House bill would let consumers opt out of coverage for religious reasons

The House passed legislation Tuesday that would expand an exemption under the Affordable Care Act to allow consumers to opt out of buying health coverage for religious reasons. Although Congressional lawmakers have passed several laws meant to chip away at the ACA, this bill's easy passage makes it more likely that the Senate will consider it as well, The Hill's Healthwatch reported. If consumers want an exemption from purchasing a health plan, they would have to provide sworn statements in their tax returns explaining why they object to health insurance. "Among the many problems with the Affordable Care Act, the current conscience exemption only protects religious exemptions of a few select faiths," said Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who sponsored the bill. But Democrats are concerned the IRS won't be able to enforce the bill and would have to define "sincerely held religious belief."

"This is impossibly difficult to enforce, and frankly, it is not a role we want the IRS to take on," Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. Article