CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, March 11, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 1814, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on April 26, 2013 by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
H.R. 1814 expands the religious conscience exemption in the Affordable Care Act. The existing exemption from the individual mandate in the ACA gives preference to a few select faiths. For example, the existing exemption requires individuals to waive all public and private insurance benefits, including Social Security and Medicare. The rigidity of the exemption does not respect the rights of all faiths. The EACH Act provides an exemption from the individual mandate penalty if an individual files an affidavit as part of their annual income tax return stating that they do not have the required insurance because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. If the individual voluntarily uses medical health care during the year, they lose eligibility for the exemption and are also required to pay the financial penalty.
The existing religious exemption from minimum essential health care coverage is limited in size and scope, and gives preference to a few select religious groups. Under the current exemption, individuals are required to waive all public and private insurance benefits, including Medicare and Social Security.
A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.