Eighth Circuit Lets Local Business Owner Violate Obamacare Pending Appeal


Frank O'Brien does not want to pay for this. - IMAGE VIA
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  • Frank O'Brien does not want to pay for this.
As we reported last month, Frank O'Brien -- the devoutly Catholic owner of an industrial business in Forest Park Southeast -- believes Obamacare will make him betray his faith by providing his employees insurance that will cover contraception, so he sued the federal government.

Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted his request to be allowed to disobey the requirements of Obamacare without penalty until his lawsuit is resolved.

This is a bit of a turnaround for O'Brien, whose case was wholly dismissed in September by US District Judge, Carol Jackson. 

O'Brien immediately appealed, arguing in late October that he was about to be

forced to make a stark and inescapable choice on January 1, 2013: either pay for contraceptive and sterilization procedures, including abortion-inducing drugs, in violation of O'Brien's religious beliefs and company policy, or face crippling penalties imposed by the federal government.
If O'Brien provides a plan that doesn't meet the new health law requirements, he has to pay a "tax" of 100 bucks per employee, per day. If he provides no plan at all, he must pay a tax of $2000 per employee per year.

The appeals judges did not supply any opinion or memorandum in granting O'Brien's motion. All we know is that one of them -- Judge Buzz Arnold of Arkansas -- dissented.