Muslim Exemption to Obamacare - Injurious Aspects of the Healthcare Reform Act

By Todd Lester

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the upcoming health insurance mandate (Obamacare) does not kick in until the year 2014 but it has already created controversy. One accusation in particular is that Muslims will be exempt from paying into the program. The act does not specifically exempt any particular religion from health insurance requirements. It does however include a general "religious conscious" clause which establishes a religious conscientious exemption. If your religion has an established history of spurning gambling then maybe you have a chance of skipping out of the tax. Let's just bypass for a moment the injustice of my government placing one group of Americans over another and examine the legalistic claim of gambling.

Is insurance really a form of gambling? Gambling involves a certain level of uncertainty but uncertainty does not equate to gambling. The purpose of insurance is to transfer risk elsewhere so that you are not burdened by catastrophic financial costs. In the event of property damage or loss for instance, the policy payout is not in the form of winnings but merely a "return of capital" to restore that asset to its pre-incident condition. In such an instance the settlement money received is not even taxed by the IRS. Contrast that with lottery and other gambling winnings which most certainly are taxed.

Even religions that do not allow gambling allow exceptions for certain types of insurance which are required by law, such as automobile insurance, homeowner's insurance and social security. That's right; U.S. Muslims pay into the Social Security system and also accept Social Security payments.

OASDI, which stands for Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance, is a comprehensive federal benefits program that was established by Congress in 1935. The program includes retirement benefits, disability income, veteran's pension, public housing, and even the food stamp program. The Social Security tax is used to pay for the program. By law, the program is administered by the Social Security Administration. Today we just commonly refer to this blessed program as "Social Security."

It is an insurance program. The government is prohibited from ordering you to pay insurance premiums and so therefore they designate the payroll contributions as a tax and use the IRS to collect the funds to pay for the whole thing. OASDI (Social Security) is an insurance program and American Muslims are required to participate in this program.

We are not perfect but Americans collectively believe in fairness. If government health care is required to provide benefits then all able recipients should be required to pay. What if you can opt out of PPACA? If certain groups collectively decide not to participate in government health care are we then to deny them medical attention? Are hospitals to potentially turn away injured and dying Muslims and their children because they refused to pay into the health system? Of course not. If the benefits apply to everyone then so should the cost.

Let us take another tack as we reconnoiter this gambling charge. As I sit here writing this article my personal Social Security Statement shows that I have been paying Social Security and Medicare taxes since the age of 16. The minimum legal gambling age in most states is either 18 or 21. If insurance is a form of gambling, then governments and even private companies are breaking the law by collecting both Social Security and Medicare taxes from minors. Since there is documented proof that my government forced me into sinful debauchery at such a young and impressionable age then America is guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. If insurance equates to gambling then I demand a full refund plus interest, or at the very least some free therapy.

Todd Lester's career has spanned across many years and numerous industries. He has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and licensed to sell investments and insurance, worked as a retail manager, turned wrenches as an automotive mechanic, served cubicle time as an office manager and even owned his own business for many years restoring car interiors. And that is just since graduating college with a Finance degree. During much of this time, he was also a citizen soldier, serving twenty one years in the Army National Guards of both Louisiana and Texas as an Army bandsman. He has even performed as a clown with the Shrine Circus.

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