New House Bill Would Add Religious Exemption To Obamacare Mandate

A bill in the House of Representatives, with bipartisan support, would provide a religious exemption to the insurance mandate in Obamacare. This would allow those who object because of religious conscience to opt out of the mandate with an affidavit.

Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) authored H.R. 6597 and has garnered support from both sides of the aisle, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Todd Akin (R-MO), Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

The bill seeks to amend section 5000A(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by adding a new subparagraph titled "Additional Religious Exemption."

According to the subparagraph it would allow individuals to file an affidavit, along with their tax returns, that would state that their "sincerely held religious beliefs" would cause them to "object to the medical health care that would be covered under such coverage.”

While this does not help businesses like Hobby Lobby, who are battling the federal government's Health and Human Services mandate, it looks promising for individuals. The issue came to the forefront when the Roman Catholic Church brought up that it would violate the consciences of individuals in their religious institutions because being forced to purchase government ordained insurance would necessarily pay for contraception, which the RCC believes to be immoral.

Section ii of the bill's proposed amendment also nullifies the affidavit if the individual receives health care that would have been covered by insurance. This would be to keep people from abusing the "religious exemption."

The bill reads, "NULLIFIED IF RECEIPT OF MEDICAL HEALTH CARE DURING TAXABLE YEAR- Clause (i) shall not apply to an individual for any month during a taxable year if the individual received medical health care during the taxable year."

The things listed that are considered non-voluntary in the bill are: Treatment not administered or supervised by a medical doctor, such as chiropractic treatment, dental care, midwifery, personal care assistance, or optometry, physical examinations or treatment where required by law or third parties, such as a prospective employer, and vaccinations."

So what is the bottom line here? It looks as if simply providing the affidavit will grant you an exemption on the insurance mandate, should the bill be passed. However, if you then seek health care during the year, you will lose that exemption, which seems rather silly if you are paying out of pocket, and then you would be subject to the tax for being uninsured.

I applaud the efforts here, I really do. I just wish that Republicans would go for the jugular the way the Democrats do. We are constantly wanting little bits and pieces and trying to get scraps from the table and we constantly lose more than we gain. Democrats always go for the whole enchilada and that way they end up, almost universally, getting more of what they want. It's time Republicans do that too.

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  • gloriak

    Thank you for the wonderful news about the bill going through Congress. I am delighted

  • Granny

    It will never get by the Godless in the Senate.

  • Bob Brown

    So, I have to become a Catholic in order to refrain from being forced to pay 1/3 of my income to medical insurance? What happend to the "Free World"?

  • Michael

    Our lovely Congress doesn't need any exemptions from their lavish healthcare provided for by themselves for themselves do they?!!!

  • Sutekh

    There is already a religious exemption built into Obamacare -- FOR MUSLIMS.

    To make the government EXTEND the exemption to all would be to agree that it has the right to favor one religion over another.

    What needs to be done is to get the lawsuit against Obamacre to the Supreme Court to tell the illiterates in Congress that the religious exemption is in the Bill of Rights, and that providing "exemptions" for Muslims is the establishment of a state religion by none other than Congress itself.

    We wil enjoy living in a Muslim country the same way that John Huss enjoyed living in a Roman Catholic country.

  • Greg137

    Obamacare is as BAD a law as it comes.. It tries to make government a god over the people, and NOBODY WANTS IT!!! Look at all the exemptions it has! There is something wrong with a nation when such abominable laws exist unnecessarily, and the people can't get rid of them... Pressure your state governors to say NO tom Obamacare.. Obamacare is the END of care for many...

  • Yohng Goht

    What happens if you submit an affidavit and the govt decides that you are still not eligible for an exemption? What a ridiculous joke. Currently, if you are a Christian scientist, scientologist, Muslim, or Amish, you are exempt.

  • har82

    Why ???? , do we need a new bill , for rights we already have ???. Ohh ya, so politicians ,,, can feel good about themselves ... Almost like they are doing their d a m n e d jobs lol.
    SCOTUS ,, should be held in contempt ,, if nothing else for contaminating the Constitution.
    Something like - seditious - behavior . That p,,,k roberts comes to mind .

  • d rasher

    For one, the Senate OR the president will NEVER go along with this. So, simply wait, ...... until Obama and the democrats want another raise in the debt ceiling. When that happens, make any and all changes you want in Obamacare, and create a bill outlining ALL that you want to change, then simply attach it to an important bill the dems and Obama absolutely cannot live without, such as an extension in the debt limit. Then, let the chips fall where they may!

  • jsmithcsa

    I can't imagine the Senate supporting it. Or our fascist in chief.