24 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-6-17

  1. Interesting read.


    “Since 2007, Bet and Erik had been members of Samaritan Ministries, one of a number of Christian health care sharing ministries in the US that take the place of traditional health insurance by pooling and redistributing members’ money each month. They joined when they were both working for a Christian nonprofit founded by Bet’s dad, where they had to personally raise funds from donors to cover their own salaries. Raising more than that to pay for insurance through the organization as well would have been a burden, so they started to look for creative solutions.

    Some of their friends from church recommended Samaritan, which is based in Peoria; Bet and Erik looked into it, liked what they saw, and joined. “I love the idea of sharing each other’s burdens and helping each other out,” Erik said. And up to a point, Samaritan worked for the Olsons. Each month they wrote checks to the name Samaritan sent them. Sometimes they prayed for the recipient; sometimes they forgot. Outside of an incident where Erik broke his toe, Bet and Erik never submitted a need for themselves. But when their children had needs, things were different.

    Before Bet and Erik could bring Zain home, in 2010, they had to show proof of insurance coverage. They got a letter from Samaritan attesting to their membership, and planned to add Zain to their Samaritan coverage once they were back in Illinois. According to its guidelines, Samaritan, like other health care sharing ministries, does not share in costs for “any physical condition which the adopted child has prior to the adopted parent being legally responsible for the child’s expenses.” Essentially, all conditions an adopted child has prior to adoption are considered pre-existing. Had the Olsons adopted a child with Down syndrome, or a neurological disorder, they would have incurred all the costs related to living with that condition.

    Luckily, Zain was healthy. But Bet and Erik took him to the doctor for a general checkup when they arrived home, and as a precaution the pediatrician ordered a panel of blood tests recommended for international adoptees by the University of Minnesota. The tests cost around $6,000, a sizeable portion of their annual income, and Erik and Bet set about submitting their need to Samaritan. “God blessed our family by giving us a beautiful boy from Ethiopia!” they wrote on their need processing form to Samaritan. “We had to have some medical testing done. All recommended international adoption medical testing came back normal and healthy. Praise God!”

    Samaritan declined to share their need.

    “We went to Samaritan Ministries with the need and they said, ‘This is pre-existing,’” Bet said. “We said, ‘What? What do you mean by pre-existing?’” What Samaritan meant is still unclear, because the ministry became fairly unresponsive to the couple in early 2011, when all of this was happening. The only communication the leadership provided was to explain that they would not share this cost, but that Bet and Erik could list it as a “special prayer need” in the monthly newsletter, where members could pray for them and send money if they chose to do so (six or seven people did, Bet said, all less than $50 apiece). Bet and Erik scrambled to get coverage for Zain under Medicaid in Illinois, ending up in an income-based tier where coverage would cost them $70 per month. They were able to negotiate Zain’s bloodwork costs down to about $3,000, and worked out a payment plan with the hospital.

    Even through this disruption, the Olsons stayed with Samaritan, both because the price was right (around $350 per month for the two of them) and because they still believed in its mission. Samaritan was “so biblical,” Bet said, “an amazing way to show what the kingdom of God could look like.” But, she said, “it was missing this huge piece.”

    For Christians looking for a way to opt out of an expensive health insurance market that they see as profit-driven, intruding on their personal freedom, and indifferent (at best) to issues of abortion and the sanctity of life, health care sharing ministries may seem like the perfect, providential solution. These ministries now legally satisfy the individual mandate of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and have expanded rapidly since its passage. But there are serious drawbacks lurking below the surface. These ministries’ policies replicate some of the most significant problems with insurance that the ACA was intended to address in the first place, and come with their own unique risks for consumers.”


  2. And I gotta say, I’m surprised by the BuzzFeed link. First, by it’s length, which coming from them you would expect to be a short, poorly researched piece, like their standard fare. They’re usually mostly click-baity stories. And secondly because they actually did some real journalism here folks. Nicely done for a change. A rather pleasant surprise. 🙂


  3. It is impossible to read this article by David Brooks without thinking about Sunday School classes or the various names given to small groups in modern churches.


  4. Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good grief. I’ve had it with the ‘fake news’. I went on Facebook this morning to check out the status of some family members. Between the time I logged off last night and back on this morning, one cousin (much older) shared a blatantly fake story from a fake news site.

    No people, the SCOTUS has NOT reinstated Trump’s travel ban by a 5-4 vote (and saying it could be ‘prophetic’ does not excuse the lie). And to heap insult on the injury, if you go to the site, you can read all about the wonderful 1Trillion dollar infrastructure project which we should encourage our congress to unquestioningly support. There is no mention of the possible privatization that is planned for airports.

    And I’ve heard it from the Left too. The infrastructure project is just a big give-away to corporate America who want to privatize the roads. Soon you won’t be able to go to the store to buy a gallon of milk without paying a $10 toll [yes, I’m exaggerating a little, but not as much as you’d like to think].

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So I see the first of what will probably be many prosecutions of leakers has begun. And she’s a real winner. She stands with Iran, and not our President.

    There are many Americans protesting US govt aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you!— Sara Winners (@Reezlie) February 7, 2017



    “The 25-year-old woman who stole “Top Secret” documents from the National Security Agency and leaked them to The Intercept appears to be a supporter of Bernie Sanders and other progressive icons, such as Bill Maher and Michael Moore.

    Reality Leigh Winner’s apparent social media footprint also shows that she is a supporter of other liberal causes, including the Women’s March and the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim civil rights group.

    She also recently referred to President Trump as a “piece of @#$%” because of his position on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests.

    Winner was indicted in federal court on Monday after she allegedly stole classified documents from her employer, Pluribus International, a defense contractor that does work for the NSA from its offices in Augusta, Ga.”

    “Winner was heavily critical of Trump just after he took office. She used the hashtag “NeverMyPresident” and “Resist” in a Facebook post about his position on DAPL.”

    Tangerine in Chief is pretty lame. I prefer Ricky’s nickname, the Orange Buffoon. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I haven’t read the whole article on Christian health care yet, but it reminds me of something I was thinking when we were discussing the pregnant girl not allowed to walk at her Christian college graduation.

    Hubby & I participated in Christian Healthcare Ministries for a while before he got his current job. One of the things I felt uncomfortable with was that they do not “cover” pregnancies of unmarried young women.


  8. HRW, Bret Stephens and Gail Collins had a conversation on the Editorial Page of The New York Times. The last two lines reminded me of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow just wow. Denying care to Down’s Syndrome child because it’s a preexisting condition and denying care to pregnant women because they’re unmarried……two reasons why universal health care makes more sense and is pro-life.


  10. Live tweeting……where are the adults in the room? I wonder if journalists feel like a person rubbernecking a traffic accident….or watching a train wreck in a slow motion.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kizzie, as far as I know, most insurance doesn’t cover pregnancy unless you have maternity coverage. Since the point of the sharing insurance is that they cover those living by biblical standards and they say straight out that they won’t cover issues brought about by doing otherwise (e.g., if you’re involved in an accident that you caused by driving drunk), then it would seem logical to expect they won’t cover unmarried pregnancy. But my insurance on the job wouldn’t cover pregnancy either–as a single woman, I didn’t pay the extra money to have maternity coverage. It seems to me that they’re simply saying, “This is what we cover, and this is what we don’t. If you need coverage beyond what we offer, then we are not for you.” That’s a big part of how they keep the cost low.


  12. I’m on my cell so i won’t go into detail but determining gender in elite female athletes is more complicated than it sounds. Originally the Olympics used physical exams to determine gender but the East German swim may have had the right parts but hormonally were male. So they added other tests. Now there’s an Indian and a South African athlete who were born female, have the right parts but with high tetostrene levels. From appearance with loose clothes they could pass as male and as mid distance runners they overwhelm the opposition. Should they be allowed to run as females? Elite athletes are all freaks of nature so of course they should be allowed.

    On the other hand I have difficult with an obvious male identifying as female participating in female athletics. If he was in the process of transitioning to a female perhaps….but it seems he’s deriving benefits without actually committing to his gender identification. At this point s/he appears to be pampered spoiled child whose happiness is more important than commitment and effort.


  13. Cheryl – I understood their policy & its reasoning, but it still made me uncomfortable.

    As for insurance not covering pregnancy, we didn’t have to have extra maternity coverage for my pregnancies to be covered, & we had a different insurance policy with each daughter. I’d not heard of having to have maternity coverage added in. Has that come along in the last 25 years (but before the ACA)?


  14. HRW, We partially agree on the male running with the girls. Even if he “actually commits” to “his gender identification”, he would be a drugged and mutilated male, not a female. Drugged and mutilated males should not be allowed to compete against females. For example, Bruce Jenner should not be allowed to run in a women’s 100 yard dash for 60+ year olds.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Let’s be clear in our terms. Nobody “denies care”. They only deny paying for it.

    Now I realize that denying payment for care can amount to the same thing as denying care when the person has no other means to pay for it. But there’s a lot of silly screaming about “denying care” for things that are either so inexpensive anyone could afford them without insurance, or for things that are elective so there’s no moral imperative for society to guarantee a way to pay for it. For example no insurance company or employer can deny women access to birth control. Women have easy access to birth control, whether their insurance pays for it or not.

    Liked by 6 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s