Owner of American Manufacturing Company may close rather than offer contraception

greg hall rect.jpg
Religious non-profits are exempt from Obamacare's preventative services mandate, but for-profit companies like the one owned by Hall (pictured) aren't.
Greg Hall is a Roman Catholic deacon in Houston. He's also the owner of the St. Joseph, Minnesota-based American Manufacturing Company.

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But Hall might not own his 42-employee company for too much longer. Yesterday, he filed suit against the federal government over Obamacare's "preventative services" mandate. If he can't get an exception from the requirement that employee-offered health care plans must include contraceptive coverage, he says he'll have no choice but to consider shutting down his business.

In an interview with KSTP, Hall said that if he no longer offers employees health insurance, he's afraid employees are "going to leave or a good portion is going to leave, so much so that I may not be able to have a viable company up there. And at that time, obviously if I can't get anybody to work for me, I'm going to have to shut down."

Hall's lawyer, Eric Kaardal, characterized his client's view as follows: "How can I teach in the seminary, how can I teach moral theology if on the other hand I'm running a business that's required to participate in contraception and abortion?"

According to the KSTP report, in the lawsuit, Kaardal argues that the preventative services mandate "violates the Religious Freedom & Restoration Act, which says the government is not supposed to pass laws that create a substantial burden on peoples' religious freedoms."

This isn't the first time Obamacare's contraception mandate has ruffled Christian feathers here in Minnesota. Almost exactly a year ago, Dr. Michael Ebertz, owner of the five Skin Care Doctors clinics in the Twin Cities, said he was "praying hard" for the mandate to be overturned, but would have to consider dissolving his company if it wasn't.

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