On Planet Wingnuttia, no lie ever dies. Even years after a lie is debunked, they will continue to be repeated over and over again. A perfect example is the Traditional Values Coalition, which is still telling its members that Muslims are exempted from having to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Guess what? Muslims don’t have to participate in Obamacare due to “religious exemptions” not extended to Christians! Need evidence? Here you go:
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:
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.”
Senate Bill, H.R. 3590, pages 273-274
Now what’s curious about this tidy little insertion is that it’s primarily designed for religious groups such as the Amish. But add a wrinkle here — for Muslims, modern health care systems are a bit more akin to “gambling” — which is haram or forbidden in Islam.
Every single bit of this is a lie. Muslims do not think health insurance is forbidden, nor are they given exemptions. In fact, as FactCheck pointed out three years ago, nearly all such exemptions go to Christians:
In our article “More Malarkey About Health Care,” we wrote that some religious groups may indeed be considered exempt from the requirement to have health insurance. The law defines exempt groups using the definition from 26 U.S. Code section 1402(g)(1), which describes the religious groups currently considered exempt from Social Security payroll taxes. Eligible sects must forbid any payout in the event of death, disability, old age or retirement, including Social Security and Medicare.
Since we posted our article, we’ve obtained a list through the Freedom of Information Act of all the groups that have successfully applied for exemptions from payroll taxes. (We have posted the Excel file here.) The overwhelming majority of them are explicitly Anabaptist — that is, Mennonite, Amish or Hutterite. Those that don’t specify their denomination are still explicitly Christian. Having gone through the list, we can say with certainty that no Muslim group, and indeed no non-Christian group, has ever qualified for an exemption under the statute used to define exempt religious groups in the health care law.
Nor are they likely to want to, says Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which opposes discrimination and defamation against Muslims. “I’ve never even heard it brought up as an issue,” Hooper told us. “I have health insurance. We give health insurance to our employees. Every Muslim group I know of does the same thing.” Hooper told us that he has seen some Muslims raise religious objections to life insurance, but not health insurance, and that, in fact, providing health coverage is very much in line with Islamic ideals of social justice.
But being a wingnut means never, ever admitting you’re wrong. Or that you’re just plain lying.