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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56 comments
ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

Man, it amazes me that some of you guys have enough brain power to both breathe, and use fairly complex electronic devices at the same time.  I'm a small business owner in Minneapolis, atheist, and stand 100% in support of this man.  To the idiot below, he doesn't have to adhere to the ACA as his company has under 50 employees, so there goes your argument.  

Secondly, the man doesn't even have to offer insurance to any of his employees, yet he does, and is fighting to keep offering insurance to them.  He's not saying they can't have abortions or use rubbers, he's just not going to pay for them.  Honestly, if you can't pay for your own contraceptives you need to stop having sex, or make the dude supply them, I don't know anybody who's gonna turn down a piece of ass because they have to bring their own condom.

Third, I don't know if you've plugged this guy into google but his plan saved 33 Chilean miners during the catastrophe down there a few years ago, sounds like a real cold hearted asshole.  He's got a company in Chile, a company in Houston, and a company in St.Cloud, if he wanted to move manufacturing out of the U.S, wouldn't he have done it since he already has a company in Chile?  You guys are fucking stupid.

Anybody who gives a shit about the U.S or our rule of law or the rights of the individual should be backing this dude up. 

AngelAssassin
AngelAssassin

I have only one question for these companies that think it is ok to not adhere to parts of The Affordable Care Act...

What gives you the right to discriminate against a secular employee based on your own religious intolerance ... just because you have a specific belief system, you can not push your belief system onto another citizen. that is religious intolerance and discriminatory.

you have every right, AS A CITIZEN, to decide this for YOURSELF... but by declaring that you will not do this for your employees, you are declaring that you are a religious bigot, and not remotely Christian or American.

mohanlon3
mohanlon3

He should close his business, that way he can sleep safely at night, knowing God will not send him to hell for helping people put a piece of rubber over the end of their penis, because, obviously this issue is so important that it makes complete sense to unemploy 42 families so he can be morally pure.  >blinkblink<

sassymn
sassymn

Huh? He has to follow the moral teachings of scripture/bible and can't go against it. 

If he truly believed this, birth control should be a non issue.  In his world, procreation is the only time that intercourse should be dutifully performed (begrudgingly)  like a  true Republican...

Truthfully, he is just another employer ready to move to a low wage state, who won't offer any employee benefits and pocket his profitable "work for less" human gold mine. 

Love thy neighbor, I guess......

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Preventing unplanned pregnancies via contraception us not one and the same as abortion. People like that man has shit for brains if you can't one from the other.

_Joe_
_Joe_

Saber rattling.  He's not going to walk away from a successful enterprise.  And if he does?  Good riddance!  Let a smart person fill the void.

webcelt
webcelt

Insurance is part of the employees' compensation. It belongs to them, not the employer. Telling employees how they can use their insurance is like telling them how they can use their pay. No one would tolerate that, so why tolerate employers making dictates about insurance?

Marc Spencer
Marc Spencer

he's just another bluffer, blowing smoke.

chris.jonus
chris.jonus

another "religious" person who would rather shut down a viable business and create 42 families without income and ram his own beliefs down their throats rather than comply with a very simple mandate that all citizens have the same availability of coverage.  its not his place to be their morality, plain and simple.

Here is a simple quote that I try to live under, it is posted in my office at work, everyone knows I will never judge them because of my own personal beliefs.

morality is a stick by which you measure yourself, not one with which you use to beat others.

Holly Day
Holly Day

I think what he really wants is an excuse to close down and move his business to Mexico, India, or China--probably something he's wanted to do ever since he found out he had to pay his U.S. employees a living wage. Now he can do it _and_ pretend he's taking the higher road.

Mike Obradovich
Mike Obradovich

Fascist Obamacare mandates? I encourage you to look up what fascism is. And find a way to make a point without resorting to extremist verbiage that makes you look like an uneducated fool. But then again, you clearly support a party that elected Michele Bachmann three times, so I suppose I'm expecting too much from a brain that lacks higher processing power. You can teach moral theology, Mr. Hall. But you don't get the right to impose your archaic morality on your employees. But please, go ahead and close, and cause all of your employees to lose their livelihood rather than offering a service that does not in ANY way impact you. God you people get more ridiculous every day. Why do we allow religion to control everything in this country.

Brad Apodaca
Brad Apodaca

I only read the headline. If he wants to go out of business that's his problem. There is a sexual discrimination issue at play here that doesn't get much attention. This issue effects women. These guys running their businesses and their churches are using this power to control women. Go outta business. Die int he fucking streets you filth!! Sorry. Kinda sick of these fools.

Brian Mazur
Brian Mazur

why does the left love fascist Obamacare mandates so much?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

This is exactly what Jesus would do. 

I always love when a Catholic gets on a moral high horse.  Please remember all Catholics currently are part of an organization whose leader  helped protect a pedophile who preyed on deaf and blind orphans.   Now if I was to write a novel or movie and my villain was a person who helped pedophiles molest deaf and blind orphans any sane person would tell me that is too evil to be believable.  No wonder he thinks ruining 42 lives is the way to go.   

Scott Edwin Rhamey
Scott Edwin Rhamey

Teaching "moral theology" is like an oxymoron...(moral & theology) Moral theology doesn't exist anymore. Close the doors on that business and concentrate on that moral thing you speak of. Just my opinion.

bethann.bloom
bethann.bloom

Not a big loss if this is how he analyzes situations.

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

Because they are not incompatible and part of moral theology is respecting other people's belief systems while holding onto your own.

swee2th
swee2th

So much for Republicans creating jobs

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

I can't wait until this mandate kicks in and calls all these business-morons' bluff. How many of these whiners do you think will actually shutter their businesses? Probably none, unless they were already planning on doing it and found this mandate to be just the cop-out excuse they were looking for.

Logan Erickson
Logan Erickson

What a close minded asshole. Seriously City pages this is worth publishing?! Am i supposed to be upset at the government or feel bad for this guy because he'd rather close his business and put people out of work because of his religious beliefs? Classy guy!

Erin Munn
Erin Munn

What a self-rightous pr*ck!! Here's a thought- how about not forcing your religious beliefs on your employees who may not share your views? If you go by that logic, how many of his employees aren't christian? How many are single parents? How many are gay? How many are divorced? How many are living 'in sin' without being married? How many of them cuss or 'use the Lord's name in vain'? Doesn't all that violate his religious beliefs too? Isn't he setting a bad example already by condoning all that sin? Shouldn't he just go ahead and fire everyone who doesn't share his views if he was really trying to take the 'moral high ground'? Using religion to keep from providing birth control is an empty excuse!!!

Jane R. Hansen
Jane R. Hansen

Or he could convert the business to be a religious non-profit and have an exemption if it's all about religion and morality... does he give his profit all away to orphanages and abused women shelters? I bet not.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@ilive2hobby this^

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@Erica Anderson With your comment you have proven you can't string together two coherent sentences, yet you call a man with an Engineering Degree, a Master's Degree who owns 3 international businesses and who devised the plan to drill through 2000 feet of rock to save 33 trapped miners a "shit for brains".   HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@_Joe_ :perhaps the same void won't be there for smart person to fill...

keny1
keny1

@webcelt 

No. Insurance is not part of an employees' compensation. It is a benefit. And employers are not required to provide benefits. If it goes against his religious beliefs, he can just drop health coverage for his employees and they can still keep their jobs and purchase Obamacare.  After all, it's going to be "Affordable", remember?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@chris.jonus: your missing a key component in your argument: where is the government's legitimacy in forcing him to accept a plan that goes against his beliefs?

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@Mike Obradovich You claim RELIGION controls everything? This guy is trying to find an insurance plan that doesn't cover thing he doesn't believe in, but due to government interference is not available in what used to be the 'free market' and you don't think that's authoritarian? How is his not offering things he doesn't believe in equate to imposing his beliefs on his employees?  I don't offer smoke breaks to my employees, if they want to smoke they do so in the two 15 minute breaks I offer per day, am I imposing my beliefs on them?


ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@Brad Apodaca You think women are fucking stupid since you think the only way for them to afford contraceptives or abortions is if rich white businessmen give it to them.  

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@swee2th You did see where he bought the company in 2000 when it had 5 people, and it now employees 42, correct?  more than 800% growth in 13 years is fairly impressive I'd say.

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@Jason Bistodeau Why would a company need a cop-out to close? Wouldn't they just close?

keny1
keny1

Also, with Obamacare, only employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide coverage. He only has 42. So if he drops health coverage, he won't even be penalized.

AngelAssassin
AngelAssassin

@mingtran the government's legitimacy lies in the fact that it is a business that operates within the borders of Minnesota, and ultimately, the United States... which have laws to protect EMPLOYEES from this type of reverse discrimination... If he wants to operate this business, he has to operate it according to these labor laws.
He is entitled to his own beliefs, and welcome to not get birth control for himself if he so chooses, but he is not entitled to make that decisions for other American citizens.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran The government's legitimacy comes from it being a Democracy.  We had an election and despite Republican attempts to steal the election a majority of people have decided we will have universal healthcare.   He doesn't have the right to impose his beliefs on his employee's healthcare.  We aren't slaves of the rich asshole.  If a woman needs birth control that is her business not yours or his.  You and this asshole are the ones forcing your beliefs on people.  No one is forcing him to use birth control.  He is the one trying to force people to be like him.  You have no concept of freedom, legitimacy, or America if you think your boss makes your medical decisions for you. 

swee2th
swee2th

@ilive2hobby @swee2th Not debating that, but threatening to close the company and fire all those people because of his backwards religious views? That perfectly outlines the hypocrisy of social conservatives.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@AngelAssassin: 1. The gov is not a business.

2. He provides ins out of the goodness of his heart. He does not legally have to provide it at all. 3. Which labor laws are you citing?

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@MicheleBachmann @mingtran Ruled Constitutional is not the same things as being in the Constitution you numbskull.  And you're goddamn right if a woman needs birth control it is her business and not his.  Isn't that what he's arguing? That she needs to procure birth control for herself and he doesn't need to pay for it?


MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran Prove its not then stupid.  I cited a case where constitutional scholars agreed with me.  I also cited the justification i.e. regulating interstate commerce and taxation.  You have cited no facts, cases, or logic.  Just nonsense.  Fuck off stupid troll.  State a fact or shut your stupid trolling mouth.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann: thank you for making me aware it was ruled "constitutional". I actually live under a rock.

If you think the ruling wasn't bought and is anything but a clever ploy, and if you think original constitutional intent included state run healthcare you're even more retarded than I could have imagined

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann: please tell me where in the constitution it states healthcare is a right. PLEASE.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Tastyfrzz: maybe it's time for you to change your beliefs

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@swee2th @ilive2hobby I appreciate the acknowledgment, it seems strange that so many people are claiming he's closing the company down. Some even claiming he's using it as a pre-text to open up a business in China as if he wouldn't be able to do so the last 13 years or so he's been in business.  This man gets to chose what benefits he offers, his employees do not 'deserve' to have contraceptives or abortafacients covered if he doesn't want to pay for them.  Why is his refusal to pay for things he doesn't believe in, stop people from paying for it themselves?  

swee2th
swee2th

@ilive2hobby Touche. I hate when people comment without reading the whole article, but you got me doing it. The end result remains the same though -- he'd be willing to stop offering them benefits they deserve, effectively ensuring his own company's downfall (though I'll bet he'd still retire nicely) based on dark-ages religious dogma.

ilive2hobby
ilive2hobby

@swee2th @ilive2hobby He never threatened to close the company, he said that if he removes insurance it will be hard to keep his top notch employees that would be able to leave and get insurance at other manufacturing companies.  He says virtually verbatim that if he has no employees, he won't be able to keep doing business, which is hard to argue against.


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