God will pay your medical bills IF….

OK, I don’t have time to write a long post on this but I can’t let this go because it is REALLY pissing me off as Mr. Writerdd is reading it to me from the Sunday Denver Post. (He always reads stories that will piss me off out loud just to get me going.) I also don’t have time to be nice, so excuse me in advance. Apparently there some idiot Christians in Denver who think we don’t need health insurance because some unregulated Christian group takes their money and helps pay their medical bills — a sort of catastrophic insurance policy — but get this: ONLY if you’re a Christian. (The baby Jesus must be crying. Shouldn’t Chrstians help others?) What a crock of shit. I can’t even get my bile down enough to write about this coherently.

Read it for yourself. Here’s a snippet:

Last year Medi-Share took in about $60 million and paid out $46 million, Baldwin said, with the rest going to administrative expenses.
That 23 percent administrative cost is higher than the 8 to 17 percent reported by registered insurance companies in Colorado.
In six states, Christian Care Medi-Share and similar programs are facing legal opposition from insurance commissioners who say the sharing programs act like health insurance and should be regulated.
Medi-Share has argued — with some success, so far — that the program is not insurance, and therefore it is fine to continue what some have called discriminatory policies.
The fund will not cover non-Christians or smokers, and it turns away overweight people who fail to meet weight-loss goals in 12 months.
“In the Bible, we know bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and therefore we are to honor God with our bodies,” Baldwin said, explaining why members are asked to maintain good health.

Thank you for your attention, and now I am going to take a valium so I can calm down and get some work done today. Don’t you just love America? To me, this is an example of just about everything that’s wrong with this country.

UPDATE. OK, now that my work is done and the day is over, I’d like to mention exactly why this pisses me off. Colorado has some serious healthcare problems, with a large percentage of the population uninsured. The Democrat-led state legislature is working on a plan that will mandate that everyone in the state buy insurance and require that insurers offer coverage to everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions. The uninsured conservative-Christians in question don’t like this because they a) don’t want to pay taxes for healthcare, b) don’t want healthcare to be regulated to keep costs down and improve availability and c) they’re thinking about having a fourth child. They are idiots because they are conservatives who don’t even realize what is good for them economically, and because they think private, religious charity is better than universal healthcare; not because they are Christians.


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. > …explaining why members are asked to maintain good health.

    Nothing to do with the fact that they might otherwise have to give more money to needy Christians, of course…

  2. Having read the article in full, it seems to me that a semi-private "faith based" group has taken it upon themselves to lookafter their own.

    What actually bothers me is that the big insurance companies are upset that some citizens are actually trying to take care of themselves, leaving them out of the picture, so they cannot continue to make their fat profits.

    These insurance companies are the ame ones who, when claims were made in NOLA in Katrina's aftermath, claimed that making all those payments would bankrupt them. Despite that year having been a record year for their profits. –And we do remember how they recently had billions to spend on commercials during the bowl game in LA, though there was apparently nothing to give to New Orleans itself.

    As far as I can see, the insurance racket is criminal. You contract with them to set aside so much money per month in order to have it laid up in case of emergency. This is something that one could theoretically do on their own (though it it illegal to do so in cases of homeowners and car insurance). But even if you have been paying your premiums on time for years, when you do have a claim, you actually have to convince the companies to release those funds that you have theoretically laid up. And if they refuse, what recourse is there? Isn't that theft?

    And if you view insurance as a kind of gamble, a wager that this or that disaster will not happen; Why should the companies be allowed to get off scott free for taking a wager and then losing?

    But of course, the Insurance Comapnies make huge donations to senators' and congressmen's slush funds, campaign chests, and pension schemes. So they themselves get to write the laws.

    Well, fuck 'em. If the Christians can get together and look after each other, why can't we? Perhaps if every group takes it upon themselves to similarly look after their insurance needs, we'll end up a with a huge mess, and loss of profits for the insurance companies as a nice side dish.

    When faced with such a morass, perhaps then the government will get up off its collective arse and join the rest of the civillized world– Universal Healthcare.

  3. Yeah, Rav, what bothers me most is that these people can't afford insurance, and yet they don't want taxes to help with the costs, nor do they want government regulation which could moderate the costs. They are just stupid fools who buy into religious-right rhetoric even when it costs them. Stupid people really get on my nerves.

  4. Dear Donna,

    Along with your valium, I recommend highly taking in a showing of the latest Rambo movie, in which Rambo leads a group of badasses into Burma to rescue a group of Christian missionaries, one of which is a semi-hot blonde who Rambo is sweet on. This Hollywood take on the intent of missionaries and the consequences they face was enjoyable to watch. Also, it's fun to watch Stallone kick some butt.


    Jenn Y.

  5. Rav: Insurance is not quite as you describe: You are not paid solely out of the contributions that you have made, but out of all communal contributions. In this way even large claims made in the early days of a policy can be met, which they couldn't if you were simply setting aside the premium each month in a separate account. And I don't know about the state that you're in, but in Ohio, it's certainly possible to self-insure your car; you just need to prove that you have tens of thousands of dollars put aside to pay for any damages you might cause. Not surprisingly, very few people take advantage of this.

    Mark Chu-Carroll has an excellent article on why insurance really sucks.

  6. Thanks for the correction, Wintermute. I'm just bitter. When I lived in Taiwan, we had universal healthcare for all residents. And we did it on a mere 6% tax rate. And in Japan, citizens are afforded up to three million dollars worth of medical care.

    Why can't the United States actually care for its own? I wouldn't mind at all paying higher taxes, provided I get the services for my money. And even if I never have to take advantage of it, I was under the impression that we WERE, in fact, our brothers' keepers.

  7. Oh, I agree entirely. As a British national recently moved to America, I'm well aware of how broken the US model is. People claim that moving to a socialised healthcare system would increase taxes (with the unspoken premise that paying to keep other people healthy is a bad thing), and yet never address the fact that Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Denmark and (according to the WHO) 42 other countries manage to provide cradle-to-grave healthcare far better than America's for less than a US citizen pays.

    Not "less than the total cost to the consumer", but "less than you pay in taxes alone". The costs paid to private insurers is pretty much a complete waste. Of course, taxes probably would increase, because governments are like that, but the increase would probably be more than offset by the pay raise everyone would get…

  8. In fact the British NHS is currently very inefficient, paying more to administrators and accountants than to doctors, but it still costs less than the US government pays (per person) to leave 10 million people unable to afford private health insurance but not covered by government programmes.

  9. Re taxes: looks like you can have either insurance or wars overseas, but not both.

    In the case of health insurance, lest we forget that medicine is a big business too, so there's more than one side to the story. Basically, there's a lot of money to be made by selling the illusion of financial security.

  10. Well, with regards to the insurance companies' claims, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it should be legislated like a duck. In other words, if it's essentially a christian medical insurance company, it should be treated like a medical insurance company. The only reason they have an additional 5% "administrative overhead" (i.e. profit) is because they aren't working with the same restrictions as other medical insurers.

    In fact, if you consider other insurer's treatment of some of their "customers" bad, the christian medical insurance is even worse.

  11. 1. We have universal health care already.

    2. I'm skeptical of "better for less" claims that cite only two data points for better and one for less, all three of which are heavily skewed by other factors… such as the vast amount that foreign citizens pay to come get health care here, or our insane drug policies, etc.

    UHC is not automatically good just because you think its compassionate.

  12. I think relevant data would be "actual cost of a doctor's visit".

    Another would be "accessibility of health care", which would consist of the doctor/patient ratio, the distance to the nearest doctor/clinic, and the average waiting time before consultation.

    I may be wrong, but I think most European contries score significantly better on all three.

    Whether this difference is due to the system, or something else, I don't know. But it merits looking into.

    I suspect a large factor in the difference is actually due to population density.

  13. Humans? In the US, at least. For example, taxpayers footed the bill for the exemplary cancer treatment my aunt received last year. The services ARE there.

    Should there be changes in government regulation of Health care? Yes. Is the european model neccessarily the right way to go? No. For example, I’ve never seen the data on immunization rates, 5 year cancer survival rates, diabetes treatment, post operative infection rates, and so forth… numbers that would actually mean something about the actual quality of health care in say, Norway, compared to the QOC in the US.

    Data points like infant mortality and life expectancy don’t inform us about health care policy, they inform us about something we already knew: we’re a society of fat, ignorant, violent, unhappy, imprisoned crack heads. Changing health care policy won’t change any of that.

  14. I have to say, I recall having much better access to healthcare when living in Asia than I do now, an an unemployed, uninsured American citizen.

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