Minnetonka company doesn't offer health care because Catholic owner opposes contraception

Categories: Health Care
Birth control pills rect.jpg
What would Jesus do? One small business owner believes he wouldn't offer his employees birth control. 
Minnetonka-based Annex Medical doesn't offer its 16 employees health care, despite the fact that owner Stuart Lind wants to. The reason? Lind's brand of Catholicism means he's morally opposed to contraception, so he'd rather not offer his employees any insurance at all than cover it.

SEE ALSO: Male birth control pill, Gamendazole, being developed at University of Minnesota

But if a court ruling goes his way, the path will be cleared for Lind to offer his employees health insurance soon. Yesterday, an attorney representing Lind argued in federal appeals court in St. Paul that Annex Medical should be except from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

The L.A. Times characterized the mandate thusly:
[A]ll health plans [must] provide "preventive services" for free. That category includes vaccines and such routine screenings as cholesterol checkups and mammograms. Starting [last] year, it also includes coverage of birth control pills, IUDs and other contraceptives.
Lind, however, wants no part in promoting promiscuity. The Star Tribune explains:
[Lind] is a devout Catholic with moral objections to contraception, said his attorney, Erick Kaardal. In 2001, Lind conducted a Catholic ceremony, attended by 30 people and officiated by a priest, making a formal commitment to operate the companies "in accordance with the teaching of Jesus Christ," according to court papers.
In a court document, Kaardal wrote, "When Lind's businesses engage in or cooperate with activity that violates Catholic teaching, Lind believes it is a violation of his own religious beliefs. Consequently, when Lind's businesses have engaged in or cooperated with activities that violate Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life, he has attempted, where possible, to cause them to cease such activity or cooperation with the same."

RELATED: Owner of American Manufacturing Company may close rather than offer contraception

Lower courts have objected that line of reasoning, ruling that while religious organizations may exempt themselves from the contraception mandate, for-profit companies like Annex can't.

Regardless of what the appeals court decides, Kaardal told the Pioneer Press that a case like Lind's is likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court within the next 15 months.

And if all else fails, the Strib reports that Lind is working to put together a contraception-less health care plan that he can offer employees. Currently, no local health insurance companies offer anything like that.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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33 comments
Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson

We should reserve the right to not patronize his business.

Katsi Duzynski
Katsi Duzynski

WHAT A HYPOCRITE. He has no right to deny people their ability to govern themselves as to how many or how few children they have ...

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

Who are all of these Catholics anyway? Studies have shown that 90% of American Catholics support birth control! I guess unless they own a business.

dreamoflastingpeace
dreamoflastingpeace

Wow. Just, wow. Many women take birth control as a means of cancer prevention, depending on their family history and genetic profile. (There are also genetic histories where you'd want to avoid certain types of birth control, just as with any other medication.) So, yeah, let's doom women to cancer for your bullshit beliefs. Asshole. Not to mention, what's he doing to punish men for having sex? Oh, right, nothing.

Erica
Erica

Birth control does NOT equate to promiscuity. What tiresome BS. Men are just as promiscuous as women but they don't take birth control.  As someone on BC, I take it primarily to keep my cycle regular and to elevate the discomfort I get from it (which is anything but fun). I wish men who bitch about BC would know what it is like to experience really painful menstrual cycles once a month. That said, I will conceed that the owner should have the right to believe in but at the same time how does this affect his personal life? Nada. The least he can do is pay his employees a decent salary, if he doesn't already.

Kathleen Mostrom Lehman
Kathleen Mostrom Lehman

To each his own, I guess.....the only GOOD part about this is that now that so many people will know the name of the company, the name of the owner, they can follow THEIR beliefs and NOT patronize/add coin to this mans coffers! Ignorant. Selfish. One more thing that gives bad PR to Catholicism.....as if pedophile priests aren't enough!

footnotegirl
footnotegirl

He's not paying for the insurance with his personal money. His company, which is a separate entity from him, has to pay for insurance that covers preventive care. What his employees do with their medical professionals is none of his business. At only 16 employees, he's not required to offer insurance through his company, he'll just have to deal with the fact that he's competing for employees with companies that can and do offer insurance. 

Does he also refuse to cover the children of employees that are born out of wedlock?

Sebastian Galdames
Sebastian Galdames

He should not force his beliefs on his employees. It's just good business.

Sebastian Galdames
Sebastian Galdames

I don't think so at all. Keep your Beliefs to your self pal. Give your people the health care they need.

TC4L
TC4L

I thought you had to have 50+ employees to offer the insurance or get fined.  This states 16 employees.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

Precisely the reason we need mandated healthcare.

If you allow people the ability to just null and void things they are legally required to because of some empty reason, then they'll continue to make empty reasons.

People in the comments keep saying:
"well no one is required to work there, so it's the employees fault"

what a load of bs

Lind doesn't want to fulfill a legal obligation of running a business, he isn't required to own a business. If he doesn't want to own a business in a completely legal way, I'm sure he can hedge his resume somewhere and work for someone who will fulfill their legal obligations.

Jon Marchand
Jon Marchand

I wonder if he objects to boner pills in the same way.

Jim E
Jim E

Guys like this really irritate me. "My beliefs are more important than yours so I'm going to use them to screw you out of medical coverage you might need."

Never mind that The Pill is used for more than just birth control.

Sammy L Cater
Sammy L Cater

its his company, he can run it and pay and offer what ever he wants.... its HIS and thats HIS right. dont like it then dont work there plain and simple :P

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

So...a medical company...that doesn't offer health care...? That's ridiculously stupid.

Alan Cloud
Alan Cloud

Too bad everyone can't just quit & everyone else refuse to work for him.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young

So since nobody's forced to work there, those who do shouldn't be entitled to any coverage whatsoever apparently

lenti
lenti

This guy is footing the bill so he can try to get it however he likes, but to me this is another compelling argument for portable health care. 

Neilie Weidell
Neilie Weidell

Hysterical!! Literally laughing!! I hope someone investigates this man a little deeper. I can only imagine the skeletons in this Catholics closet.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Sammy L Cater 

You could not be more wrong.  There are laws that govern the privilege of running a business in this country, and you are expected to follow them face consequences.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

@Jeff Young Meanwhile in reality, people take whatever jobs they can get because they so desperately need them and new opportunities don't fall out of the sky into their laps.  Of course he doesn't say shit about his bullshit stance on contraception in new employee interviews.  You rarely find out how insane your boss is after you are hired.  People can't just quit unless they have something else to go to, which is great because that would be very irresponsible of them and the drain they would put on society if they just choose not to be employed.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

@Monica Bertrand Meanwhile in reality, people take whatever jobs they can get because they so desperately need them and new opportunities don't fall out of the sky into their laps.  Of course he doesn't say shit about his bullshit stance on contraception in new employee interviews.  You rarely find out how insane your boss is after you are hired.  People can't just quit unless they have something else to go to, which is great because that would be very irresponsible of them and the drain they would put on society if they just choose not to be employed.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

So what you're saying then, is those 16 employees are easily replaceable. Just like Monica said: nobody is forced to work there, who cares.

allyourbasearebelong
allyourbasearebelong

@mingtran Missing the point seems to be your forte.  You could probably fix that by attempting to improve your reading comprehension skills, but then you wouldn't be as good at missing the point.  Double-edged sword.

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