Mandatory ObamaCare Doesn’t Apply to Muslims
By Jerry A. Kane
ObamaCare’s “pay-or-play” mandates require that “all” Americans carry essential health insurance coverage or face penalties; however, “all” really doesn’t mean all after all. The recently signed bill contains a clause exempting certain religious groups, American Indians, illegal immigrants, and hardship cases (prison inmates) from ObamaCare’s health insurance mandate.
Senate Health Care Bill H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, statute 18 (5) EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS reads—
—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:
(A) 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.
The Amish are exempt because they believe it is their church’s responsibility to care for the material needs of the members, not the government or insurance companies. When members of the Amish community have need of a doctor or a hospital, they get financial help from their church and neighbors and pay in cash for the services.
The clause is not exclusive to the Amish alone; it also applies to any individual whose religion does not believe in insurance.
“[P]eople who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don’t have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion,” said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor.
According to a reputable Islamic Web site managed by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam’s Council of Senior Scholars have issued fatwas (decrees) that not only prohibit Muslims from purchasing risk insurance, the fatwas also prohibit them from working for companies that provide such insurance or any other form of commercial insurance.
The Council’s fatwas brand risk insurance contracts “haraam” (forbidden) declaring that such contracts are based on probability and extreme ambiguity, gambling and riba (usury). However, Muslims are permitted to use health insurance that is paid for through a compulsory tax, such as the so-called “free” health care provided by U.S. hospital emergency rooms for those without insurance or can’t pay or government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare for people with low incomes and senior citizens respectively.
Members of religious groups applying for exemption from ObamaCare must prove to Health and Human Services bureaucrats that they are citizens and actual members of the recognized religious groups. The law requires the HHS Secretary to match the applicant’s personal information with the records on file at the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to prove citizenship and religious status.
While the new law requires most Americans to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, it’s clear that the Amish, Muslims, and possibly Christian Scientists will be permitted to claim exemption from the government mandates as conscientious objectors of having to carry health insurance.
“If the government can tolerate a religious exemption, then it must do so evenhandedly among religious believers with the same beliefs. This is sheer favoritism for a certain class of religions, or even for one religion,” wrote Marci A. Hamilton, a professor and lawyer at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.
It is highly unlikely though that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will grant equal permission to members of Christian and Jewish sects who will also face a serious moral dilemma when they are forced to purchase health insurance from providers that pay for abortions under the pretext of providing preventive care.
ObamaCare’s religious conscience exemption clause embodies the change Brother O’s Bread and Circuses regime brings to the new America. While Brother O considers all religious groups equal, being nuanced, he recognizes that some groups are more equal than others.