30 August 2014

Christianity-based health care

"...one way Americans can avoid buying private insurance or paying into the Affordable Care Act.

The deal, made possible by a little-known provision in the health-care law, has one particularly important requirement: The Duff household of nine must abstain from general debauchery.

Samaritan Ministries, a health-care sharing group, will charge its national network to cover the family’s medical bills, but only if they agree to forsake binge-drinking, extramarital sex, illegal drugs and tobacco (with the exception of celebratory, post-birth cigars). The organization describes itself as a “Biblical approach” to health-care, guided by Galatians 6:2: Bear one another’s burdens...

Samaritan’s rules, however, extend beyond the religious realm to the practical one of saving money. Sinful behavior threatens more than a soul’s entrance to Heaven, Duff and his cohorts believe: It damages the earthly body — and amplifies the price of health-care.
Christians are just healthier people,” he says. “Think of all the physical problems we can attribute to a sinful lifestyle.”

Obamacare, the Samaritan contract states, is undesirable because it covers costs that “result from immoral practices,” such as STD treatments or out-of-wedlock births. The law creates a moral dilemma for Duff, who now works as an assistant pastor in downtown Omaha.

Simply put,” he says, “I don’t want to pay for that or encourage it in any way.
Neither do the estimated 100,000 other Samaritan users.
More at the Washington Post.


  1. Another example of people who do not understand what the fundamentals are of insurance. The point of insurance is that you cover yourselves as a group against a certain risk. And that everybody in that group is treated equally.

  2. The above comment reveals yet another example of not understanding insurance.

    Hello? People who pose a higher risk of needing a payout from a claim are supposed to pay higher premiums.

    Men face no pregnancy risk, no cervical cancer risk. Women face no prostate cancer risk. The fit face no risk for adult onset diabetes. Non-drinkers face no risk for alcoholic liver disease, a recognized cause of death by the CDC.


    1. You mean "type 2 diabetes." They don't call it adult-onset anymore, because 4-year-olds get it; but some adults do develop type 1.

  3. Actually, the fit face a reduced risk of adult-onset diabetes mellitus, not no risk at all.

  4. Another Christian group going against the words of the man whose name they use. No sinners allowed.

    1. I think you missed the point on this one completely.

      First, Biblically, everyone (Christians included) are sinners.

      Second, I don't see how this goes against the words of Jesus at all. Nobody is forced to join this group. Those who wish to do so agree to live in a certain way, which medical professionals will agree generally leads to a much higher quality of life, and thus far lower medical bills.

      This doesn't prevent the Christian from engaging in charity, except perhaps by having slightly fewer funds available to do that with. However, we can thank the individual mandate for that...

  5. As soon as someone needs that insurance, they'll probably be told that they must have secretly sinned, because how else would they have developed that disease/disorder? Reality is: non-smokers can get lung cancer, non-binge-drinkers can get liver diseases, and rape victims can get sexually transmitted diseases. This is what happens when people hate facts so much they will do anything to avoid them.

  6. I'm actually a member of the above agency - relatively new, as (due to being self employed) it offered a much less expensive alternative to the outrageously expensive insurance available.

    The primary benefit is the complete lack of a deductible and a much less expensive plan. The downside is that you are on your own for anything under the threshold (currently just over $400), which doesn't include preventative treatment - but we get those anyway.

    We've not yet used it (thankfully, our family of 5 has had no major medical issues in 14 years). However, contrary to what Chris has stated above, I am friends with two different families that have had massive medical issues. One family had an emergency room visit that cost them well over $10,000 a few years ago. That was taken care of completely. Another family I know had issues approaching $100,000 for the year. Completely covered.

    I think of it as the equivalent of catastrophic insurance that I used to favor as a young man, though a lot better (as there is no $10k deductible on this one).

  7. When someone I know was exclaiming about the benefits of Samaritan Ministries, I looked at their website out of curiosity. One type of condition that they do not cover is mental illness. No coverage at all. Was it because they believed mental illness was due to a lack of faith, a moral crisis of sorts?

    I called them to find out why. They were honest- mental health care is simply too costly.

    Not treating mental illness is costly in other ways. I don't know what message this sends to a religious community but I think people who have a mentally ill family member have enough worry and isolation and those who are Christian and seeking an alternative health plan would surely be discouraged to find yet another door closed.


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