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Hobby Lobby, for now, avoids millions in fines for refusing to comply with Obamacare

Mason City Hobby Lobby Store
Mason City Hobby Lobby Store

Hobby Lobby continues to battle the Federal Government over implementing America’s new health care policy, sometimes called “Obamacare”, and may have found a loophole to avoid $1.3 million in daily fines for not complying.

Hobby Lobby announced a day after a December Supreme Court ruling that went against it that it “is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs” that Obamacare mandates and that it would continue the legal battle.

“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,” a lawyer for the company said on Friday.  “Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its healthcare plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties.”

After President Barrack Obama won re-election, his new health care plan was all but certain to become law.  However, not everyone is in favor of the government forcing individuals and companies to purchase health care nor all the provisions in the law.

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green said in a November statement that “a new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.”

Green said that with “great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business.”

CNN reported on Friday that “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.'”

Hobby Lobby has seen some support from the general public, with a special shopping day known as “Standing with Hobby Lobby Day” being observed across the country on January 5th.

NIT readers have shown mixed support for Hobby Lobby’s cause.

One NIT reader wrote “I’m sorry, but why does hobby lobby think that they are above the law. The Affordable Health Care Act has already passed the scrutiny of the Supreme Court, so live with it.”

Another NIT reader wrote “I believe in separation of church and state in our country. I also believe of freedom from religion in this country. But I also believe that a private employer should not be required to pay for something that is against his beliefs.”


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