WASHINGTON DC - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Congressman John Shimkus (R, IL-19) is cosponsoring the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act.
“The Supreme Court’s decision leaves intact a grave assault to religious freedom – the Obama Administration mandate that requires employers to provide drugs and services in their employee health care plans regardless of religious objections,” Shimkus said. “Employers that fail to comply face staggering financial penalties. That is why I believe the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act is necessary.”
According to a February 2012 Congressional Research Report, insurers and employers that do not comply with the mandate could face a federal tax of $100 per day per employee, or $36,500 a year per employee. Elementary schools with 50 employees could face fines of more than $1.75 million per year. Religious employers with hundreds of employees could be fined tens of millions of dollars annually.
“I can think of no instance in history where there has been an edict forcing individuals to either violate their deeply held religious beliefs or be required to pay a tax,” Shimkus added. “Such a tax could force many charities and religious institutions out of business or, at the very least, to divert funds intended to help the neediest members of our society.”
The Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act prohibits the federal government from enforcing the penalties of mandate non-compliance based on religious and moral convictions; it does not eliminate any of the current preventive services included in the law.