Friday, March 28, 2014

A Journey to Trust

Trust is definitely a journey! But I will start with small things and eventually get to bigger things.

I prayed for healing and asked many others to pray for healing as I began to suffer from the dehydration that long term stomach viruses can sometimes cause. By the time I got to the doctor yesterday, even my blood pressure gave the telltale sign that I was too dehydrated to even have routine blood work done. They had to do an IV for hydration.

So now I am going to write something here. I know many of you know that I am a Christian and I do support the Affordable Care Act. Because it is personal for me. 

Before the ACA, I had a BCBS plan from 2003 that was a special open enrollment plan and heavily underwritten. In the end, it became nothing more than a catastrophic plan, essentially only covering major medical expenses. Under that plan, if I had needed the IV therapy I received yesterday, I would have either had to wait for pre-approval (which could have killed me) or been seen through the ER. Now, at that point, it would have cost $300 for facility plus $50 minimum for doctor plus the IV bag, IV tubing, needle, bandages, alcohol wipes. Grand total would have been a minimum of $500. 

But I have an ACA-compliant plan. And it is a gold level plan. And when they ran things through at the doctor's office (oncologist), it came back covered at 100% of the allowed amount. 

The ACA has essentially put the power back in the hands of the doctors and the patients and the patients' families! 

Now I want to express something here. You see a lot of people are intentionally spreading misinformation to dissuade people from signing up and getting insured. 

What the ACA is: 

1. A set of regulations by which all insurance companies must comply.
2. Protection for patients who have pre-existing conditions and for patients who get sick after getting insured. No more denials, no more drops, no more lifetime caps.
3. A list of ten essential benefits, though if I could change this I would make pediatric benefits optional and allow them to be exchanged with adult vision and dental. 

What the ACA is NOT: 

1. Insurance.

What the marketplace is:

1. A key to all available insurance plans in the area in which a person lives.

Who the marketplace is for:

1. People who make a minimum of $11,000 per year.
2. People who do not qualify for Medicaid either because their state did not expand the program or because they are not disabled.

What the marketplace does:

1. It uses the information the applicant provides to determine based on income and family dynamics whether a person is eligible to receive assistance with paying for his or her monthly premiums. 
2. It helps the applicant find the plan that best fits his or her needs and makes suggestions based on the provided information. 

Essentially, the ACA is still driven by the insurance industry. 

I used to think that the only place where Jesus really nails down exactly how the least of these is to be treated was in Matthew 25:31-46 until the other day when I ran into a passage in the book of Psalms where God said almost the exact same thing there too! It was Psalm 72:12-14.

Listen Christian, if you really are a Christian, then you need to throw yourself behind the ACA as much as you can. You need to throw yourself behind SNAP, SSI, SSDI, VA benefits, and any other social program that is helping the least of these. Are there parts of these programs that need to be fixed? Absolutely! But they need to be simply fixed. No more cries of repeals. No more cries of cuts. No more of that. Because when you do that, you are a bully and an abuser of the very people whom God says you need to show the most grace and compassion to.

Look, I experienced abuse and bullying as soon as a church learned that I have autism. It was wrong. And the friend I had knew it was wrong and did nothing about it and ended up committing an act of bullying and abuse himself. Instead of doing what God would have him to do and show me grace in a time when I needed it the most, he threw me under the bus and crushed me when I was already down.

And get this, I could go on being angry about it or I could do the one thing that I am now being advised and instructed to do. I could take the higher road and reach out to him with grace and love and compassion and forgiveness and then turn around and do the same for those people at his church that hurt me. And then I will have to trust that God will work things out. 

And all of this comes from the one simple act of trusting God to help heal me of the stomach virus that sent me into dehydration and caused me to need an IV that was covered by a new ACA compliant plan. 

One more thing: If you are a Christian, take note on this. Either you believe that God is sovereign and therefore everything under heaven that happens is part of His plan and His purpose including the fact that Obama is president and the ACA exists or you do not believe God is sovereign and you have to say it out loud in admission. For if God is sovereign, then you need to remember that Romans 13 says you are to pay your taxes and that you are to respect all authority under heaven that God places over you, and that includes the president, no matter how much you might not like him. Do you believe that God is sovereign? If so, stop the disrespect of the president. Stop calling him anything that is not his name. Stop complaining about a law that is helping millions of Americans every day. Stop complaining that some of your tax dollars are going to help people who may have fallen down on their luck. Just stop. Do you know what will happen if you truly embrace the sovereignty of God? You begin to feel at peace. About everything. And you begin to see God at work. In everything. And that is the most valuable thing that can possibly happen to someone. Trust me. I know. Because I am beginning to experience God in all His sovereignty now. 

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