Federal law says you can opt out of Obamacare, nor can you be penalized if you do


Ever heard of a federal law 42 USC § 18115: Freedom Not to Participate in Federal Health Insurance Programs?

I haven’t either.

But thanks to FOTM reader Joseph, now we all do!

This is how Cornell University Law School’s website describes 42 USC § 18115:

No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendments), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs.

The website further explains that the Act referred to in 42 USC § 18115 is Obamacare:

This Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 111–148, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 119, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 18001 of this title and Tables.

42 USC § 18115 refers to:

Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare
Chapter 157 – Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans
Subchapter 6 – Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 18115 – Freedom Not to Participate in Federal Health Insurance Programs

You can see it for yourself by going on the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Law Revision Counsel’s website for United States Code.

This is what the U.S. Code website says about 42 USC § 18115:

§18115. Freedom not to participate in Federal health insurance programs

No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act), or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendments), and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs.

(Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1555, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 260.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 111–148, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 119, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 18001 of this title and Tables

And here’s a screenshot I took from the United States Code page for 42 USC § 18115 (click to enlarge):

42 USC § 18115

In other words, what we’ve been told about Obamacare — that every adult American must enroll in a healthcare plan or pay a penalty — is simply not true.

According to federal law 42 USC § 18115:

  1. No one is required to participate in Obamacare.
  2. You can’t be fined or penalized if you decline to participate in Obamacare.

None other than Democrat Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida) has confirmed this at an April 5, 2010, town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale,

An attendee asked, “Congresswoman, who gave you the right or the authority to determine whether or not I have to purchase health care?”

Wasserman Schultz replied: “We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance. Let me explain what we did: What we did is that, just like when you’re treated, that we categorize you differently in terms of your tax return when you’re married versus single, just like we categorize you differently when you are a homeowner versus someone who doesn’t own a home, just like we categorize you differently when you have children versus not having children — what we are doing is you will be in a different tax status if you carry insurance versus not carrying health insurance. So you can feel free to choose not to carry health insurance. That’s just going to be reflected in the tax category that you’re in on your tax return. But there is no requirement in this law that you must carry health insurance.

But what did Wasserman Schultz mean by if you don’t carry health insurance it’s “going to be reflected in the tax category that you’re in on your tax return”?

Answer: She’s referring to an IRS code 26 USC § 5000A: Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage.

42 USC § 18115 directly contradicts another federal law, the IRS’s 26 USC § 5000A: Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage, which says:

An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month.

26 USC § 5000A further states that if “an applicable individual” doesn’t obtain “minimum essential [health] coverage,” he or she “shall be liable” to pay a monthly “penalty” in either a flat dollar amount or as a percentage of one’s income (see here).

That’s how the deceitful federal government gets around 42 USC § 18115’s prohibition against penalizing Americans for not obtaining healthcare coverage — by calling it a “tax” and siccing the IRS on us.

Bottom line:

There is enough contradiction between two federal laws — 42 USC § 18115 vs. 26 USC § 5000A — to keep an army of lawyers busy and tie up the courts in litigation and appeals for years.

Let the lawsuits begin! LOL

A humongous h/t to FOTM’s josephbc69.



42 responses to “Federal law says you can opt out of Obamacare, nor can you be penalized if you do

  1. Reblogged this on BLOGGING BAD ~ DICK.G: AMERICAN ! and commented:
    Gunny G~


  2. great find Joseph!! the quiet decision last Friday by Justice John Roberts was despicable. Someone has their boot on his neck. Not sure why these political figures don’t realize they are going to lose either way they go. They have used blackmail for so long. Its all coming out now. Why not stand up an honor the oath you took for crying out loud? Meanwhile this communist work, is doing exactly what it was designed to do. The death spiral. What a mess.


  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this great post. Indeed, the laws are contradictory. I wonder if this is why Obamacare is referred to as a “tax”. This is nonetheless, deception in the worst way – through manipulation and threats. This is not the purpose of the spirit of the law.


  4. Hasn’t this issue already been decided by the June 2012 Supreme Court decision, joined by Judge Roberts, calling the penalty a tax, thus resolving the conflict between the two laws and letting Obamacare stand?


  5. OBAMA CARE – If your having trouble understanding Obama Care then understand this…

    Obama Care is totally illegal.

    When you read Article One Section Eight of the Constitution granting powers to Congress by the States you will notice there are 18 paragraphs and each paragraph lists each of the powers granted to Congress by the States.

    None of those enumerated powers gives Congress any control of health care. Yet some point out the words general welfare in the first paragraph as a pretext to take any rights they choose.

    James Madison, the father of the Constitution, argued even back then, in the Federalist Papers number forty one, that the general welfare words in the first paragraph does not give the United States unlimited power because the general welfare would then be used by the United States to do anything they wanted to do and there would have been no need to list each of the powers granted to Congress by the States in each paragraph of Article One Section Eight of the Constitution.

    The Founding fathers of the Constitution were saying in order for it to be general welfare it must apply to one of the powers listed within the 18 paragraphs of Article One Section Eight of the Constitution. And if you notice all of those paragraphs none of them include national health care anywhere whatsoever.

    The Constitution clearly says the powers that are not enumerated are reserved to the States or to the people. We see this in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Constitution.

    Ninth Amendment
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Tenth Amendment
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    The only legal way for the federal government to have passed national health care is to first obtain an Amendment to the Constitution by obtaining the approval by the States. Even the justices of the Supreme Court know this is the truth and they violated their oath of office by allowing it to stand by falsely declaring it a power to tax.

    Anyone who reads the full Obama care bill and its amendments will also clearly see it goes way beyond the scope of any health care or any tax in its 2,800 pages of legislation. It is a compete usurpation of granted authority in the Constitution on a massive scale.

    The members of Congress voted to approve Obama Care by majority vote without the approval of the Constitution or an Amendment to the Constitution from the States.

    What we have witnessed is a dangerous power grab by the federal government in all three branches of government against the powers granted to them by the States in the Constitution.

    This is a very dangerous thing that has happened in the United States. The federal government has willingly usurped their authority on purpose and trampled the Constitution under their feet.

    Obama Care is totally illegal


    • Either you or the Supreme Court are wrong or lying. Those people on the Supreme Court know everything about the Constitution, and said nothing about anything you said. They said Obamacare is legal. When they pass a law saying that Christians must be executed by guillotine; the Supreme Court will uphold that too.


    • This is not a power grab by all three branches. This is a dangerous power grab by people totally outside of the government. The entire law was not being questioned, only the individual mandate, and as with most legislation, if one part is bad, the whole thing is. The problem is that the SCOTUS did not give a clear answer in anything except with regards to it not falling under the Commerce Clause, it not being a Direct Tax, and the Necessary and Proper Clause wouldn’t cover either. Bad legislation was further embedded by a judiciary who failed in principle. There was every opportunity to fix this legislation BEFORE it was passed, but no one took the time to read it before they were paid off to pass it; and if no one took the time to read it before it was passed, and they had to pass it on order to find out what was in it, then it clearly was not Congress who wrote it. If not Congress, then who? Who is making the laws of this country, Mr. Cramer? Furthermore, with regards to the usurpation of Congressional powers, it seems that you do not have a full understanding of the IPAB and its function with the PPACA. The IPAB is an executive agency, made by the POTUS, that derrogates the powers of Congress, ignores the principles of the Separation of Powers, manned by members appointed by only the POTUS and unconfirmed by Congress, who are able to exercise legislative powers over which Congress, nor the Judiciary, have any say in. IPAB proposals become law unless Congress passes, by a 3/5 Supra-majority, a law equal to, or better than what the IPAB originally proposed. The ramifications of that are quite incredible… and worse yet, in order to get rid of the IPAB provision in the PPACA, a resolution must pass both houses of Congress, however, no resolution can be introduced before the year 2017 or after February 1, 2017, must be enacted by August 15, 2017, and will not be allowed to take effect until 2020. What happened to one Congress not binding another? What has happened to oversight, confirmation, accountability, etc.? In fact, let’s go back to the Constitutionality of the law itself. It was written in the Senate based upon the individual mandate falling under the direction of the Commerce Clause. As soon as the Supreme Court threw that out and then subversively declared it a new way for Congress to tax, the bill should have been thrown back to the hill to be re-written, in the House of Representatives, where all taxing legislation MUST begin. Look at the provisions of the IPAB.


  6. 10th amendment center says “the word for 2014-nullification”


  7. Obama care illegal?Nobuma are illegal and Dem in power too.But what legal issue was doing Dems? Nothing legals. Dems are to sure of win in November, don’t be to sure. Ask Roberts a Judge how much was paid you?.
    With less of 40% of approve thing will change? yes will change down, but not up.All Supreme Court Judges must be in jail, if can call Judges. We was leave all lawyer became a deep level of corruption. Now wait what voter will decide In November, not to sure Dems can have a choice of win.


  8. Friends, the Lord hates lying lips, and both the Obamination and Broom Hilary are the Devil’s advocate, minions of the Greatest Liar, his faithful servants unto death. Never be deceived by either of these creeps!


  9. If the POS had that written into the unreadably long “Affordable Care Act”, then he has an automatic way out of the accusation that he’s ruling by fiat when giving out privileges. He already has it available, and shame on us if we were too lazy to study the idiotically long document.

    This, to me, is further evidence that Obama is not Barry Obama, but a whole star chamber of secret manipulators and conspirators. But we already knew that.


    • No shame on us. WE weren’t allowed to vote on it!


      • If voting was effective; it would be outlawed.


        • Voting actually is effective, that’s why so much time, money, and work is expended to commit vote fraud. It’s why the press attacks patriots like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and why so much money is spent to sway public opinion. The people do wield tremendous power.


          • How did George W. Bush “win” two elections? Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that presidents are selected not elected. I think he would know being the only president to serve for 12 YEARS. Maybe voting works in some local elections for dog catcher or school superintendent. The people do wield power, but I see most elections like this: I challenge you to duel. Since I’m the challenger; I supply the pistols and your pistol is loaded with powder, cap and wax, but no ball.


            • Jim,

              You can ask the same question about any of the US presidents having won 1, 2, or in FDR’s case, 4 elections. The reasons would differ from case to case, but logically could only be due to two — he either won it fair and square; or by fraud.

              Your ranting and bombastic challenge to a duel (puleeze) doesn’t address Mike’s point, which is that if elections aren’t important, why would so much effort be made toward corrupting them via fraud?

              Lastly, I have a question for you: Since you dismiss elections, what’s the alternative? Violence? Bring back the monarchy?


              • The voter’s ballot is the same as that dueling pistol loaded with a blank. The “winner” is predetermined. Fraud? Of course. It maintains the illusion of Democracy.


                • Thank you, Dr. Eowyn.

                  Jim, I share your frustration, but take a deep breath and consider this: a handful of likely crooked presidential elections does not mean that all elections are crooked. All across the country, there are elections for senators, sheriffs, school board officials, judges, dog catchers, you name it, plus untold bills and bond measures. For all of them to be rigged, then tens of thousands of election officials and precinct workers would most likely all have to be committing fraud on a massive level.

                  It’s not happening. Even in a presidential election, the fraud is likely to be limited to a few key states and precincts. Now I’m not saying that certain cities like Chicago and Detroit and, most likely Los Angeles, reek with political corruption. And I’m not saying the media is not complicit in backing corrupt officials and refusing to investigate vote fraud. But the winners are not necessarily predetermined.

                  Voters do have tremendous power. That’s why the crooks have to resort to fraud and other illegal means to rig elections.


  10. Sorry to burst your bubble because I wish you were right, but read the words carefully:

    “No individual, company, business, nonprofit entity, or health insurance issuer OFFERING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE shall be required…and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such ISSUER…”

    It’s not you and me who’re exempt, it’s the person or company SELLING the insurance coverage.


    • TKS,

      That depends on whether “offering health insurance coverage” is the qualifier clause for “health insurance issuer” or for all the pursuing categories — of “individual, company, business, nonprofit entity” and “health insurance issuer.”

      If you’re right, then Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz was wrong or was lying when she said at a Tallahassee townhall meeting on April 5, 2010: “We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance…So you can feel free to choose not to carry health insurance.” She said that in response to this question from an attendee at the meeting: “Congresswoman, who gave you the right or the authority to determine whether or not I have to purchase health care?”


      • I see it as you just stated, Dr. Eowyn, that the qualifier is specific to the category of health insurance issuer, and unrelated to earlier parts of the list.

        And statements like the one by the congresswoman no longer seem so far fetched. If nobody knew but the Democrat insiders, then they could get away with dispensing favors to their cronies, while avoiding a constitutional crisis, all the time giving the illusion of power.


        • You’re right, TD! All the exemptions that Democrats like Nancy Pelosi dispenses to their favored groups are possible because of 42 USC § 18115 – Freedom NOT to Participate in Obamacare!


          • And that would mean our conservative congress reps might be barking up the wrong tree when accusing Obama of dispensing favors by mandate. All this time there has been a little known clause, approved by Congress in the “Unaffordable Care Act”, that allowed him to act, and also Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.


    • Good point, TKS, but I’m inclined to read it as Dr. Eowyn states.


  11. Pingback: Federal law says you CAN opt out of Obamacare and CAN NOT be penalized if you do |

  12. Pingback: Fed Law: You CAN Refuse Obamacare W/O Penalty | PatriotsBillboard

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  14. GREAT discussion! Love it! THANKS Paul for outline of WHY this is/ was/ always will be Unconstitutional….I expect that there is so much wrong w/ this law that it will be litigated way past my last yrs on Earth….if not thrown out in 3 yrs or so…I believe the MAJOR cause of demise will be inequal application under the laws of the Constitution. This is the “crack” in the armor of WHATEVER Supremes & Obama force upoon us. They (Obama & friends) monkeyed/twisted the application of the law since BEFORE it’s application date, & continue to do so..& b/c it is such a hideously written piece of legislation, & so cumbersome to understand, let alone enforce or apply, I think that even if it continues to “stand” as law, it will be eventually litigated into the bone yard b/c …..when people start dying b/c of inequal protection under the law….you’re going to have that. (Can’t you just SEE a specialty law firm arise out of this…eyes lit up?????? LOL) When citizens’ lives are on the line, IMO, it’s more timely & critical than even the Civil Rights rulings…AND….it potentially includes EVERYONE of us, not just a segment of the American populace. For instance….I can think of a few things right off the bat…for instance, the tax on medical devices….(if that’s STILL in the law at this writing)….are optical devices (glasses, contact lenses, etc) devices? If so, then why would I have to pay more for them as a service (b/c you must buy them year after year…paying the tax year after year ) than someone who seeks lasik to correct vision in a one-shot deal—no “device” involved? This shapes choice, opportunity, and treats one or the other inequally for the same outcome. Furthermore….my geography might have something to do with it. As I understand the latest outcome….not only can you NOT keep your plan, you probably will NOT keep your doctor.. .AND, you might ONLY be allowed to go to a specified hospital or provider. So….no lasik Dr. for you? You, a country bumpkin from Georgia hinterlands, are to be treated inequally to Obama’s daughters at their CHicago home (oh hell….you’ll be treated differently than ALL the Czars in Washington anyway!)…I might not be giving a very good example, but I think you all will get the gist. And, there WILL be age discrimination and rationing. It’s written into the law. On its face, it’s already illegal….there SHALL be no discrimination in government services for gender, age, religion…….This will “hit the ground running” as soon as it rears its ugly head…..on and on….The pity of it is that thousands will have to die and/or sufffer needlessly for years before we’re done with it Constitutionally…..sort of like it took Soviet Block Communism 70 years to die…..


  15. Its all in the reading of ALL the words presented…
    Not a pick and choose to suit…
    The Freedom to Opt out being presented …if read in its entirety… is stating those Individuals and such OFFERING insurance…. are provided the opt out options without penalties or fines…
    This particular citation doesn’t apply to Individuals needing to or required to sign up for the Obamacare insurance law.


  16. Pingback: Fed Law Says We Can Opt Out Of ObamaCare W/Out Penalty According To Cornell Univ | The Mad Jewess

  17. Pingback: ZION'S TRUMPET » Opting “Out” of Illegal, Unconstitutional, Obamacare. Know your Rights.

  18. So, essentially we must pay the government insurance or face fines and/or imprisonment. I’m starting to hate my country. Is there any county left that’s still free? I want to immigrate out.


  19. this article referenced by Joseph is on the Daily Paul today, along with fellow ship of the minds. 🙂


  20. yes, justa thought…that’s exactly IT….you MUST participate in the market place (buy insurance) or be fined, imprisoned..or your wages garnished, or you home/possessions confiscated by the IRS for non-compliance….b/c Chief Justice Roberts said in his Supreme Crt ruling that, if you don”t buy insurance, you are NOT paying taxes due. Please contact me if you can follow this logic, b/c I”d like you to explain it to me and the nation.


  21. Pingback: Federal law says you CAN opt out of Obamacare and CAN NOT be penalized if you do - ALIPAC

  22. So how exactly does one stop from having this penalty tax automatically taken come 2015? They take enough of the money I earn to support those who do not and live better than we that do. I do not want one cent of mine going to this illegal act. Is there a way to file on taxes to stop this from happening?


  23. But the problem is the word “issuer” The only way to opt out is using the exemption you already have #1 you were created in the image of God and as such were created with unalienable rights as declared in the declaration of independence. The Affordable Care Act is connected to all the other law such drug and cosmetic Act and other state laws that declare man to be an animal and just one of many more planks of the Darwinian man conversion from created in God image to that of a lower specie.animal. The presumption is blasphemous, absolutely contrary to any concept of religious freedom and a violation of the 1st Amendment’s prohibition against the “establishment of religion” So people need to wake up and know who they are as a child of God and sue the pants of the the US Health Dept force them to expand the exceptions to cover all faiths or dump the act in the trash where it belongs. also see more on the subject man or other animal and not all these words of the aforementioned is mine. I’m quoting some from here> https://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-3/


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