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Tennessee Christians are replacing health insurance with ‘sharing ministries’ that require people to live Godly lives: report

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On Tuesday, Brett Kelman of The Tennessean wrote about a spike in the uninsured rate in Tennessee — driven in part by 31,000 Christians in the state foregoing health insurance in favor of church-backed “sharing ministries.”

These ministries are pitched as alternatives to medical coverage, but they are not health insurance at all — rather, they are better described as religious crowdfunding ventures where fellow congregants may cover your medical bills. But the key word is may. According to Kelman, “these groups don’t actually guarantee any payment, and if you break their rules by smoking pot or having unmarried sex, you are on your own.”

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They are also not bound by any of the Affordable Care Act regulations, meaning they can deny any essential benefits they want and deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. But with the added twist that for those who are refused coverage, they are urged to use faith and prayer as a substitute for medicine.

Such restrictions were demonstrated vividly two months ago, according to The New York Times, when one such group, Samaritan Ministries, allegedly refused to pay the entirety of medical expenses for a child named Blake Collie, whose family owed hundreds of thousands of dollars after he was hospitalized for a brain aneurysm. Samaritan Ministries, despite charging hundreds in “monthly share” fees, does not cover the cost of hospitalizations over $250,000 — and instructs patients who are denied to “just trust God.”

Samaritan Ministries broadly disputes the Times‘ characterization, claiming that they have an alternative program that helps people save to cover the cost of medical expenses over $250,000, and that Collie’s father has publicly stated he is satisfied with the organization.

Nevertheless, these “sharing ministries” join a number of groups that offer to pay certain medical expenses but are not qualified health plans — a problem that has snowballed as the Trump administration has enacted rules making it easier to sell “association” or “short-term” health plans that are exempt from most ACA rules.


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BUSTED: Cops fired for framing Stormy Daniels reportedly arrested on federal corruption charges

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On Tuesday, the Scioto Valley Guardian reported that two former Columbus police officers for the vice unit have been arrested on a number of federal charges.

Ex-Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster are the same officers who allegedly conspired to frame porn star Stormy Daniels, who became a national name after suing to get out of a nondisclosure agreement negotiated by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to bury the story of Trump's sexual affair with her.

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Authorities searching for spring breakers who flew from Cabo on private plane with 28 COVID-19 victims

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Texas authorities are on the lookout for a group of spring breakers who returned from Cabo San Lucas testing positive for the coronavirus.

According to Alyssa Goard at KXAN News, public health officials announced Tuesday that about a week and a half ago, about 70 students in their 20's flew back to the United States on a chartered plane while others used commercial flights. There are 28 youth from the trip who have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker onboard the plane using flight manifest from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time. Others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested. The Department of State Health Services has been notified.

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Never Trump conservative strategist punches back at Laura Ingraham for saying he’s ‘hoping for calamity’

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On Tuesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham lashed out at former GOP strategist and Never Trump conservative Steve Schmidt for criticizing President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of "hoping for calamity."

Another irrelevant NeverTrump former Republican “strategist” who sounds like he’s hoping for calamity. https://t.co/JrII3n4EkH

— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 31, 2020

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