The Amish and ObamaCare

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Photo Credit: Ladywriter/Wunderground   Photo taken outside the hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  The Amish will use modern medicine.  It’s a matter of personal preference, some Amish steer away from hospitals and doctors in favor of more holistic options, while others don’t/

On October 1 the state-run exchanges which make up the cornerstone of President Obama’s signature health care plan go online.  Do you understand the new care system?  Nope,neither do I.  As a self-employed person who has always had to struggle with how to afford coverage (including times when I’ve just said “heck with it”, I’ll take my chances and have no coverage), am hopeful that ObamaCare will be helpful.   Not a political statement by any means, it could be called BushCare, PerotCare, HillaryCare, so for me it’s “IDon’tCare, As Long as It Helps”  Anyway, I guess starting Oct 1 I’ll explore the new options out there and see what all the hype is about.  What about the Amish?  The NPR affiliate in Pittsburgh tried to explore the topic but just ended up with kind of a muddled (but interesting) story which drew no firm conclusions.  So, I’ll help out:

Members of a “recognized religious sect or division,” as specified in Section 1402 of the Internal Revenue Code, are exempt. This exemption would include the Amish.

Under section1402 (g) (1) Members of a “recognized religious sect or division,” as specified in Section 1402(g)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code, are also exempt.  This is the direct wording from a 70 page memo put out by Steven T. Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement at the IRS:

A qualified religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) is a 
sect or division thereof that the Commissioner of Social Security finds: (1) has 
established tenets or teachings by reason of which its members and adherents are 
conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance 
that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement or makes 
payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the 
benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act); (2) maintains, 
and has maintained for a substantial period of time, a practice whereby its members 
make provision for its dependent members that is reasonable in view of their general 
level of living; and (3) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950.s

The vast majority of Amish will likely not take part in ObamaCare.  Will all opt out?  My answer:  does everyone in every church follow every rule?  Do all Catholics abstain from birth control?  You see my point,  some Amish will, privately take advantage of the new health care reform rules.  If an Amish person has a chronic medical condition that is too big of a drain on their community’s resources I’m sure they’ll explore their options.  How will you be impacted by the implementation of ObamaCare?



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The Discussion

  1. thank goodness we both have health insurance from our employer….it helps a lot…

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  2. Well, so far, my kids (19 and 22) job prospects are slim to none, and our long-time family doctor quit his practice because it was unsustainable. (He’s a top practitioner, who had a waiting list for his services. And no, he didn’t just retire.) My husband is, thankfully, employed, and presumably our health benefits will continue through them.
    Wendy P recently posted..Petunias, Onions, and Cellar DoorsMy Profile

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  3. Gloria Johnson says:

    Thank you Kevin for writing about this controversial topic in a very civil and thoughtful manner.

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