As of today, Hobby Lobby would have incurred $19.5 million in fines under the Obamacare mandate to provide certain kinds of birth control to employees through their company health insurance. However, they seem to have found a loophole that will effectively postpone the effective date until their case can be fully exhausted.
Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Oklahoma City-based 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."
"Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan," the statement continued. "Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."
Last month Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the company's appeal for a temporary relief from the fines while their case was being heard at lower courts. Sotomayor was not ruling on behalf of the Supreme Court, but ruled as the circuit justice over the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, said they would defy the Obama Health and Human Services mandate, even at great cost to themselves.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. wrote in a letter, "So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit."
"My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees," Green continued, "but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make."
"The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church," Green concluded.
Hobby Lobby has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states. It takes in $2.6 billion in sales annually.
"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.
The website StandWithHobbyLobby.com indicated that there was widespread support for the American chain by tens of thousands of people if not more. While it did not receive the widespread recognition that Chick-fil-a did in 2012, Hobby Lobby still continues to garner widespread support for its First Amendment stand and its Pro-Life stance.
I'm just happy to see Hobby Lobby stand up to a tyrannical government that seeks to force company owners to violate their consciences, which is violating the law that those in our government swore they would uphold. Good for Hobby Lobby! I'm glad they are able to stick it to the Obama mandate. May God continue to bless their efforts!