What Religions Would Be Exempt From Obamacare?

I didn’t see this when I searched, but it probably has been asked before. Anyway here it is again.

I keep hearing that Obamacare won’t apply to individuals with a religious exemption.

OK but what religion currently would qualify as one. I’m thinking Christian Science, but there must be others.


The exemption criteria are tied to whether members of that group generally shun Social Security if self employed. The Amish would generally qualify on that issue.

if a group generally shuns medical care but does not refuse to accept Social Security then that group would not be exempt. This article by a Christian Scientist laments that she is not exempt.

The Snopes article explains it a bit more.

Maybe this is leaning too far outside of GQ, but I don’t understand the religious exemption angle at all. I didn’t understand it when it had to do with birth control either.

If I have to buy health insurance, that doesn’t mean I have to use it, right? So if I don’t like birth control, I don’t need an exemption for that. And if my employer doesn’t like birth control, A) they don’t actually provide it, they just broker a deal between me and a service which brokers another deal with another service which actually provides the birth control, and B ) They don’t actually have to provide healthcare, right? So if they don’t like the terms they can just get out of the game.

As for a religious exemption to Obamacare itself… Are there religions that demand that their adherents not buy health insurance? Christian Scientists and Jehova’s Witnesses can’t get blood transfusions, but nobody is forcing them to.

I’m not trying to start a debate, just figure out what the arguments are FOR the religious exemptions referred to in the OP.

There should not be a “religious exemption” it applies to everyone equally regardless of religion because all religions have medical care needs or may find themselves in need of assistance where you cannot effectively decide for yourself how to proceed where others are obligated to provide that assistance…

Don’t want it…dont use it.

The fact is there is a religious exemption. For whatever reason(s) it was written into the law, for good or bad.

Justice Elena Kagan made a comment from the bench about there not being a group of Christian Scientists filing a complaint:

So she seemed to think that perhaps a religious group that does not seek medical care might have a different argument about whether they are “in the market.” That would tend to go to a regulation of interstate commerce argument (which was shot down anyway).

The Christian Scientists have a FAQ page about how this law affects their membership. Basically, they are not exempt. There is no guarantee that they can use their mandatory insurance to pay for “spiritual care” but the law does not prohibit such either.

What’s to stop me from “converting” to the Amish religion at tax time?


This is outside the scope of GQ. If you want to discuss the arguments for the exemption, please start a new thread in GD. Let’s stick to the actual question in the OP.

General Questions Moderator

Although there any many different Amish groups and no doubt each has slightly different rules, generally speaking the Amish have religious objections to any commercial insurance not just health insurance, and also to accepting government assistance. Any thing others might buy insurance for (health insurance , homeowners insurance ) , they expect to take care of within the group.