National arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby is facing backlash after filing a lawsuit opposing the HeathCare Mandate, with the owners claiming that it goes against their Christian Values. (AP)
A Christian-owned chain of hobby shops is facing a bitter backlash after suing the Obama administration over new requirements to provide insured employees with contraceptive and abortion coverage.
Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby filed the suit Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, alleging that the ObamaCare mandate violates the religious beliefs of the company's owners. The suit followed similar suits by Catholic colleges and a Denver-based company whose owners also objected to the mandate on religious grounds. While a judge has not yet ruled on Hobby Lobby's suit, a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the company, which operates 500 stores in 41 states, has appeared online, and several other forums have featured posts urging customers to steer clear of Hobby Lobby.
“I’m boycotting Hobby Lobby!” reads the heading of one posting on image posting site Flickr. “Even if you're pro-life this kind of action stinks to high heaven! If things like this can be allowed then what's next?!,” the user added.
“They’re being told they have two choices. Either follow their faith and pay the government half-a-billion dollars or give up their beliefs."
- Lori Windham, attorney for Hobby Lobby
Others have taken to social media to protest against Hobby Lobby, with a “Boycott Hobby Lobby” page on Facebook.
“I've been to two Hobby Lobby parking lots today and they were fairly empty. I used to have trouble finding a parking spot!” read one posting from the administrator of the Boycott page. “I think the boycott is catching on! I do not think they are getting the reaction they hoped for.”
Hobby Lobby owner David Green is a devout Baptist who owns one of the world's largest collections of Biblical artifacts. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Green in his suit, argued that compliance with the offending portion of the health care law that the nature of their suit is “would force religiously-motivated business owners like plaintiffs to violate their faith under the threats of millions of dollars in fines.”
Lawyers argued that company employees are well aware of Green's views and their bearing on the company.
“The Green family’s business practices ... reflect their Christian faith in unmistakable and concrete ways,” the complaint states. The company employs full-time chaplains; close all store locations on Sundays and monitors all marketing and operations to make sure that it is consistent with their beliefs.
Failure to comply with the mandate could subject the company to as much as $1.3 million in daily fines, according to Becket Fund attorneys.
"They’re being told they have two choices: Either follow their faith and pay the government half a billion dollars or give up their beliefs," Lori Windham, an attorney from the Becket Fund, told Foxnews.com. "We believe that’s a choice no one should have to make.”
David Green could not be reached for comment, but in a recent USA Today Op-Ed, he blasted the Obama administration for imposing mandates he believes he cannot comply with.
“Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy," Green wrote. "Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right.”
The company does not object to providing coverage that includes birth control pills, but refuses to provide or pay for two specific abortion-inducing drugs such as the so-called "morning after" pill, because Green's "most deeply held religious belief" is that life beginning at conception, the family said in a statement released through its attorneys.
As for the boycott, the company's founders believe customers have the right to vote with their feet.
"The Green family respects every individual's right to free speech and hopes that others will respect their rights also, including the right to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.," the statement said.
Hobby Lobby is believed to be the first non-Catholic company to file an objection to the healthcare mandate. The Newland family, the devoutly Catholic owners of Denver-based Hercules Industries filed a similar suit this past summer and won a court injunction that ruled that they are not obligated to follow the mandate.
“I think the law and precedent set by this case is very strong for Hobby Lobby and the Green Family,” Windham said.
ObamaCare's cuts to hospitals will cost seniors their lives
Received this from a friend and fellow Classmate of mine. This is his son he's talking about...
Our son was the Radiology Department Director for the largest hospital in Phoenix, for 15 years. Two years ago, a conglomerate, which was taking over hospitals around the country, via hostile buyouts, "acquired" his. The first order of their new business was to remove all the highest paid staff, replacing all with lower paid new hires.
Being of such educated stature, he was able to take his choice of several other hospital employment offers from around the country. He nearly chose Fairbanks but wisely moved just North to Paysen Arizona. Again, Radiology Department Director. Just two years ago, that community facility serving a large area just South of Flagstaff was busy and thriving financially. Today, he is unemployed again! The hospital is losing money in huge amounts. Why? Arizona has been forced to revise it's program for servicing medicare/medicade recipients, cutting care to thousands of low income and elderly patients.
The use of the radiology department's x-ray and other rooms are nearly stilled! This is certainly just one of thousands of medical facilities and doctors that are already feeling the effects of "OBAMACARE"…
ObamaCare's cuts to hospitals will cost seniors their lives
By Betsy McCaughey - Published September 12, 2012
President Obama is wooing seniors with promises to protect Medicare as they've known it. On the defensive because of the $716 billion his health care law takes from Medicare, Obama assures seniors he's cutting payments to hospitals and other providers, not their benefits.
Don't be bamboozled. It's illogical to think that reducing what a hospital is paid to treat seniors won't harm their care. A mountain of scientific evidence proves the cuts will worsen the chance that an elderly patient survives a hospital stay and goes home. It’s reasonable to conclude that tens of thousands of seniors will die needlessly each year.
Under ObamaaCare, hospitals, hospice care, dialysis centers, and nursing homes will be paid less to care for the same number of seniors than if the health law had not been enacted. Payments to doctors will also be cut.
Scientific evidence published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading scientific journal, suggests that forcing hospitals to spend less on elderly patients will produce deadly results.
Exhaustive data on over two million elderly patients treated at 208 California hospitals from 1999 to 2008 show that elderly patients treated in low spending hospitals (bottom quintile) get less care and have a worse chance of surviving and leaving the hospital than elderly patients with the same diagnosis treated at higher spending hospitals. The research, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and RAND and published in 2011 found that heart attack patients were 19% more likely to die at low spending hospitals.
Over a four year period, 13,613 seniors with pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks and other common conditions who died at low spending hospitals would have recovered and gone home had they been treated at a higher spending institution.(Annals of Internal Medicine, February 1, 2011) That’s the death toll in one state with about 10% of the Medicare population.
Ignoring this evidence, the Obama administration is pressuring hospitals in all fifty states to imitate low spending hospitals. In addition to the across the board cuts in future payments to hospitals,very soon, beginning in October, 2012, the Obama administration will reward hospitals that spend the least per senior,and penalize those that spend more. For several years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have measured hospital quality, including infection rates. But Section 3001 of the Obama health care law adds "Medicare spending per beneficiary" as a measure for the first time. Hospital administrators express alarm that the measure includes not only what is spent on an elderly patient in the hospital but also for thirty days after discharge, when the patient visits a doctor or gets physical therapy for example.
Slashing what hospitals are paid does not eliminate “fraud, waste, and abuse,”contrary to what the law’s defenders claim. The cuts compel hospitals to operate in an environment of medical scarcity, with fewer nurses and less diagnostic equipment.
When Medicare cut payment rates to hospitals in 1997, the cuts eventually led to more deaths from heart attacks. Seniorstreated at the hospitals incurring the largest cuts had a 6-8% worse mortality rate from heart attacksthan seniors treated at other hospitals. The reason, researchers concluded, is that hospitals coped with the cuts by reducing nursing care. (National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2011.)
Though this research did not measure harm to younger patients, it is obvious that patients of every age suffer when nurses are spread thinner. Press the call button, and you will wait longer for help.
Medicare is the single largest source of revenue for hospitals. Richard Foster, Chief Actuary of Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified to Congress that the ObamaCare cuts will eventually force 40% of hospitals to operate at a loss, affecting the standard of care. Foster also cautioned that 15% of hospitals may stop accepting Medicare.
There are safer ways to control Medicare costs, including inching up the eligibility age, asking seniors to pay an affordable share of their bills, preventing hospital infections, and empowering patients to be cost-conscious consumers. Of course, politicians will try to claim that the easy answer -- slashing payments to hospitals -- won’t hurt patients, but the evidence shows that’s untrue.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. is a former Lt. Governor of New York State and author of "Obama Health Law What It Says And How To Overturn It."
There is only one way left to repeal, replace ObamaCare and reform healthcare and that is if we fire Obama in November and Hire Mitt Romney!
Cross-Posted at Ask Marion