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
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
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.