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December 27th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.

The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

After failing to receive temporary relief from the fines from the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby announced late Thursday through its attorneys 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.

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"All they're asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don't have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions," Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

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 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."

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent religious groups from having to finance such coverage. Critics have argued that exemption for nonprofits is far too narrow and a host of nonprofit religious groups have sued the administration over the regulations.

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.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 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. The company's attorneys say January begins a new health care plan year for Hobby Lobby and that excise tax from the IRS would amount to $1.3 million a day.

Hobby Lobby is owned 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. Each year the company also takes out full-page ads in numerous newspapers proclaiming its faith at Christmastime and on Independence Day.

The store is not formally connected to any denomination, but the Green family supports numerous Christian ministries and is behind the Green Collection, one of the largest private collections of biblical antiquities in the world. The family plans to permanently house the collection in Washington at a museum set to open in 2016.

On Friday, attorneys for Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and provide temporary relief from the the fines until the case was decided by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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Wednesday evening, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit Court, said the company failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that it could continue to pursue its challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, after a final judgment.

"Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the 10th Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time," Duncan said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move.

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.

"It's just so sad that Hobby Lobby is facing this choice. What company, even a successful family owned business like Hobby Lobby, how can they afford the government $1.3 million in fines every day? It's just really absurd that government is not giving on this," said Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser for the Catholic Association. Religious liberty groups like hers are watching the Hobby Lobby case closely.

"I am optimistic that these cases will eventually snake their way back up to the Supreme Court and given a full hearing on the merits of the case, I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty," Ferguson said. "But in the meantime there is serious damage being done to businesses like Hobby Lobby and nonprofit charitable organizations."

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.

After this piece of the law went into effect in August, religious nonprofits were given "safe harbor" of one year from implementing the law. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said in January when the administration announced the move.

Dolan's New York Archdiocese won a victory this month in its legal battle against the administration and the mandate. In May it sued the government in federal court in Brooklyn over the mandate, saying it "unconstitutionally attempts to define the nature of the church's religious ministry and would force religious employers to violate their consciences."

The government moved to have the case dismissed. On December 4, Judge Brian M. Cogan denied the government's motion to dismiss the case, saying the government's promise of changes to how it will implement the law were not enough to merit dismissal. "There is no, 'Trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution," Cogan wrote in in his decision to let the case proceed.

UPDATE: Hobby Lobby's $1.3 million Obamacare loophole

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (5,627 Responses)
  1. Dana

    It's none of my employer's business whether I want to adhere to my faith, first of all. Secondly, it's none of my employer's business what religion I am. Hence, Hobby Lobby, shut up and suck up.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You're right Dana it's none of HL's business. So why should they have to pay the bill?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  2. jw is a fvcking idiot

    who thinks that "should have went uncontested" is an argument.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • derp

      Psst, learn to use the "reply" button. Makes life better for everyone.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • jw is a fvcking idiot

      Why? You responded. I hit the target. Mission accomplished, you trolling pos.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. Misschameleon

    Could Hobby Lobby provide a medical only healthy plan with 2 optional drug plans? One with restricted medications and one without to give the employees a choice. Many of the the employees are well over 50 where birth control is not an issue regardless of religious feelings. This type of plan would benefit many similiar businesses.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Would they offer a special plan for every ethical belief? One for Southern Baptists who don't want to pay for the morning after pill, one for Christian Scientists who want to cover almost nothing, one that doesn't cover blood transfusions, one that doesn't cover any medicines tested on animals? Where would you draw the line?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jared

      There are a couple things they could do. They could reduce all of their employees to part-time status and not offer insurance. They could not offer insurance and pay the lower fine. Or they could pay the minimum amount and tell themselves that they aren't paying for the parts they don't agree with.

      Or they could drag their heals in the dirt and hope the courts agree with them.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Saraswati

      ... Where would you draw the line?

      .
      .
      At religious views have no bearing....this is why they lost and will continue to lose if they push it. No judge in their right mind will open up a can of worms that has no end.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  4. Sue Thom

    HOBBY LOBBY HAS NO BUSINESS PRYING into the personal health care of its employees!!! The relationship is between the employee and their doctor, and THESE SICK CHRISTIAN FANATICS have no business imposing THEIR twisted morality on that relationship!!!

    December 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Gary

      Hobby Lobby is NOT prying into anyone's privacy, and they aren't doing anything to limit employee choices – they're just not paying for those choices. You do what you want with your money, and don't insist you can do what YOU want with MY money. It's called freedom – for both Hobby Lobby and their employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Guest

      EXACTLY!!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • heliocracy

      And if they don't pay their employees enough to afford to buy birth control on their own (which they don't)? Now women have to choose between their job and an unwanted pregnancy that can push them further into poverty?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jeff from Columbus

      But, its ok for the government to force an employer to pay for medical procedures that violates its religious beliefs? That's fine?

      Here's the bottom line. People who support this HHS mandate want to get birth control for free. And they don't believe in religion. So, for THEM, this mandate makes sense because they really don't care what anyone else thinks. Its all about ME.

      Please don't pretend you have any lofty ideals. You cry about a company forcing something on its employees but have no qualms about the government forcing something on a company.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @heliocracy. Precisely.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Gary

      Should a christian scientist run company be able to not provide any medical insurance since that goes along with their beliefs?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So, Jeff, your argument is for complete anarchy-–no laws? Interesting.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jake

      Burn in Hell Liberals!!!!! BURN

      December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Cliffintex

      You have no issue with them imposing their sick twisted job opportunitties, I assume, so if we get right down to it, they owe you something? They should probably take their toys and go home.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Uncle jim

      U.S GOVERNMENT HAS NO BUSINESS PRYING into the personal health care of its people!!! The relationship is between the person and their doctor, and THESE SICK ANTI-CHRISTIAN FANATICS have no business imposing THEIR twisted morality on that relationship!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Cliffin

      Either that or follow the law of the land.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Gary

      @Moby Schtick – yes, a Christian Scientist who owns a business should be free to offer no health insurance at all. Employees are free not to work for them, and the business may have problems recruiting quality employees. Freedom and responsibility, not force and irresponsibility.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Gary

      I appreciate your response. You are the first person to actually answer that question.

      Okay, so doesn't that violate the establishment clause? The government passes laws REGARDLESS of religious beliefs. So, now what is to keep companies from declaring themselves christian scientist and not offering health insurance? Should every company be able to flout the laws of the land so easily?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Moby, this discussion actually has been had several pages back. The answer is this is the problem with government mandated purchases of any product, be it insurance or broccoli. This is why Justice Roberts worded his opinion as carefully as he did. The government does not have the authority to force you to buy broccoli but they can tax you into subservience if you do not. Then it is up to the electorate to decide which form of government they want. Apparently we are a nation of broccoli lovers as long as someone else is doing the cooking.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  5. Tyler

    Another example of big government attempting to crush private business.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Sue Thom

      Tyler, you are an imbecile. It's about government PROTECTING the rights of people from THE RELIGIOUS INSANE!!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Heineken

      Sue, Hobby-Lobby isn't attacking you. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. It's a single pill. One Pill. Not birth control in general. Just one version of it. One....single...version....which they believe would interupt the progression of life.
      You can still buy the plan B yourself. It's 25 bucks if you use the coupon on the front of the box and if you have a wallgreens card....up to 10% off. WOW!
      Oh, Planned Parenthood will give you the pill for free if you claim economic hardship, so being poor is..well..a poor excuse.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why do you oppose it so vociferously?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Heineken

      I never said I oppose it. I said I support the company'sclaim to religious oppression. Show me an argument where I said that I am against abortions.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I didn't say you opposed abortion, ass hole. Learn to read.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Well, as long as you are for abortion you'll get no truck from TT. But tell us more about how a religious exemption should apply to those who conscientiously object to abortifacient mandated coverage?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why shouldn't they be required to cover the cost of legally prescribed medications just like any other company?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  6. BigMac

    I am a religious persons. I do not support abortion on demand. But I don't believe it is my employer's business what kind of health care choices I make. I'm from Canada so it's a bit different for me, but does the employer get an itemized bill or do they simply pay into a plan that the employee also pays into? In that case it's not the employer's money anymore it is the employee's as it is in the employee's name. It is no different than the employee taking their own pay and getting what they want – their employee has no say what-so-ever!

    December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • rker321

      You would think that the fanatics would understand what you are saying but they don't They want to impose their views on everyone. they want freeedom of religion on their terms.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Great plan! Give everyone a paycheck and let them buy the coverage they want. Oh wait. Obama made that illegal.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill, for a grieving widower, you surely seem mighty lively.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  7. Jack

    I would just quit offering health care, let the gov pay for it.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Henry

      Not really an option as long as they have any full time employees. Their fines increase if they do that.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Jared

      Actually, the fines for not offering health insurance would be 2000 per person a year. So only 26 million for the year rather than 1.3 million a day.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Henry

      Jared – Your are assuming those fines are mutually exclusive. I don't think they are.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Jared

      As messy as this law is, you might be right. My business is exempt so I only read through the bill once.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  8. tet1953

    They are required to provide health insurance - that's it. The precise manner and administration of the health care that the insurance pays for is between a patient and her doctor. Period.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  9. Mike in SA

    Well, Hell...let's just make everything free for everybody at all times! There, simple right? OK...all you people stupid enough to pay taxes...quit. Start living off Uncle Sam and demanding he take care of you all from cradle to grave and everything in between. Personal rights? Nah...who needs them. A moral conscious? Nah...don't need that either.

    Liberals...they really are a whole different breed.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I am in one of the higher tax brackets and you don't see me whining about paying taxes. Idiots who drive on public roads, attended public schools and universities, and make large salaries at the expense of minimum wage earners should STFU and pay their share.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      If there were a paradise, or heaven, would people die and suffer there for lack of personal finances? What should we do with little Grandmas who cannot afford medical care through no fault of their own? Should we line them up outside the hospital doors and let them die in agony while you and those with financial means go in to get your unnecessary elective medical procedures?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  10. Lori

    Just imagine what will happen when gay marriage becomes legal nationally and they are required to offer coverage to the partners of their employees. Their heads will explode.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Charlie Bass of NH was just today republican #3 to back dismantling DOMA, so the end is nearer than they will want to believe.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • sam

      They will definitely be gnashing their teeth over it. Do they offer a wedding invitation service? That'll be even funnier.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I heard a portion of a news report today where a wedding service has closed it's doors rather than be forced to minister to gay weddings. Expect more loss of economic growth as people retract from government infringement of freedom.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      You really are just a pathetic shill.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Unless you can cite it, Billybob, your "hearing" something is evidence of precisely nothing at all.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  11. Gary

    Yet another reason I cannot imagine starting or expanding a business in the U.S. in this opressive environment. Gee, I sure hope this doesn't impact job creation and unemployment . . .

    December 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Henry

      Nah...When they go out of business Micheals and a few other chains will expand a bit and nobody will notice.

      BTW...The U.S. has the second lowest actualized corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. Quite oppressive.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because those 13,000 employees will surely make a HUGE dent in the unemployment picture. As if.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Paul

      Is the first reason lack knowledge of how to operate a business?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  12. Sammy

    Which came first, religious nuts or narrow-minded atheists?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Religious nuts, but it's pretty much a chicken and egg scenario now.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Thoth

      there would be no reason to claim there isn't a god if someone hadn't claimed there is – so obviously religion came first.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Ben

    The password is "grandstanding".

    December 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Yes Christard Green has mastered it.....however it comes at a daily costly price lol

      December 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Yes Christard Green has mastered it.....however it comes at a daily costly price lol (1.3 mill)

      December 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      oops

      December 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  14. Crystal

    I think Hobby Lobby is taking an almost extremist view of the morals they uphold. Yes, the plans they offer would have to offer some of the things they don't beleive in as a company, but it is free will that God gives us that should be the moral compass and not the company itself. They are stating they are standing their ground based off biblical principles, however another biblical principle is that we uphold the laws of the land. So how do you determine which biblical principle is more important than the other? My point is I am sure Hobby Lobby employs some people who are non-believers or believe in a different God than they worship. Yet at the end of the day, they should rely on their Christian employee's free will to uphold their Christian morals. How is them refusing to cover their employees on certain contraceptions based off THEIR beliefs, any different from the mandated benefits in the Affordable Care Act. At the end of the day, it should be a freedom of choice whether or not to carry insurance as it should be a freedom of choice for one to utilize the contraceptives provided. It is not Hobby Lobby's job to enforce a moral compass on its employees. They are only required to check their own.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      This might be a blessing for companies like Michaels etc..... the christard Green is going to run his company into the ground over a trivial thing that he has no business dictating. If he closes his doors then perhaps he will become a preacher?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Cliffintex

      So the owner of the company doesn't get a chance to follow his own moral values? Please note this is a family owned business, not a corporation. While I may disagree with the choice, I do believe the owner should be allowed to have a choice.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam

      Cliff, they can do whatever they like as a family. However, they are a for-profit business and can't decide how others conduct their lives. They are required to provide health insurance as part of the employee's benefit package. How that insurance is used is no one's business.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jason

      Crystal, I get what you are saying, but benefits are not salary. A salary is paid to a person to be spent however they choose. Benefits are something extra that is paid by the company itself. Thus, it is not crazy to think that someone with deep religious convictions would have a problem with paying for healthcare that would inevitably cause abortions. One might argue that it was the persons choice to use the drugs for the abortion, but if he believes that abortion is killing, then for him, giving money to support that would be the same in his mind as giving a gun to a murderer.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Bewler? Bewler?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  15. Laurie in Spokane

    This whole discussion is so stupid and pointless. The morning after pill is NOT an abortion pill no matter what Hobby Lobby thinks; Thet type of medication or prescrbied drugs one takes is NOT the employer's business as long as it's legal;
    and finally if everything anyone does is pre-ordained by a god, what's the big deal?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • lol??

      The child is just tryin' to find his womb room.............Come down off your throne and leave your body alone.
      Somebody must change.
      You are the reason Ive been waiting so long.
      Somebody holds the key.

      But Im near the end and I just aint got the time
      And Im wasted and I can't find my way home.

      Come down on your own and leave your body alone.
      Somebody must change.
      You are the reason Ive been waiting all these years.
      Somebody holds the key.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Mike

      The reason the Morning-After Pill is termed as an "abortion pill" is that it interferes with a fertilized egg's adhesion to the uterean wall, which means it will pass out of the uterus before the baby can be carried to term. The question here is: at what point is a baby a baby? Hobby Lobby's contention is that it happens at the moment of conception... that once the egg is fertilized, that egg is a child. There currently is no legal definition of when a life becomes a child, or when it doesn't. So in the Green Family's eyes, the Morning-After Pill is killing a child, which is abortion. In anyone's terminology, however, it should be considered an abortion pill, since it does, in fact, abort a pregnancy that is already in-progress.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • sam

      Mike – the problem with that is there's a good chance there is no pregnancy in progress. A woman may not even be ovulating, the sperm may not have found the egg. The morning after pill is a preventative measure. And it doesn't automatically turn women into crazy sex fiends just because they have access to it.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      14 deaths, 2027 hospitalizations from RU486

      December 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "In anyone's terminology, however, it should be considered an abortion pill, since it does, in fact, abort a pregnancy that is already in-progress."

      Wrong. Wrong, incorrect, inaccurate.

      It is NOT an "abortion pill."

      Idiots like you should really just stop broadcasting your ignorance.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • FYI

      Bill Deacon,

      You are talking about a completely different drug.

      Here is the MORNING AFTER drug:

      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-pill/MY01190/DSECTION=why-its-done

      December 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can't EVEN believe I have to type this. You fvcking idiots: RU4896 IS NOT THE MORNING AFTER PILL. Never was. Not ever.

      The fact that you don't know that is proof you are not capable of understanding the issue at all. You are stupid.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      EDIT 486.

      ARRTFGGGG. What idiots. Bill, you have been carrying on about this for pages and you don't even know what drug you're talking about! What business do you have acting as if you have a say when you are completely uninformed?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  16. al123

    So, nobody has responded to my post about how Medicare doesn not pay for routine vision and hearing or long term care, huh? So if the governement will not cover a legitimate medical expense for the elderly that's okay? Our real concern is forcing companies and individuals to pay for contraception for general able bodied people of chid bearing age?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Joe

      Are you feeling left out?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Our real concern is the law. It seems to be your concern too, when it comes to medical coverage. Think about what you're saying. On the one hand, you don't mind if Hobby Lobby gets special treatment to go against the law, and on the other hand you want the law to be different for the elderly. How stupid is that?

      You want the law to be a certain way for the elderly, but then you want companies to be able to disobey the law? You're a strange one.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • sam

      No one responds because you're spouting nonsense.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I am thinking because nobody cares about your opinion

      December 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • al123

      So, any law is ok and we shouldn't complain, correct?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • lol??

      When commies and capities get married you have a problem, Houston.The rich always win.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • sam

      yes, let's go right of the deep end and say any law is ok. are you just needing attention and hoping to be mocked?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, you "complain" or voice your opinions while you follow the law and until you are able to see it changed by the legal process available. You don't get to disobey the laws you disagree with, regardless of whether or not you are a large company with lots of employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • al123

      Wow guys the only intelligent response was from Moby. But, this is typically the case. I would like to think that you are the vocal minoriy and there may be people who could actually discuss this. Seems to me many want to use the "law" as an excuse. There would not be a Supreme court and elections if every law passed was just. Morover, are "laws" passed in other countries ok as well? We should never have a moral problem with them. What about "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Was that a law that people should have just kept quiet about? Did that make it right?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam

      Yawn.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • al123

      Yes I see your point Moby. I just simply support them, whether you call it civil disobedience or whatever. Just as i would not have been the one hiding behind the "law" when our other civil rights were being denied.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • al123

      Yes I see your point Moby. I simply support them, whether you call it civil disobedience or whatever. Just as i would not have been the one hiding behind the "law" when our other civil rights were being denied.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • lol??

      "............Medicare doesn not pay for routine.........." Burorats don't care. Public Servants don't care. Insurance corps don't care. Doctors don't care. Big O doesn't care. Them's the facts of life. Almost forgot, hospitals don't care. They are manipulators.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Andre Snodgrass

      Did you really expect that Obama Care would provide long term care for the elderly? If you did, then you did not pay attention to what Obama said while running for President the first time. He made it plain that quality of life and terminal health issues would not be given to the elderly. This was in reply to a question made by a reporter. Obama does not want anyone to remind the electorate of what he said. And the Democrats want to keep what he said under wraps so that they do not suffer losing more seats in the Senate where Obama Care originated under majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada. So thank Nevada for the problems with the elderly by voting to keep Harry Reid.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  17. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Hobby Lobby is owned 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"
    .
    Well guess what Mr Green you have some tough decisions to make. Perhaps your sky wizard will talk to you? I have a feeling the main priority "business" will help you make a "business" decision and not "church" decision. I hope you realize your 13,000 employees rely upon you to make a SOUND business decision. Its not like your 500 stores will impact us. Remember in business there is always somebody waiting to fill the void. Mr. Green Christard...lets see what you got

    December 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      That 1.3 mill ticker is growing daily..take all the time you need christard.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Not to mention your legal bills...lol

      December 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I wonder what an IRS audit will run you Christard at 500 stores...legal and accounting costs????

      December 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Dan

      Do the Greens employ workers who are divorced? They do?!!! What an amoral snakepit!!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Laurie in Spokane

      I don't suppose Hobby Lobby has consulted its employees as to what their opinion is. Oh that's right, the "Christian" left doesn't need anyone's input on their decisions, they know it all don't they?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam

      They have no problem taking the money of sinners and profiting off them; they import merchandise from countries that practice infanticide; yet this is their big moral stand?

      All they have to do to get around this is figure out which employees are whores, and fire them. Everyone knows no good girl has sex outside marriage.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      History had shown that $$$ trumps men of godly principles ( Jim Bakker came to mind )

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Rollin' with Sisyphus

      Are we enjoying ourselves CiafmiF?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Christard Green really doesnt realize how foolish he sounds. He picks and chooses his morals for his employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Jack

      Does it make you feel better about yourself to call people cutesy names? Feeling a little inferior, are you?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • sam

      Jack, it's been proven that guys who use the word cutesy have a tiny penis.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • geeworker

      I hope the family gives up and closes down the entire chain. The 13000 employees who are now out of a job can just suck it I'm sorry buts this is the government fault for not coming to the table and allowing a stay of the fines till an agreement can be reached between obamacarea and hobby lobby.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • rker321

      I wonder if they hire Jews or Atheists.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  18. The Truth

    Obozocare is a disgrace that will cost US Taxpayors TRILLIONS and have a final result of worse health care for EVERYONE in this country ... yes, even the so called "uninsured" under the current plan! (My inlaws are "uninsured" and when my mother-in-law fell and needed a week in the hospital followed by expensive home health care she got it ... then the hospital waived 97% of the costs becasue my in-laws couldn't afford it. THAT is a system that is working folks!!!!

    Having said that I have to agree that this issue is NOT the one to fight Obozocare on. As someone said earlier ... what if a company owner claims to be part of a religion that disagrees with all forms of military action? Should they be able to not pay their taxes because of their religion?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Who do you think paid for the "waiver" your inlaws got?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • The Truth

      Shoot ... if that's how it will work then I will be incorporating a new church that does not believe in paying ANY taxes at all!

      ... who wants to sign up for my church now that we will be able to stop paying any and all taxes?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you explain the fact that most other developed nations have government-mandated health care and still survive?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dan

      Who do you think pays for the trillions for care to uninsured people now, BozoTheTruth? Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or The Tooth Fairy? Which one BozoBreath?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • The Truth

      Saraswati,

      In this case it was a combination of the hospital accepting less money, tax $, and donations from a local organization that raises money for just this purpose.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Dan

      So do you think the hospital writing off 97% of the bill was good for the hospital? YOU paid for it. I paid for it through higher insurance premiums. And you think that's an efficient system? Jeez!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what's the diff? Either people donate money to cover the uninsured or taxes are levied to do so. Either way, we pay. So what? I don't see any downside. If you do, Truth, it's because YOU want to get a free ride and not pay for the common good through taxes. If that's the case, then you're free to leave the US and go elsewhere. I suggest Belize. You can build your multi-million dollar compound and use razor-wire to fence yourself in, away from all the poor. Get moving, moron. We don't do things that way in the US.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • al123

      Well Tom, I would check out those other countries debt to GDP ratio. I would also check to see what thier military budget is and whether or not they have an American military presence to provide protection. Or, are they Greece, rioting in the streets. Or, are they waiting months for simple medical procedures to be done? What are the "rich" doing in said countries. I'm sure they aren't coming here for surgeries, that would be crazy!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • sam

      What's really funny here is that Romney introduced pretty much the same healthcare plan long before Obama did. Would have been ok coming from a white republican, right? Is the darkie scaring you, honey?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • The Truth

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Surviving is one thing ... providing GOOD care is another. Those countries you speak of also have people dying of things that are easily cured due to their overloaded systems.

      FACT: The top 5 reasearch hospitals in the USA have more medical breakthrus than the ENTIRE rest of the world COMBINED!
      FACT: People in those other countrys where everyone is supposedly covered have far worse survival rates for most deadly inflictions including cancer!
      FACT: Many of the wealthy in those coutries come here to America because they know HERE is where the best care is while many of our middle class go there because they have a LOT of doctors doing surgery cheaply on the side to subsidize the low pay they get from their government! You figure out which is better!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Seriously, are you really comparing our economy to those of Greece, Spain, Italy?

      If so, you're an idiot.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @The Truth, The medical breakthroughs in the US are about things that make money, rarely medical issues that actually matter. With the exception of cancer treatment, we trail other developed countries in every area, even after correcting for race and ethnicity. Try checking life expectancies.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • derp

      The Truth- keep it up. Obviously they don't have much to counter with than their lame opinions and very little facts.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah, 'Truth', keep it up – we need the comedy relief.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Dean

      " then the hospital waived 97% of the costs becasue my in-laws couldn't afford it. THAT is a system that is working folks!!!!"

      Congrats! You just endorsed Communism. As said by Karl Marx, "In a higher phase of communist society, ... — only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"

      You are endorsing that those who willfully choose not to pay should be carried on the backs of those of us who choose to be responsible. You do understand that the hospital can only eat those costs because the are, by definition, over-charging the rest of us, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Truth
      "the hospital accepting less money" = costs transferred to other patients, i.e., my money
      "tax $" = taxpayers pay (my money)
      "donations from a local organization" = people who really needed this money pay by donations going elsewhere

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • The Truth

      sam,

      You are nothing but a disgusting bigot!

      1) I am an Independant and PROUD of it
      2) My best friend happens to be black ... not that color has anything to do with it ... it's because he is a great person!

      I'd have objected to that tu-rd Romney's plan as well ... I care about what is best for America, not about one of the 2 parties who have been screwing Americans for decades!!!!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @The Truth

      Yes you're so independent, that's why all the talking points against Obamacare that you spew is the same crap I hear from the right wing all day every day. Where's the actual data to back up all your criticisms?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • sam

      "My best friend happens to be black" – LOL!

      You're insane. Who do you think paid for that 97% waiver? The taxpayers. All of us. Did you think the money fell magically from the sky?

      Your deadbeat uninsured inlaws should have been insured in the first place and saved the taxpayers all that money.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • The Truth

      derp.

      I'm the ONLY one who actually IS using facts ... but thanks for trying there little man!

      Dean,

      Actually it is nothing like communisum ... perhaps you should actually learn about something before using big words that you clearly do not understand! Also, I never said I suport that system ... only that it works better than Obozocare will!

      December 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TURD, uh, Truth, you haven't cited a fact yet. When are you going to start?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do believe you're a bit flustered, Turd...uh.. Truth. You are frothing at the mouth. Perhaps you should get a rabies shot.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Thoth

    The argument that corporations should have individual rights to religious expression is flawed. Any corporation, private or public that is affected by the ACA has more than one employee. That alone means it (the company) is not an individual, and is comprised of employees with varying perspectives. The BOR applies to individuals, not businesses made up of many different individuals.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you think it makes a difference that the company is a wholly owned private enterprise and not a corporation?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill, you dolt, have you figured out the difference between Plan B and RU 486 yet? Because if not, there's no point in discussing anything about this.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  20. Mike

    First let me say that in general, I am in favor of theAffordable Healthcare Act. Having said that, I think that it is wrong to force employers to pay for any form of contaception if they find it to be morally objectionable.

    In this case, we are talking about the morning after pill. The owners of Hobby Lobby have stated that they do not object to all forms of contraception, just to the" Morning After Pill". This objection is based on the fact that the pill may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting into the Uterus (in their minds this equates to causing an abortion). I am not trying to argue the point of when life begins, but I think it is wrong to try to dictate that an employer must accept someone elses definition of the beginning of life.

    I think that you can be pro choice, but accept the perspective that someone who doesn't beleive in abortion shouldn't be forced to pay for it. That is exactly what the owners of Hobby Lobby beleive is happening here.

    What this boils down to is that the Hobby Lobby will either have to to something that they findto be morally wrong, or face being run out of business.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Dan

      Then under that logic, businesses of the Seventh Day Adventist Church should forbid coverage for blood transfusions for their non-Adventist employees, correct?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • sam

      But, honestly, it's also wrong for an employer to dictate to its employees when life begins. Their belief is not necessarily true, and they are making a profit by employing people who don't necessarily share that belief.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Thoth

      And if I believe obesity to be morally objectionable can I refuse to provide my employees with coverage for any condition related to obesity? If I believe only in holistic medicine can I refuse on moral grounds to provide coverage for anything other than holistic practices? This is a slippery slope. Bottom line, if you are a company operating in the US you should have to follow the same laws as everyone else. Don't like it, lobby to change the law.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Mike, nobody "pays for" contraception, because it saves insurance companies a lot of money. What you do pay extra for is not covering contraception.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Thoth, My favorite example is the vegan pharmacist who some proposed "ethics" laws is allowed to take a pharmacy job while refusing to hand out any medication tested on animals.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Thoth

      @sara – probably just an excuse to limit job function to cognitive ability 😉

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
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About this blog

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.