Query to the Vaishnava Community
Danakeli dasa: Is Insurance Gambling?
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I am a licensed CPA in the state of Texas and I have been researching the implications of Obamacare on our ISKCON temples. As with most government documents, it is not very easy to navigate. However, what I found is that since churches are often considered to be employers, they may be required to provide health insurance to their “employees”. The final determination will be made sometime in 2013 and it will go into effect in 2014. There are certain religious groups who are exempt. Muslims, for example, consider insurance to be a form of gambling since insurance is essentially paying for the possibility of an occurrence. The Amish are also exempt since they pay for health care costs communally.
I am not sure if the early pioneers of ISKCON under Srila Prabhupada’s guidance ever considered buying insurance for either Srila Prabhupada or themselves. However, I wonder what we as a “religious group” think about insurance now that we are a little more established. We are striving to depend upon Krishna in all respects in our lives. Where does one draw the line between practical and spiritual? The reason I ask is because if ISKCON felt strongly that insurance was against our religious principles, then we as a religious group may be able to opt out of both Obamacare and Social Security/Medicare. Personally, I am undecided since I see pros and cons on both sides.
Your guidance and input would be appreciated.
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