Health law forces me and my family to ignore our beliefs in our business.
Twenty-five years ago, my wife and I started Autocam with 52 employees. Today it is an international company with 700 employees in the United States. The freedoms we enjoy in this country enabled us to start our family business and make choices that allowed it to flourish and expand.
I am also a Catholic Christian whose faith teaches that everyone has a vocation in life; that call for me was in business, as both a way to support my family and contribute to the common good. As a Catholic I try to live my faith in all aspects of my life – at church, at home, when I travel and at the office.
Like a lot of Americans, I believe that religion is not something confined to an hour on Sunday. Religion is a way of life that defines my relationship to the world around me. Because Catholic social teaching emphasizes the dignity of work and workers, it has always been important to me to offer our employees good wages and benefits.
I write because the mandate is forcing me and my family to choose between the teachings of our faith and the operation of our business. It gives us three options, all of which are unconscionable according to our beliefs: (1) violate our faith by complying with the mandate and provide our employees with insurance that covers contraception and sterilization; (2) pay over $16,000,000 in fines per year, destroying our business and putting our employees out of work; or (3) cut our employees’ health benefits so that we do not have to violate our beliefs. While the last choice would save our family and the company $5,000,000, we reject it because of the respect we have for our employees.