Monday, November 9, 2009

Religious Exemptions for Health Care Coverage.

ReligionClause reports that the new health care bill, passed narrowly by the house late Saturday night, does include an exemption to mandated coverage for religious reasons:

The House version of the health care bill passed Saturday, HR 3962, imposes a 2.5% penalty tax on anyone who fails to obtain acceptable health care coverage. (Internal Revenue Code Sec. 59B(a) [pg. 297 of PDF]). However the bill does provide a "conscience exemption" for members of religious sects whose tenets reject insurance benefits. The exemption in Section 501of the bill [IRC Sec. 59B(c)(5) at pg. 299 of PDF] tracks the exemption from payment of social security and self-employment taxes for members of groups such as the Old Order Amish, described in Section 1402(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. (See prior related posting.)

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