Vail Daily letter: False claims
Edwards, CO Colorado
In Fredric Butler’s letter “Health care wrinkle,” he makes many claims that can be described in one simple word: False. The most egregious are contained in the following two paragraphs:
“Congress and the president of the United States artfully and surreptitiously inserted a provision in the health care bill that allows Muslims and/or their employers to exempt out of the mandatory provisions of the bill requiring the purchase of insurance by simply establishing that religious affiliation to the IRS, and in turn procuring a certificate of exemption.”
“Congress has mandated that this provision applies to resident Muslims of Colorado, along with Muslims of other states pursuant to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and its 14th Amendment. The net result of all of this is that by federal law, the health care bill only applies to Christians, Jews and other infidels of Colorado, and not to the adherents of Islam or other sects eschewing American-style insurance.”
Congress has made no such mandate. If I am wrong, please produce the mandate.
This absurdity may have come from an e-mail blog that has been passed around since April 2010, which is also false. A portion of which states:
“Word of the Day: Dhimmitude
“Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-Muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the taxing of non-Muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence and as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to Islam.
“The Obama care bill is the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia Muslim diktat in the United States. Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be ‘gambling,’ ‘risk-taking’ and ‘usury’ and is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on this. How convenient. So I, Ann Barnhardt, a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. … Non-Muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize Muslims. Period. This is Dhimmitude.”
Mr. Butler has taken his own approach to attacking the entire health care bill by arguing its unconstitutionality and unfairness. Even if this single provision was present (it is not), it would not make the entire bill unconstitutional, possibly this specific provision only.
One might think that before making these rather outlandish claims, some research would have been performed. If this had been done, Mr. Butler might have reconsidered his letter. The easiest sources for researching these types of claims are Snopes and Urbanlegends. The best source is to examine the act itself: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The word “Muslim” and the word “Islam” do not appear anywhere in the act, including the specific provisions in question.
A paragraph on page 107 of the act does provide for individual religious exemptions. The language is non-specific with regard to any particular faith, thus anyone of any religion can seek an exemption.
The act states in part:
“(5) 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 (is required): (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.”
Similarly, on page 128: “(A) Religious conscience exemptions is discussed, which amends Section 1402(g)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, in which “a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof” is redefined to include this Act for purposes of seeking an exemption.”
Can anyone possibly believe that during the 16 months that the Republicans were fighting this bill that this alleged exemption would not have been discovered and used to try to defeat the bill? Just look at the political use by the majority of the Republicans objecting to the building a community center near (not at or in) Ground Zero.
“Further, Muslim organizations such as The Islamic Society of North America and American Muslim Health Professionals lauded the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act while voicing no objections to mandated health insurance at all.”
“According to an analysis by The Journal of Accountancy: ‘The act specifies that liens and seizures are not authorized to enforce this penalty, and noncompliance will not be subject to criminal penalties.’ This is confirmed by the act itself”
Since there is no “Islamic preference,” all of Mr. Butler’s claims about the “…question (of) the constitutionality of the health care act, both federal and state,” are completely without merit.
Exemptions of this nature are extremely difficult to obtain by any individual under the best of circumstances, let alone an entire religion. See commentary from “FactCheck.org and WorldNetDaily.com, who have concluded it’s unlikely that Muslims will be eligible for an exemption. Christians and Jews, etc., have the identical right to seek this exemption. Further, the insurance mandate provision of the act does not take effect until 2014 and much may or will change between now and then.