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NYT Mocks Christians Who 'Just Trust God' with Health Care Sharing -- Here's the Truth

Samaritan Ministries International
Jan. 30, 2020

PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 30, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Ted Pittenger, founder and president of Samaritan Ministries International:

    A recent New York Times story by Reed Abelson about health care sharing organizations used Samaritan Ministries International members Mark and Caroline Collie for the opening of the piece. It had a catchy headline: "It Looks Like Health Insurance, but It's Not. 'Just Trust God,' Buyers Are Told." Unfortunately, the article misrepresented both the Collies' story and Samaritan Ministries, and both the Collies and Samaritan Ministries requested a correction, to no avail.

    Mark Collie gave us permission to post his email to the Times on our website. He describes his family's disappointment in the politicization of their very personal story. It is disheartening that the Times thinks it knows the Collies' story better than the Collies do.

    Although Samaritan Ministries has been sharing financial assistance and spiritual and emotional support among our members for more than 25 years, we recognize that the concept of health care sharing may be new to many and there may be misunderstandings. As we are not insurance, our terminology and method of directly sharing between families can understandably raise sincere questions.

    Some may question why a faith-based, community approach is so important to us. We believe health care should not be reduced to a transaction. Samaritan members are not "buyers" of a commodity. They're members of a community. Samaritan members are not numbers. Or accounts. Or a market to grow. They're human beings who are deeply loved by Jesus Christ, and who are worthy of being loved and cared for by the family of God.

    The Times headline, "Just trust God," was taken out of context and left out the fact that last year Samaritan members shared more than $300 million directly from one Christian family to another. Samaritan Ministries' trust in God is faith in action; we back up our heartfelt prayers and encouragement with money and sound governance, not just words.

    Transactional, commodity-based health care is dehumanizing. If we strip health care down to a commoditized, financial transaction, should we be surprised when we feel alone, when we have to fight to get care, when organizational practices and billing to patients lack transparency, when we get the nagging feeling that we're simply part of a system with an agenda, where others know our story better than we do?

    We believe our members' stories matter, that we're together on a journey of both healing and faith. And we believe that if we work together with all who are willing—whether a provider, the media, government or educators—day after day we can make health care just a little bit better.

(Read the full version of Samaritan Ministries' response here.)

SOURCE Samaritan Ministries International

CONTACT: Hamilton Strategies, 610-584-1096

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