Informer: Muslims not exempt from health care law

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I’ve heard talk that under Obamacare the Muslims won’t have to buy insurance. Is that true?


The Informer last addressed this question in April 2010, shortly after the health care reform measure was signed into law.

Some of what it wrote:

The new law contains a “religious conscience exemption,” but it’s meant to apply to the Amish and Old Order Mennonites and

is unlikely to be successfully claimed by members of any other group.

The exclusion relies on the Internal

Revenue Code’s criteria for exemption from Social Security payroll

taxes — a provision

originally designed for the Amish, who believe they have a

God-given responsibility to care for their own without government


The exemption applies to anyone who

is a member of “a recognized religious sect or division thereof and is

an adherent of

established tenets or teachings of such sect or division by reason

of which he is conscientiously opposed to acceptance of

the benefits of any private or public insurance which 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).”

Anyone seeking the exemption must submit an application that includes evidence of membership in the sect and proof of adherence

to its tenets, along with a “waiver of all benefits and other payments” associated with Social Security and Medicare.

Additionally, the sect must have been in continuous existence since Dec. 31, 1950, and it must receive the approval of the

Social Security commissioner, who must verify that it advocates the tenets espoused by the applicant.


Law doesn’t regulate length of vacations

My employer changed our vacation days. What are the guidelines for how much vacation you should get?

Neither state nor federal law sets guidelines on how long vacations must be or on whether employers must offer any vacation


Similarly, state and federal statutes

generally say nothing about whether employers must pay workers weekly,

biweekly or monthly.

And neither do the laws mandate raises, the distribution of pay stubs, the granting of sick pay, or the number or duration

of breaks for adult workers.

An exception on pay frequency is Louisiana R.S. 23:633, which says oil-drilling, mining and public service corporation workers

must be paid twice monthly.


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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email