During a radio interview recently, the host was shocked when I told him that Christians, generally, can get out of ObamaCare right now if they so choose. Really? How?
Many people are still not aware that health care sharing ministries like the one run by my friends at Samaritan Ministries lobbied and debated with Congress hard during the 2009 fight over ObamaCare. As a result of their efforts, and the nature and track record of the ministry, they earned an exemption from the individual mandate in ObamaCare for members of the sharing ministry.
Long story short, join Samaritan Ministries and you are exempt from ObamaCare’s individual mandate.
And this comes among the many other advantages of Samaritan, including the facts that sharing costs are in most cases much lower than insurance premiums, and that no money whatsoever ever funds or helps fund abortions, other planned-parenthood activities, or a variety of other sinful lifestyle consequences.
I was mildly amused a few days back to read an article from Reason.com called “Obamacare vs. Samaritan Health-Care Ministry: A Case Study.” The article is quite good in relating details and good case examples of Samaritan. But it carries what seems to me to be a pessimistic bias against the ministry. It says, “Samaritan may soon become a casualty of new incentives created by Obamacare,” because, “Under Obamacare, most Samaritan members will be able to purchase health insurance policies that offer richer benefits for lower prices, thanks to significant taxpayer subsidies.”
Samaritan’s vice president, James Lansberry, notes the obvious: Samaritan members join because of religious convictions, not merely financial benefits, especially government subsidies. But, the Reason author then argues, even just a tiny drop in membership can damage the ministry. It seems to me the guy wants the ministry to fail because of ObamaCare.
This amuses me somewhat because it shows an inherent tension of humanistic libertarianism. Note: Reason.com is not “liberal” like Slate or HuffPost. It is not pro-big-government. But it is not conservative or Christian, either. Rather, it is humanistic libertarian, as I said. It looks with scientistic, enlightened disdain upon faith and devout people of faith. In our God-gullibility and blind faith crutchism, we represent so much of what is holding back humanity.
So, Reason wants small government and liberty, but it does not know the Christ of liberty. It does not understand the sacrificial life necessary to reclaim liberty in a tyrannical world, nor does it understand the Christian faith necessary for such a sacrificial lifestyle to be viable among a group of people. Thus, it cannot believe that Christians will truly remain devout enough to maintain liberty when just a few hundred dollars of government subsidies are tossed their way.
What this article unwittingly shows is just that: maintaining freedom and liberty absolutely requires a devotion that transcends mere monetary incentives. Personal responsibility means personal effort and personal sacrifice, and without this, tyranny will inevitably grow. It also shows that despite all talk of enlightenment and scientific progress, Reason’s view of man is quite pessimistic: he can be herded instinctively under tyranny with mere economic incentive; he will not sacrifice to stand on principles of faith.
Sacrificing for liberty is, of course, one of the main themes of Restoring America One County at a Time, including the chapter on welfare and health care in which I first prescribed Samaritan Ministries as the Christian vaccination against ObamaCare. Read my relevant articles in chapter two, Welfare.
If you’d like to read the actual exemption for yourself, check out Section 1501(d)(2)(B) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act where “Religious Exemptions” for “Health Care Sharing Ministry” are encoded. The same law is repeated as Section 5000A(d)(2)(B) of the IRS Code.
Or you can just call Samaritan now and let them explain it to you. They will help you with any other questions as well.