FACT CHECK: Viral Post Claims ‘Dhimmitude’ In Obamacare Exempts Muslims From The Individual Mandate

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A viral Facebook post shared more than 23,000 times claims the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes Muslims exempt from the individual mandate through the establishment of “dhimmitude” on page 107.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence to support the claims made in the post. The word “dhimmitude” is not found in the ACA or any other bill.

Fact Check:

The post makes several dubious claims suggesting that the ACA, former President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health care law, stipulates that Muslims receive preferential treatment when it comes to taxes and health care.

It claims the word “dhimmitude,” which allegedly appears on page 107 of the law, establishes that purportedly preferential treatment. The word “dhimmitude” appears to come from the word “dhimmi,” which the Harvard Religious Literacy Project defines as “a non-Muslim subject of the Ottoman Empire” afforded protection by the state in return for paying specific taxes. The status was legally abolished in 1839, according to the Harvard Religious Literacy Project.

The Daily Caller News Foundation searched the text of the ACA and found no mention of the word “dhimmitude” on any page. No other bills, proposed or enacted, have any instances of the word either. (RELATED: Are Muslims Barred From Holding Public Office In The US?)

The post appears to be outdated. It alleges that, thanks to “dhimmitude,” Muslims “are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance and also from the penalty for being uninsured!”

That references the individual mandate component of Obamacare, which required most Americans to have health insurance or face a penalty tax. But the penalty tax was eliminated in December 2017 through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, effectively nullifying the individual mandate, according to AFP Fact Check.

While some religious groups such as the Mennonites and the Amish were granted exemptions from the individual mandate, there is no evidence that any Muslim sect received such an exemption, FactCheck.org reported. Only religious groups that the Social Security Administration had already recognized as conscientiously opposed to accepting insurance benefits could be considered for the individual mandate exemption, according to the HealthCare.gov website.

The post also erroneously states that Christians will face “hard prison time” for refusing to buy health insurance or pay the penalty tax under the law. That federal penalty tax has been eliminated.

Versions of the claim have circulated online since at least 2010 and have been debunked by other fact-checking websites.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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