opposing point of view.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TD, you are as dishonest as Chad and Gopher.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • TD

      Tom Tom, I was responding in general and it was not my intention to belittle your response, which other calling mine malarkey, did include real points. My apology.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • TD

      Wow, had I seen that reply I probably would have stopped typing.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You argued from a position of ignorance, TD, and now you're trying to back-pedal. It won't wash.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jen

      TD, isn't it also a personal choice to get pregnant and have a baby? If you use that argument, couldn't companies use that argument to deny insurance for pregnancy and birth costs? Why not use that argument to deny maternity benefits as well? Well they can't. That's what laws are put in place for.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • TD

      Jen, that has never been in question. But we are talking about company benefits and what is causing much of the problem and expense is the government's encroachment into what those benefits are based on its beliefs. The fact is that there is not always a right and a wrong and this is what happens when the government oversteps its boundaries and which it may very well be doing in mandating what must be included in a company health benefit. Especially when the government then steps in and tries to fine a company $1.5M a day for not complying with "its" (the government's" beliefs.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • TD

      Tom Tom, you have so lost your objectivity that you simply can't have a rational disagreement with someone if it can't break along your personal / political point of view. I will take my "position of ignorance" and wanting to understand both sides of an issue over a position of everyone who disagrees with me must be ignorant any time.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Bob

      HL is not saying that we should outlaw plan B or ru486 or whatever else people want to commit murder with. They are saying they should not have to pay for it if you want it YOU pay for it.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  17. Stephen

    Religious freedom does not mean freedom to force your religion on others, Hobby Lobby.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Logic

      And how is their religion being forced on you? Are you being forced by the government to shop there? I bet your opinions about this might be different if that was the case.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Stephen

      I'm really, obviously talking about their employees. This company is in the Middle Ages if they think it's really something to get Sunday off "to rest."

      January 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      But Freedom of Religion should trump the ACA – except in the world of progressives.

      What's next? Catholics prohibited from serving communion wine to those under 21?

      .

      January 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Gary

      The company isn't forcing its religion on its employees, they are free to buy whatever they like with their pay. A restaurant that provides free lunches for its employees shouldn't be compelled to offer ham sandwiches if it is owned by an Orthodox Jewish family.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Gary

      And, Stephen, the company isn't trying to forbid its employees from buying contraceptives, nor from spending part of their pay on abortions.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Stephen

      The company IS forcing its religion on its employees, and should be sued to the Nth Degree for doing so. Contraception is a longstanding, very normal part of prescription healthcare. And these people think because of their religion it is their right to deny it, and that is wrong. Hope they go down.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      "This company is in the Middle Ages if they think it's really something to get Sunday off "to rest.""
      ==========================
      So you work 7 days every week, and don't think people should have weekends off? Hate workers much?

      .

      January 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Stephen

      You're not too sharp, G_Edwards, as that last comment exemplifies. I'd just stop posting, really.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Gary

      Stephen - we (obviously) disagree. Employment is a voluntary association. Also remember that employees are still free to spend their pay on whatever goods and services they like.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Gary is stupidly confusing "preference" with "law of the land." Gary, a company isn't a person. A company owned by jews is still a company and most certainly does have to provide their employees with what the law tells them too. The beliefs of the owners is irrelevant since a company doesn't have a religion. If the law is to provide ham at lunch, then they have to do that, too.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      Typical. Can't justify what you write, so you whine and attack without reason.

      .

      January 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      So Moby would be 100% ok with being forced to support her maid's personal desires, no matter how much Moby disagrees with them.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      companies are companies and people are people. use your brain for once.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  18. Dan

    Whew! I am so relieved that a major company has stepped forward and has done something about my sinful ways. See, I'm a non-demonimational (dirty, dirty word) Christian who believes in treating others the way I expect to be treated. But you know what, I'm glad there are companies like Hobby Lobby and Dominoes Pizza that are willing to jam me into their religious framework in order to maintain employment and feed my family. You see, it just isn't enough anymore to put God back into the schools (Roman Catholic God only, thanks), He needs to be driven into our personal lives. If the Pope isn't enough to persuade us, get us by the paycheck and health insurance (BTW soon no coverage for pain medications or palliative care for cancer patients as this is God's way of letting us share in His son's suffering). Thanks Hobby Lobby and Dominoes, Ye have shown this heathen the error of my ways!

    January 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      So you work for HL? Or you're just making a silly, no relevant comment?

      .

      January 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Yolanda

      Dominoes. Chik Fil A. Hobby Lobby. Why is it that religious businesses focus on the absolute worst quality garbage? Dominoes and Chik Fil A are blobs of fat on empty carbohydrates. Total slop. Hobby Lobby sells the lowest quality made in a sweatshop junk.

      All of them employ at the lowest possible pay scale.

      Junk food and crap: products of Christian faith.

      Camel. Needle. Hope it's true.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  19. Creationgardner

    So, are you still mad at your mother for not taking the morning after pill? Yes, I know. You wish my mom had taken it.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • You are needed!

      No, we need people like you to repulse the human race away from religion.

      After that, we need you to clean the port-a-potties.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  20. Fubarack

    Good for Hobby Lobby, sometimes you need to out-loophole the dictator in the White House.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • beez

      lol 'dictator'. So silly.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Stephen

      Yes, yes, like death panels, the fake birth certificate, and the citizen's army or whatever all that stuff is.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.