What are we doing back in Hampton Roads, twice in one week? Today, checking on the future of health care:
Amanda Rooker doesn’t pay for health insurance. Instead, she pays a monthly share to cover other people’s health bills.
It’s part of a medical bill sharing program called Medi-Share, which claims an exemption from federal health reform’s individual mandate. Under the exemption, members of healthcare sharing ministries — organizations where members share financial resources to pay one another’s medical costs — are not required to carry insurance by 2014 or face penalties, according to Medi-Share.
I was a member of a similar organization when I owned my first horse, as a way of refilling the pot if my appaloosa went hooves-up some day, a trick horses are too well known for. The group was 1,000 strong or so, and when anyone’s animal died, everyone paid $5 and the owner collected $5,000. It’s a crude form of insurance, as is Medi-Share, which works the same way. Rooker joined because she can’t afford to join her husband’s employer-provided plan. The photo with the article was instructive, with dad sitting at one end of the couch with the couple’s two little boys on his lap (safe on the insurance ship) and mom at the other end (paddling her tippy little canoe alongside).
But she’s cool with Medi-Save, because she’s now far more motivated to practice “self-care and natural remedies,” and has only had to submit one bill to the group. Of course, she’s also 35. Barring an unlucky accident, family history or other catastrophe, most people are in the best health of their lives at 35. Medi-Save is also overtly Christian, and has a few stipulations:
Members must sign a statement of faith professing faith in Jesus Christ and agree not to engage in sex outside of traditional Christian marriage, use tobacco or illegal drugs or abuse legal drugs or alcohol.
They also can’t use the service for birth control, abortions or boob jobs. And Rooker also acknowledges it’s not for everyone:
“I don’t think it would work well for people who have babies or small children who want to have their immunizations and well checks,” she added.
No, I guess not. In general, it sounds like it wouldn’t work very well for anyone other than an essentially healthy Christian married woman who doesn’t want new breasts. I wonder what the group assessment would be for, say, breast cancer. Story doesn’t say. Rooker thinks more people should look into groups like Medi-Save, because it’s such a good idea.
Mark my words: As we divide into two countries, haves and have-nots, we’re going to see more of this sort of thing. I’m simultaneously heartened that at least someone is looking at an alternative to outrageously expensive health insurance and depressed that this is what it’s come to in the wealthiest nation in the world. I once had a boss who wore a large scar on his jawline, the result, he said, of having a childhood laceration repaired by a veterinarian. Which was all his parents could afford when he was young. I’ve actually read conservative commentators saying this is as it should be, that we should be prepared to handle most non-traumatic health-care at home, the way the early settlers did. I look forward to learning basic suturing and bone-setting skills at a for-profit do-it-yourself school, maybe part of the Halliburton family of companies. Or maybe my vet can show me a few tricks.
So, a little bloggage on a morning when the sun is late to work but winter is right behind:
Jay Rosen, speaking the dang truth about Andrew Breitbart, and why news organizations need to stop being so goddamn stupid.
Meet the people who will be keeping Jon Stewart in high cotton for the next few years.
I need an OID palate-cleanser…OK, here’s one: We have the world’s stupidest criminals.
No, wait, a real one, from Coozledad:
We were fortunate she never walked in on us during a waxing October moon, but she did crash our marijuana-enhanced viewing of Around the World in Eighty Days- a fairly long movie, which she stayed for- and talked ceaselessly throughout.
Her speech was a hybrid of Southern Virginia glottal vowels and a unique fetal-alcoholic disregard of consonants that made me wish David Niven would leap out of the screen and throttle her for murdering his tongue.
Coozledad, the universe is telling you something, and it’s this: WRITE A BOOK.
And with that, I’m going to the gym, and then I’m going to write something I want to write. Dunno what, yet. Just going to turn off the modem and see what comes up.