The new Obamacare legislation that was forced on unwilling Americans this week specifically mandates that we all purchase health insurance. That is, unless you don’t believe in that sort of thing. That’s right, the current health care bill contains a clause which exempts certain individuals form the requirements and penalties set forth in it.
EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information:
In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual’s status as a member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian, or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.”
Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274
There are several reasons why an individual could claim exemption, being a member of a religion that does not believe in insurance is one of them. Islam is one of those religions. Muslims believe that health insurance is “haraam”, or forbidden; because they liken the ambiguity and probability of insurance to gambling. This belief excludes them from any of the requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Other excluded groups include Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists.
So, is it that easy? Is simply being a member of an “recognized religious sect” enough to exempt an individual from Obamacare? Not quite…the information provided by each individual must first be verified against the records of the Social Security Administration, and possibly Homeland Security, in order to prove citizenship and religious status. If the records are found to be consistent with the information for the individual applying for exemption, only then are they eligible. If the records are found to inconsistent with such information, the individual applying for exemption is given 90 days to clear up any possible errors with the reporting agencies. That 90 day period can be extended upon the discretion of the Secretary of applicable agencies. If, by the end of this period, the information is still not cleared up, the individual can then apply for an appeal. Whereby exemption can be decided, or reevaluated on a periodic basis, by the individual agencies in question. The appeals process is determined by the individual agencies involved
In short, each individual applying for exemption must verify that they are citizens and that they are actually members of a “recognized religious sect.”
If the individual can make it through all of the bureaucracy involved in this process, they can then obtain exemption. Trust me the federal government doesn’t want to make it easy for anyone to get out of participating in the system.
The real question is, ”which religions qualify for exemption?” It’s easy to argue that Muslims, Christian Scientists, and the Amish will be “recognized,” because they have a moral conflict with insurance. However, what argument will Christians be able to make for exemption? Will they be able to claim exemption due to a moral conflict with publicly funded abortions? Not likely.