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Vail Daily letter: A different spin

Fredric Butler
letters@vaildaily.com
Eagle, CO Colorado

Two weeks ago, Henry Bornstein of Edwards took issue with certain statements previously made by me regarding my impression of the newly minted health care legislation, and especially its exemption provisions from the mandatory requirement for Americans to be enrolled therein.

Bornstein asserted that my impression that “Congress and the president of the U.S. artfully and surreptitiously inserted clauses in the health care bill that allowed Muslims and/or their employers to exempt out of the mandatory provisions of the bill requiring the purchase of insurance.” Bornstein says my impression (“claim”) of the bill is false; had he simply contacted me, I would have told him that my “take” on the bill was exactly what I wrote; yet, he did not do so, and therefore did not investigate or research the veracity of my “claims” as he puts it. Bornstein faults me for not performing research in the matter, yet he is ignorant of what research and investigation I did do.

Ergo, I would have given him the page and section numbers of the provisions of the bill to which I referred, as I did for the paper.



Bornstein, in defense of his Congress, declared that it made no such mandate. To this I say that since most members of the House and the Senate never even read the bill before its passage, they did not know if they mandated anything or not. To this day, the public still does not know the names of the actual authors of the legislative provisions of which I speak.

Bornstein then asserts that my opinion may have come from a blog that has been passed around. Again, this is Bornstein’s surmising in the matter. If this is his brand of research or investigation, then his impression of the meaning of the bill’s provisions may be just as suspect as mine. What is even more astounding is Bornstein’s own source for truth and verity, that being from “Snopes” and “Urbanlegends.” Being a lawyer, Bornstein should realize that this information is blatant hearsay, and that the context of the act itself is the best evidence of what it says.



Bornstein further avers that the exemption provision applies equally to those of the Christian and Jewish faiths as well as to Muslims, were they, too, to apply for that status. This assertion is rather naive and evasive, since those of the Islamic faith have an established and recorded history of aversion to American style insurance – not so those of the Judeo/Christian persuasions.

So, in this may lay the preference of which I speak, or unless I can find some IRS czar that would spin me out of that preference. Yes, Mr. Bornstein, Congress has mandated this subtle preference for those who can show a historical aversion to insurance (Muslims), albeit, Islam is not specifically mentioned in the act.

And you are wrong when you say that any “religion” can seek an exemption, since application for exemption is via individual application, rather than by way of a denomination. My point is that I, of the Christian orientation, would be more disadvantaged in the application process than would my fellow Islamic American, albeit we both have a “right” to apply. The results of our respective applications would reveal the preference to which I alluded.



Messrs. Bornstein and Obama both have touted that they are constitutional lawyers, and in this I understand why Bornstein’s read of the healthcare bill is different than mine, for I have yet to master the art of “spin.”


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