182 Comments

Only religion could take one of the scummiest industries in human history and somehow make it even worse.

Expand full comment

They are incapable of making ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ better. Making it worse is the default.

Expand full comment
Nov 8, 2023ยทedited Nov 8, 2023

"these products are โ€œaffordable alternatives for health careโ€. well, they are affordable, and they are alternatives. So there is no deception going on at all /s

Meanwhile, I have to say that I agree with Melanoma on this one. "I don't really care. Do U?" I'm afraid that my milk of human kindness is starting to lose some of its butter fat. I have watched these idiots destroy themselves, and try to destroy our country. They are impervious to anything remotely resembling facts, logic, and experience. They attack, malign, slander, revile, lie, and excuse any immorality or corruption as long as it agrees with what they heard on Fox or read when they consulted with Doctor Fecebook.

There is simply no reaching them. I would never advocate for their oppression or eradication, because I'm not a Nazi. But as I was saying during the pandemic, they have demonstrated repeatedly a complete disregard for the well-being of others, for the safety of our democracy, for science, medicine, facts, logic, and experience. If they are really so hell-bent, so to speak, on destruction and tearing down the good things in society in favor of their ideological stances, then I'm not going to lose any sleep over it when they find it.

Expand full comment

Well, it is because they have been taught to BELIEVE... If you are credulous enough to believe that a snake can talk a woman into eating an apple which dooms the entire human race, forever after, to Hell and all the other deeply held religious beliefs this one and others hold, you are too stupid to be running around loose in society without having a legal guardian to keep you out of trouble.

Expand full comment

I see your point, and I agree with it more or less. But as I have often said, I don't really care what people believe. What I care about is what they do with it. So believe in the talking snake if you need to, but don't tell me that your belief in the talking snake should supersede my right to live my life as I see fit.

Expand full comment

But that is not the way they want it. They are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to deny your right to live your life as you see fit, because your very existence means that someone is openly challenging their beliefs. this kind of mentality is what makes totalitarian dictatorships possible, when it becomes part of 'the mainstream'. I would love to see a medical trial testing peoples' hypnotizability against their political and religious beliefs.

Expand full comment

And that I absolutely agree with. Their immorality in the defense of what they call morality means that they cannot be trusted with anything.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

YHVH has so many issues this psychiatrist could make a fortune off of him.

Expand full comment

2 psychiatists will get rich. The first will need therapy too.

Expand full comment

๐ธ๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘™๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’ ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ฆ ๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘’๐‘™๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’. ๐ผ๐‘ก'๐‘  โ„Ž๐‘œ๐‘ค ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ฆ ๐ต๐ธ๐ป๐ด๐‘‰๐ธ ๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘Ž ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘™๐‘ก ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ค๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘˜๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’.

-- โ€œMentalGent,โ€ late of The Experience Project

MG was a good friend of mine back in those days, and this was among many thoughtful quotes I managed to save of his.

Expand full comment

Precisely the same idea. It underlines the very nature of tolerance.

Expand full comment

I go through those phases too.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Awwwww. Thanks.

Expand full comment

I used to work in the financial office of a nursing home. I remember the shelf containing books of regulations we had to operate under. Regulations that existed because in the early days of nursing homes they were run in ways that would make your hair curl. One lesson I've learned from the various industries I've worked in over the years: no industry starts with regulations; they all screw people over enough that the government has to step in and create regulations to keep them relatively honest. And we all know even that isn't usually enough.

Expand full comment

Knowing how they tend to be run now makes me shudder to think of what they may have done before any regulations.

Expand full comment

Every regulation is written in blood.

Expand full comment

Sadly for those who shed the blood, you are probably right about USA. Probably for the rest of the world too. The difference is that some learn and act accordingly. USA seems to stay in a nightmarish fantasy world.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

This is really sad.

Expand full comment

You just know when religion is involved, it never ends well for anyone, but the perennial grifters. Can anyone say, โ€œprosperity ministries?โ€

Of course, faithful Christianโ€™s, could ask themselves what Jesus would do? Although, Iโ€™m pretty sure Ministry Healthcare Insurance wouldnโ€™t be on the top of his list.

However, since hardly anything useful is covered by these charlatans, especially OBGYN coverage, Christianโ€™s could just โ€œpray it away!โ€

Iโ€™d personally offer โ€œthoughts and prayers,โ€ but unfortunately, after all the mass school shootings, Iโ€™m too exhausted to care about some idiots who actually believe their fellow Christianโ€™s wouldnโ€™t take advantage of them....:)

Expand full comment

Women are so lucky they are "pro-life". I am surprised newborn and infant care didn't join the list of things not covered.

Expand full comment

How much you want to bet they arenโ€™t? On average, the cost of a new born from conception to birth is between $40k and $150k, depending on the cost of living in the state or county and the doctors involved.

From birth to 18, healthcare costs average $2-3 million. These plans are nothing more than catastrophic coverage with very high deductibles, before these charlatans payout a penny...:)

Expand full comment

I am wiling to bet 100 Frcs.

Expand full comment

Too bad the French are on the euro, otherwise Iโ€™d take that bet; unless weโ€™re talking Swiss Francs...:)

Expand full comment

Belgian Francs.

Expand full comment

What's the exchange rate in Waffles?

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

I love Mencken, hereโ€™s another appropriate quote to explain these idiots:

โ€œDemocracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.โ€

Another good one, I quote often is, โ€œcomplex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers!โ€

Expand full comment
Nov 8, 2023ยทedited Nov 8, 2023

Is it my imagination, or has American Christianity become nothing ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต a scam and a grift?

Expand full comment

Become...?

Expand full comment

Well, there was that one time. But it was just the one day, and it was many decades ago...

Expand full comment

What Joan said.

Insurance companies already have way too much leeway in deciding what or who gets covered. And they already play fast and loose with the language surrounding healthcare. What is elective, what can be managed through least invasive vs. effective means, what needs a referral and why. The paperwork is intentionally overwhelming and even a standard of denial at first blush makes folks lose hope and give up so the insurance companies just do not have to shoulder their responsibilities. Theyโ€™re there to appease their shareholders, not provide care.

These companies are the worst, until religion is added. Then, all bets are off. They charge a fee for what? For telling the premium payers where to send their money. They donโ€™t even collect it for their customers. Itโ€™s not really that similar to insurance, itโ€™s closer to go fund me or other similar services. Then the added judgement.

Also, I thought they were pro life, but donโ€™t bother providing maternity care? Itโ€™s only about passing judgement on others in their most vulnerable moments. Why shouldnโ€™t these just be legally eliminated as options? Even with the veneer of religious freedom, theyโ€™re not effective and donโ€™t do anything close to what they claim.

Another argument for single payer healthcare. Eat the GOP and make this country great for once.

Expand full comment

Yup. Insurance is an industry which is only able to turn a profit because it works so hard to ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต do what its customers pay it to do. It's effectively gambling, except the customer is the ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ instead of the ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ- the shareholders are betting that you won't be able to get what they promised you out of their Byzantine bureaucracy before you give up or kick off (at which point it becomes the ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ insurance industry's problem, because you can't even ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ in this fucking country without leaving your next of kin up to their ears in debt). It's the most cynical, most predatory, most unethical business model I can imagine without involving any actual illegal activity- and even that's only because ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ lobbyists wrote the damned laws governing their conduct!

Add a little religion to that shit stew, and what little accountability there ever was for it goes right out the nearest window.

Expand full comment
Nov 8, 2023ยทedited Nov 8, 2023

On top of all that, it's really inappropriate to lump *predictable costs/expenditures* into "insurance." That hurts everyone - insurance companies who have to raise their rates, consumers who have to fight with them, and the offices that have to go through them to hand a bill to a customer. I know conservatives don't like socialized health insurance, but even they should see the sanity in having the government work with doctors offices to cover things like checkups and preventative care. Whether you will need chemo for lung cancer is a valid insurance gamble. Whether you will need to get a breast cancer screening or colon cancer screening in your '50s is not. Those things simply have nothing to do with the insurance-risk model of service.

Expand full comment

Medicare and the VA prove that, where some form of socialized healthcare is available in this country, even if the system governing it is deeply flawed, it is ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜บ popular with the people who are able to access it- even if they're conservatives. I know conservatives who'd rather let go of their ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด than let anybody lay a single digit on their ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ healthcare.

Socialization of preventative care ๐˜ช๐˜ด probably the best wedge to use in arguing for universal healthcare... everybody needs it, so it's easier to argue that everyone should pay for it. After that, emergency care, because anyone might need ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต at any time because of some unavoidable calamity. Lather, rinse, repeat... until the whole industry has gone single-payer and getting the runaround from an insurance company is just something people tell "back in my day" stories to their grandkids about.

Y'know, ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ the GQP doesn't drive our democracy off a cliff before we can get enough votes in Congress to make it happen.

Expand full comment

And it's everywhere. I had to cancel my medical insurance from I turned sixty-five, because they put premiums up to about 5X what I was paying before. I think it worked out at about $8000 a year, which is probably peanuts to Americans but I just decided to rely on the subsidised national health system.

Expand full comment

a blast from the past.

https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1722272954346782934

Issue 1 in Ohio won over a half a million votes, sorry but that is not cheating.

Expand full comment

A comment I posted in another Substack that several took exception to:

People enraged over being required to wear a mask or get a vaccine shot are surprised over the number of people opposed to forced pregnancies.

Expand full comment

but they care about life you see.... except for actual people who are currently struggling

Expand full comment

Dave Daubenmire, entry #607 in the Encyclopedia of American Loons

https://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/06/607-dave-daubenmire.html

Expand full comment

Seems Muckenmire's not averse to cheating when he does it.

And what's with that cap of his? Isn't that a violation of the 2nd Commandment?

Expand full comment
Nov 9, 2023ยทedited Nov 9, 2023

Yep, they live under the delusion that the majority of Americans agree with them on everything. They really are mentally ill. I like they way he ignores that the majority of people live in big cities.

Dave you're https://youtu.be/g3YD5v9w_3M

Expand full comment

[๐‘‡]โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘‘๐‘ข๐‘๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ โ€œ๐‘Ž๐‘“๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’โ€ ... sure, if you can afford to pay into something for which you'll never get a return! Sorta reminds me of Jim and Tammy Fae's Heritage, USA, except that instead of water slides and roller coasters you never get to ride, there's surgery and doctor visits and prescription drug compensation you never get!. And predictably, they victimize those who are least able to afford the inevitable losses.

Beyond despicable.

Expand full comment

It's all based on a religion that makes false promises, takes your money and never gives you a single thing in return.

How could faith-based HCSMs be anything else?

Expand full comment

Indeed ... [he shakes his head sadly]

Expand full comment

Imagine that. It takes the efforts of a humanist to make the bible-waving morality merchants accountable for their immorality.

Then again, when was it ever otherwise? Christians have shown time and again that they are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

The one their god created and finds it impossible to defeat.

Expand full comment

and their god according to them has unlimited power and magic

Expand full comment

All-knowing, yet not very smart.

Expand full comment

Sharing Ministries?

No!

Swindling Ministries is much more like it.

Expand full comment

Sharing your money with themselves.

Expand full comment

SWINDLING MINISTRIES: "All right, Lord. We're going to throw all this money into the air. Whatever you grab is yours."

Expand full comment

I remember that joke.

Expand full comment

"Now the guy's got Jesus as a doctor. Any problems, he goes to Jesus. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Jesus. Trouble with the meds, doctors, Satan, he can call Jesus. But now the guy's gotta come up with Jesus's money every week, no matter what. Health bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a heart attack? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me. "

Saint Henry Hill, in Godfellas 1:15

Expand full comment

As I was reading this article, I was thinking to myself I could probably do the same thing more honestly, provide more coverage, and still make something of a profit. At this point, the bar is so low you'd need a backhoe to get to it. (No maternity care?!?!? Seriously? Just put up a sign that says "We hate women and will do our best to kill them" why don't you?)

I must admit I'm wishing I had the resources to do it in some ways. Traditional insurance certainly doesn't appear to be doing the US of A any favors, and who doesn't need need medical coverage these days? I'll also just come out and admit that the idea of an 'atheist' health sharing network that does everything twice as well as its Christian counterparts was a delicious irony. While creating such a network probably won't solve all the current problems in the health care industry, at this point solving even just a few problems is better than what we've got.

The way these companies act is deplorable, and they're getting away with it in part because they're hiding behind a Christian label and in part because they're pretending they aren't insurance. In a weird way, it's Schrรถdinger's Insurance: if the government is asking, then it's not, but if they're trying to sell to the public, then it must be. Here's hoping the bill passes, even if odds are not in favor at the moment.

Expand full comment

DM has a health insurance for the few things that's not completely covered (about a third). She didn't pay a cent for her meds in years, like other insured people, yet with the amount of money spent on commercials I doubt insurance companies are starving.

Expand full comment

Not at all.

๐€๐๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ข๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ญ๐ก ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐’๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐จ ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

https://www.statista.com/statistics/470641/accident-and-health-insurance-industry-ad-spend-usa/

๐€๐๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ง๐๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐”๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐’๐ญ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

https://www.statista.com/statistics/264968/ad-spend-of-selected-insurance-companies-in-the-us/

Expand full comment

Katie Porter did a great breakdown of the insurance industry not too long ago, where she illustrated how much of the dollar in premiums goes to advertising, which was terrible, but no where near what they spend on stock buybacks. Which is the real travesty. The corruption is so bad on so many levels, it makes me lose hope we can change anything, sometimes.

Expand full comment

I wish we had a politician like her โ€“ I'd have her babies.

Expand full comment
Nov 8, 2023ยทedited Nov 8, 2023

I get scam calls every day trying to sell part 3 insurance.

Expand full comment
Nov 8, 2023ยทedited Nov 8, 2023

Given that most of these people believe that Christian companies operate on a higher ethical plane than "secular" companies, will it make any difference? I suspect not a lot.

Edit: where is everyone today?

Expand full comment

I am on DM's couch.

Expand full comment

Beats a hospital bed.

Expand full comment

Depends. The reanimation bed with the mattress who readjust itself when you move wasn't bad. The shitty part was being on it 24/7.

Expand full comment

Only reason I didn't comment earlier is because I'm at work and thete is no rest when looking after small children (at least until naptime).

Expand full comment

I am home, sitting in my coach with my husband. Where I should have been was at a meeting with some fellow archivists/record keepers an learn more about EUs draft for regulation regarding AI. And where is the crying emoji?

Expand full comment

๐Ÿ˜ข

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

This one maybe: ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Or this: ๐Ÿ˜‡

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

On the keyboard, press/hold down the Windows key and then press the period key.

Expand full comment

I thought we said no more menstrual jokes. Period.

Expand full comment

On my Samsung keyboard. On the row above the regular characters there are an arrow pointing to the left. Press that and you get a lot of choises.

Expand full comment

This article didnโ€™t show up for me until 30 minutes ago.

Expand full comment

How did tRump miss out on this grift?

Expand full comment

It's right there in his big, beautiful health care plan he repeatedly promised to replace the horrible Obamacare.

Expand full comment

Got roped into one of these plans. It was totally misrepresented until Iโ€™d signed up

Expand full comment

I had forgotten about this wonderful John Oliver bit. I lived in Florida at the time and bought one of those "kits." I still have it.

Expand full comment