Ever see a horse and buggy in the middle of a snowstorm and think, poor Amish? Life on the farm in an Amish community is quite simple, the women and children obey the men, and the men obey… well not POTUS .
This religious group was founded by Jakob Ammann sometime between 1671 and 1680 in Switzerland. Jakob wasn’t the only pioneer with unwavering Anabaptism beliefs, there were a few that stood up to us “English” demanding their right to be exempt from big government. Migrating to Pennsylvania in the 18th century, and apparently just spectators during the French and Indian War, the Amish have been really good at laying low. As the Amish began to move further west, the pressure of conforming with modern society began in the 1860s. Though after several meetings, and a little boycotting, a separation occurred forming the Mennonites. The Mennonites are a bit more progressive, but undoubtedly know our Constitution well enough to avoid a few amendments.
In 1965, Congress passed a law giving them the right to opt out of Social Security, Medicaid and many other government benefits. The Obamacare exemption is an extension of the Social Security exemption. The Amish are only subject to the sales and property tax. Although Amish employers, as of 1982, are not exempt from Social Security related taxes unless they are self-employed. Does this mean those Amish employed by the “English” must be insured? Nope, if you are Amish you are exempt, period. Some argue this is not fair, but have you ever seen an Amish in the ER? There are a handful of American hospitals, starting in the mid-1990s, created special outreach programs to assist the Amish. The first of these programs was instituted at the Susquehanna Health System in central Pennsylvania by James Huebert. This program has earned national media attention in the United States, and has spread to several surrounding hospitals. These clinics are embraced by most Amish, ending the need for parents to leave the community to receive proper care for their children, an action that might result in shunning. Wait, so they do use our health care system?
However, most Amish avoid smoking and drinking, giving American doctors a chance to research and investigate diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and macular disorder in a different light. Studies have shown Amish dying from cancer is not as common due to clean living. Even skin cancer makes a rare appearance due to long sleeves and hats worn during all seasons.
In a nutshell, the Amish are living the “American Dream”. They are under the umbrella of equal opportunity to be employed, they educate their children however long they see fit and throw them in the workforce due to being exempt from Child Labor Laws, they are healthier than the Americans, they avoid many laws and mandates, all while voting in congressional and presidential elections.
Can American small business owners jump on the Amish wagon? Not having to apply or pay for a building permit sounds pretty good to some American contractors. When your dog poops on public property you have to clean it up right? Well the Amish, “ain’t got time for that”, their horses can poop all over the road, apparently the litter laws only apply to non-Amish.
Personally I love electricity and technology, so being Amish to avoid the Affordable Care Act, seems silly. Not to mention, according to section 1402 of the tax code, I cannot claim I am member of a religious sect that prefers to be exempt. ACA states I must belong to a group that has been recognized by the Social Security Administration with an existence established prior to December 31, 1950. So there goes my idea of starting a group that shops religiously.