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The Obamacare 'scandal' you haven't heard about
Few Bible Belt pastors mention what's in their backyard, millions of poor people trapped in the Obamacare “coverage gap.”
November 8th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

The Obamacare 'scandal' you haven't heard about

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - The Rev. Timothy McDonald gripped the pulpit with both hands, locked eyes with the shouting worshippers, and decided to speak the unspeakable.

The bespectacled Baptist minister was not confessing to a scandalous love affair or the theft of church funds. He brought up another taboo: the millions of poor Americans who won’t get health insurance beginning in January because their states refused to accept Obamacare.

McDonald cited a New Testament passage in which Jesus gathered the 5,000 and fed them with five loaves and two fishes. Members of his congregation bolted to their feet and yelled, “C’mon preacher” and “Yessir” as his voice rose in righteous anger.

“What I like about our God is that he doesn’t throw people away,” McDonald told First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta during a recent Sunday service. “There will be health care for every American. Don’t you worry when they try to cast you aside.  Just say I’m a leftover for God and leftovers just taste better the next day!”

McDonald’s congregation cheered, but his is a voice crying in the wilderness. He’s willing to condemn state leaders whose refusal to accept Obamacare has left nearly 5 million poor Americans without health coverage. But few of the most famous pastors in the Bible Belt will join him.

Joel Osteen? Bishop T.D. Jakes, and other prominent pastors throughout the South?

Like McDonald, they preach in states where crosses and church steeples dot the skyline yet the poor can’t get the health insurance they would receive if they lived elsewhere. All declined to comment.

When people talk about the Affordable Care Act, most focus on the troubled launch of its website. But another complication of the law has received less attention: a “coverage gap” that will leave nearly 5 million poor Americans without health care, according to a Kaiser Health Foundation study.

Learn more from Kaiser about the coverage gap in states that refused Obamacare

The coverage gap was created when 25 states refused to accept the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. The people who fall into this gap make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to qualify for Obamacare subsidies in their state insurance exchanges. If they lived elsewhere, they would probably get insurance. But because they live in a state that refused the new health care law, they likely will remain among the nation’s uninsured poor after Obamacare coverage kicks in come January.

The coverage gap has been treated as a political issue, but there is a religious irony to the gap that has been ignored.

Most of the people who fall into the coverage gap live in the Bible Belt, a 14-state region in the South stretching from North Carolina to Texas and Florida. The Bible Belt is the most overtly Christian region in the country, filled with megachurches and pastors who are treated like celebrities.  All but two Bible Belt states have refused to accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

Should Bible Belt pastors say anything publicly about the millions of poor people in their communities stranded by the coverage gap? Is it anti-Christian for state leaders to turn down help for the people Jesus called “the least of these"? Or should pastors say nothing publicly about such issues because they are strictly political?

CNN's Sanjay Gupta explains who falls into the coverage gap

Who speaks for the poor in the coverage gap?

When these questions were sent to many of the most popular pastors in the Bible Belt, they hit a wall of silence. Virtually no prominent pastor wanted to talk about the uninsured poor in their midst.

Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest church in the nation, declined to be interviewed about the subject. So did Bishop T.D. Jakes. Their megachurches are both in Texas, the state with the nation’s highest number of people without health insurance.

Max Lucado, the best-selling Christian author who is a minister at a church in Texas, declined to speak; Charles Stanley, the Southern Baptist pastor in Georgia whose In Touch Ministries reaches millions around the globe, declined to speak; Ed Young Sr. and Ed Young Jr., a father and son in Texas who pastor two of the fastest-growing churches in the nation, also declined to speak. 

Bishop T.D. Jakes declined to talk about the millions of poor people stranded in the “coverage gap."

The list goes on.

The silence is not hard to understand. Obamacare is a polarizing political issue in the Bible Belt. A pastor who publicly weighs in on the subject could divide his or her congregation or risk their job. And some prominent pastors like Osteen are popular in part because they  do not alienate fans by taking political stands.

The Rev. Phil Wages, senior pastor Winterville First Baptist Church in Georgia and a blogger, was one of the few Bible Belt ministers willing to speak on the subject.

He says he won’t preach about the coverage gap created by the state’s rejection of the Medicaid expansion because he has what he calls theological differences with the thrust of the new health care law.

Wages says the Bible teaches that the care of orphans, widows and the sick are given to the church, not to the government. Early Christians were the first to create hospitals, orphanages and hospices.

“I have an issue with the government coming in to get money through me - through taxes - to take care of people, when my argument is that I should be free to give to charities or to my church in order to take care of the sick and destitute,” he says.

Wages says he has no doubt that lack of health insurance is a monumental problem, and that many people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control. Yet there is no New Testament example of Jesus trying to shape public policy on behalf of the poor.

“I do not see any biblical precedent where Jesus ever went to Herod or Pilate and said you should be taking care of the poor,” Wages says. “Jesus told his disciples to take care of the poor and the apostles said the same thing to the early church.”

Wages’ position is impractical and unbiblical, says Ronald Sider, a longtime advocate for the poor and author of “The Scandal of Evangelical Politics."

Churches and charities don’t have enough resources to take care of an estimated 48 million Americans who don’t have health care. The Bible is filled with examples of God's fury over economic oppression of the poor, which Christians should regard as scandalous, he says.

“If you are not sharing God’s concern for the poor, it raises huge questions about whether you are a Christian at all,” he says about pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor.

“As God’s spokespersons, you ought to be talking about God’s concern for the poor as much as God. In the richest nation in world history, it’s contradictory to have millions without health insurance.”

“It absolutely stinks”

The coverage gap may inspire a religious debate, but for its victims the issue is raw and personal.

A recent New York Times article about the coverage gap revealed that many of its victims are the working poor: cooks, cashiers, sales clerks and waitresses.

“These are people who are working people but they haven’t been able to afford health insurance or their employers don’t offer it and they’re stuck,” says Andy Miller, editor of Georgia Health News, a nonprofit news organization that covers health news in the state. “A lot of these folks have chronic health conditions.”

They are people like Shelley “Myra” Mitchell, a single mom with four children who makes $9 an hour working at a Chick-fil-A in Georgia. She makes $18,000 a year – too much for Georgia’s existing Medicaid program, but not enough to qualify for subsidies to sign up for Obamacare’s insurance marketplace in Georgia.

Mitchell’s voice grew edgy with frustration when asked to describe her health needs. She rang up about $20,000 in emergency room bills because she has no health insurance. She can’t afford to get pap smears, go to the dentist or get surgery for a two-year-old hernia. She can’t take medication for her depression and anxiety because she can’t afford it.

She thought she could get help under Obamacare but recently learned she can’t because Georgia did not accept the law’s Medicaid expansion.

“It stinks,” she says. “I’ve been dealing with this hernia for two years now, and I can’t get anyone to help me because I don’t have health insurance. It absolutely stinks.”

Why pastors should stay silent about the coverage gap

Mitchell’s plight may stink. But at what point should a pastor go public on such a complex issue, and what could he or she actually say?

Two prominent evangelical pastors openly wrestled with those questions.

Andy Stanley is one of the most popular evangelical pastors in the nation. He is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, a megachurch with at least 33,000 members. He is also the author of the forthcoming book “How to be Rich,” which urges Christians to be "rich in good deeds" instead of wealth. His church recently announced that it donated $5.2 million to Atlanta charities and provided another 34,000 volunteer hours.

Joel Osteen has the largest church in America. He also declined to speak about the coverage gap.

Stanley says the coverage gap disturbs him. The church cannot handle the needs of millions of uninsured people alone and should quit taking shots at government involvement, he says. But he adds that it’s not anti-Christian for political leaders in states like Georgia to turn down the Medicaid expansion for the poor.

“If you really want to know how concerned someone is for the poor ask them what percentage of their personal money they give to organizations that help the poor,” he says. “Ask them how much time they give to organizations that help the poor.”

Stanley says it would be difficult for any pastor to talk about the Medicaid expansion without addressing the entire law.

“I tried to imagine a scenario where I urged people to write our governor encouraging him to reconsider his decision regarding the expansion of Medicaid for the poor,” he says. “As I imagined that, I got the feeling that by the time I finished explaining the issue, people’s eyes would be glazed over.”

Pastors who don't preach one way or the other on Medicaid expansion aren't callous or apathetic, says Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. They may be suspicious of a bigger government and skeptical of whether this move will solve the problem.

“The Bible calls on Christians to answer the cries of the poor,” he says. “All Christians must do that. The question of the Medicaid expansion is a question of how we do that. I don’t hear many people arguing that we shouldn’t care about the plight of the poor when it comes to medical care. The question is a genuine debate about the role of the state.”

Moore says some people have a “utopian view” of what state power can accomplish.

“Government programs sometimes encourage dependency, unintentionally break down family structures, and become unsustainable financially,” Moore says.

Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel megachurch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wondered aloud about what he could, and should, say.

Florida, which has the second highest number of people without health insurance behind Texas, has not accepted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Coy says he hasn’t spoken publicly about poor people missing health coverage in Florida. But he has called the governor to get more information.

“I’m not an activist guy. I don’t tell the government what to do. I am a church guy. I teach the Bible.”

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for the poor, though, Coy says. He grew up in a poor family that couldn’t afford to go to the dentist. His church also spends a large percentage of its budget on serving the poor.

Coy says he is suspicious of large-scale programs that are publicly funded because they are often abused.

“One side of our society is saying, 'We need this,' while on the other side is saying, 'This isn’t fair and isn’t going to work.’ So how should a pastor, who has a heart to help people, respond?”

Why pastors should speak out

The Rev. Shane Stanford’s answer to Coy is simple: Talk about justice for the poor like Jesus did.

Stanford is the senior pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis and author of “Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants.”

He is also HIV-positive. He was born a hemophiliac and contracted the virus when he was 16 during treatment for his illness.

Stanford says he publicly speaks out about the millions of Americans stranded without health coverage because he knows how it feels. Once, after heart surgery, he was getting a transfusion when a nurse came into the room and pulled the needle out of his arm because she said he had maxed out his health insurance coverage.

He says standing up for people in the coverage gap is a matter of justice.

“Sometimes pastors have to tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear.”

Stanford ignores fellow pastors who counsel him to be silent about his state and others that refused to accept the Medicaid expansion.

“They say you have to be careful talking about political issues,” he says. “When I look at their lives, part of me thinks they never had that needle yanked out of their arm.”

Conservative pastors who urge their colleagues to avoid politics are hypocrites, says James Cone, a prominent theologian who has spent much of his career writing books condemning white churches for what he says is their indifference to social justice.

“When their own interests are involved, they are very much involved in politics,” Cone says. “Same-sex marriage and abortion – they have no trouble politically opposing them.”

Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, says a nation is defined by how it treats its most vulnerable members. But there is an entrenched hostility to poor people in America that goes unchallenged by some white, conservative Christians, he says.

“When poor people get food stamps, they get mad,” Cone says. “When the rich and corporations get tax breaks and pay no taxes, they don’t say anything.”

McDonald, the pastor who spoke out on behalf of poor people from his Atlanta church, says Jesus provided universal health care. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing marginalized people.

“He did it for free,” McDonald says of Jesus’ healing. “The reason the crowds gathered around Jesus primarily was for healing. People want wholeness.”

Perhaps the gap between Bible Belt pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor and those who do is also rooted in history. 

Conservative Christians have traditionally emphasized providing charity to the poor - soup kitchens, donations to impoverished people in undeveloped countries - while progressive Christians have blended charity with calls for public policy changes that help the poor.

The distinction between both approaches was distilled by a memorable quote from the late Brazilian Roman Catholic Bishop Dom Helder Camara, who said: "When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why so many people are poor they call me a communist."

That may be changing as a new generation of evangelicals rise in the Bible Belt and elsewhere. One minister who speaks to them is the Rev. Timothy Keller, a conservative Christian author who pastors a megachurch in New York.

Keller is the author of “Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just,” a popular book that argues that evangelicals should do more than preach personal salvation; they must “speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.” He is a role model for many younger evangelicals.

“God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to ‘do justice.’ ’’

CNN.com recently contacted Keller to see if he would talk about "Generous Justice" and how it might apply to health care and the poor. Did he think pastors in Bible Belt states should say anything publicly on behalf of poor people being denied basic medical insurance? His publicist said she would contact Keller with the request.

Several days later, she returned with Keller’s answer.

He had no comment. 

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Baptist • Barack Obama • Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Courts • Culture wars • Ethics • evangelicals • Fundamentalism • Politics • Poverty

soundoff (3,619 Responses)
  1. logic rules

    What a lame article...how about the states that refused medicare because of ideology....is that what Jesus would do? Please

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  2. jenncoolva

    Tavis Smiley hit the nail on the head in the 2008 election cycle. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/26/sunday/commentaries/main20083760.shtml

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  3. shina

    I thought church and politics don't mix. Obama is a scam on taxpayers. This pastor should tell Obama to resign for LYING to the American people.

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  4. ora pike

    every time any church takes exactly what the bible says--and it anything to do with government like abortion-these CNN Joseph Goebbels sound a likes-yell separation of church and state so this article is dumb and dumber. WE as in us southern people do not want big government-check what the founders of our country had to say-they were totally against big government and to have socialistic health system???? NEXT THE SOCIALIST WILL GO AFTER EDUCATION AND OR ENERGY USING THE ENVIRONMENT AS AN EXCUSE. We are headed down to government by the government, for the government, etc. and that is why us church people do not want big brother making our decisions. fyi--will match you dollar for dollar for helping poor people. Baby Biden only donated $5,500 for the whole year and is worried about helping the poor???? no he and his sweet buddie obama wants control but let the government put up OUR money.

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • nora spike

      ora, America's problems rest not within socialism, nor with Obamacare, but within the stupidity of folk like you.

      A capitalist economy benefits from a healthy, capable population. Get a brain and get over your ill-founded biases, stupid.

      Thanks, sort of.
      An Ardent Capitalist

      November 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  5. hendrick

    CNN spins page after page to attack the Church from every conceivable angle and now grovels for a morsel of kind words from the same Church to give its favorite, Obama, cover?

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  6. BB

    This country was better when only white, male property owners twenty-one or older could vote.

    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  7. KC

    To the minister who says that churches should be providing health care to the poor...ummm....yes....waiting? What are you doing as a minister of the church? Do you have health care? America, a third world country when it comes to health care. Those who oppose it should be ashamed. Especially if they are denying coverage to others when they have it themselves. What a joke those "ministers, pastors" are.

    November 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Tonto

      Are 30 million people incapable of getting their own insurance. Is the bloated, inefficient, debt-ridden, corrupt, government the only way that they can find insurance. I don't think so. Should the $17 trillion upside government give them a car, a house, a phone, a TV and shoes. Give it up, It is the lamest argument that ever was!

      November 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tonto

      And, let's let the IRS oversee it and give them 15,000 more workers to find out where you live and what party you belong to- to see if you should be audited. Yes, let's do that!

      November 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  8. belinda

    Theological differences ? Why don't they just come out and say the ugly truth. That politics is more important to them than religion. If Jesus were here today, he would be disgusted.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Big GUy

      Yah we keep forgetting how much the democrats stand up for religion jeezes.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  9. QS

    I still can't get past the idea that religious people seem to believe that the only reason and way to give to charity and help the poor is through the church.

    They seem to be saying that charity should only be done for recognition. As if doing it in person themselves will make sure "god" knows they were charitable.

    The only reason I can conclude that they think this is because it's a way for them to punch their entrance ticket into heaven upon death.

    This version of "god" seems very petty if it would punish you because you helped the poor through taxes rather than through the church.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Iowafalcon

      I still can't get past the idea that statists seem to believe that the and way to give to charity and help the poor is through the government.

      Seriously, open your eyes. Listen to our arguments. We give to many, many charities outside of the Church, and plenty within. We do it for a simple reason. Jesus gave grace to us, and we are to emulate Him.

      The thing is, we have also been given a concept called stewardship. That concept means that we are to use our resources appropriately and wisely to do the most good. Simply voting to steal someone else's resources to give to anyone who makes never-ending poor choices is not stewardship.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  10. AS

    Isn't the real question, CNN, how did Obama force such a screwed up program and incompetently implemented on the US? What is he doing about it?

    November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Maddy

      Do you imagine that SS wasn't bumpy at rollout? Or, more recently, Medicare part D wasn't bumpy? Please think again.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • Iowafalcon

        and both continue to be disasters that impoverish people.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • sheila lauder

      I keep wondering if the people who wrote this law were closet Republicans? Or perhaps folks for whom English was a second language? Every day seems to bring some new crack in the program. What a shame. Nevertheless, our feet are on the road and it will turn from a slippery slope into something essential and to be values by all of us.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  11. shina

    If you want to help them, teach them the skills to fend for themselves

    November 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  12. STEVEN

    Accept the Medicaid expansion which would cost the state very little money and give countless real dollars to the communities in these states. And jobs. And healthcare. People tend to forget that medicaid expansion not only means healthcare but actual money going into communities. Dollars that pay for more nurses and office staff in clinics, and pay their baby sitters and grocers, and barbers, and actually make a difference.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • QS

      Not to mention, the more people who sign up for insurance they can now afford means less people the state will have to make up for in health care costs.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
      • Big GUy

        oh please the only thing stopping people from buying insurance last year was the TAX they are having to pay now. Health care wont be any cheaper.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Big GUy

      Historically speaking medicaid has NEVER paid NEVER paid full price for procedures preformed on patients. Its the number 2 reason health care is so high that and malpractice insurance. Get on the ball son your making up stuff.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • STEVEN

        Don't call me son and actually you can call me Dr. STEVEN if that helps you understand my background. Malpractice insurance is not the big cost in health care and tort reform will do very little. 25% of healthcare costs goes to "non-healthcare" costs. Insurance companies, administrative costs to deal with billing and the large inefficient system that has been created. This is the real waste. Although I wish the money paid out by Medicaid and Medicare was more it is still real money coming into the system. And every bit helps when the alternative is getting nothing for my services, or having to turn away a patient because they cannot pay.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • tbrookside

      The money has to come from somewhere.

      Where?

      November 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • arkmark

      yes but where does the money come from. if you say the government ( when they are not printing it ) where do they get it?? hmmm ^That's correct the working peoples money is redistributed to the not , not fully working. shouldn't the goal . Shouldn't the goal be to get these people self sufficient instead of more reliant

      November 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • CharlieD

        I completely agree with getting people more self sufficient and the government is not the answer. That's easier said than done when companies that should be giving employees healthcare are not and when wages are barely enough to make ends meet. And thats only if you can actually find a job.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  13. AaronS

    Why aren't Bible Belt pastors speaking out against this coverage gap? For the same reason that liberal pastors aren't speaking out against gay marriage. Why? Because is doesn't fit their POLITICS. Seems we have some folks being more Republican than Christian...and more Democrat than Christian.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • QS

      And all would be perfect if everybody were simply more Christian, right? Eesh!

      November 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  14. lilyq

    Oh, I see. When it's a cause you are for, Christians should speak up but if it's a cause Christians are for it's the separation of church and state BS.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • STEVEN

      No, the problem with not supporting the Medicaid expansion is that it is directly against the teachings of Jesus and therefore its interesting that more pastors are not speaking out the way they do on other issues. So instead the whole cure the sick thing is ignored as not to upset the churchgoers.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • arkmark

        the lord helps those who help themselves. Christ loved but did not condone shirkers. Lets help the truly needy but those that choose to not contribute to society that is their free will.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • QS

      LMAO! I love how religious people are trying to spin this to make it seem like the big, bad government is suddenly trying to control religion when religion has always hypocritically cherry-picked the issues it will or won't get involved with.

      Convenience is the realm in which religion exists.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  15. John q

    Here's an idea. You can only vote if you have a job. Think about that. If you are not paying taxes, you have no stake in the game. Right? When you ARE paying taxes you will think through your candidates MUCH more closely. Whatcha think?

    November 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Vernon Mcady

      I am a Tea partier and i agrres with this. If you dont work you cant vote! That will teach the communist liberals to get off the welfare or they will starve to death. Its a win win and really kicks the democrats in the behind. I dont care about whats right for the country anymore, i just want to be a thorn in the democrats side. My pastor said only the liberals will starve and not recieve medical aid because they are lazy and on drugs. Thats why they wants to take are guns and let the illegal immigarnts sell drugs and burn the flag! Wakes up America!

      November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Sarcasm, please. If not have you passed the test to buy unlimited guns and ammo, I am frightened!

        November 8, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • sheila lauder

        So then, in a Depression or a Recession and you get laid off because you can't get jobs that don't exist, despite you wish to be able to support your family? Huh? Did I get that right, Vernon? All people without jobs are not dead-beats, Vernon. Your post seems to suggest you think they are. Proclaiming blanket statements about situations and people is simply means you haven't either had the patience or the reading skills to look at the whole picture. If you are not for something then give some rational reasons, please. Else you appear a fool.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
        • Iowafalcon

          It is a sham post.

          November 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • Greg

        Sounds like your pastor is a real winner. What would God think of your pastor lumping an entire group of people together and calling them 'lazy' and 'on drugs'. The God I believe in loves everyone equally, no matter what their social or economic status is. Sheesh. Also – learn to spell.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • sheila lauder

        Laughjng so hard as this ludicrous post I can barely type! Did you graduate the educational system after Kindergarden?

        November 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Lance

      Yes. AND, pay elected leaders on commission. The lower you keep taxes, the higher the pay.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • QS

      That's an idea alright.....a completely unrealistic and undemocratic idea.

      The "half the country pays no taxes" myth is comical on its face, but the fact that so many easily manipulated conservative buy it is what is concerning.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  16. Hard Workin Dave

    CNN is clearly in a mad panic to change the focus from anything that makes their man Obama look bad. Obamacare is a terrible policy and preachers are as correct in rejecting it as the rest of America.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      If you don't like "Obamacare" fine. Stop whining and give us "your" plan. You pay for the uninsured. Do you like doing that? This is one of the reasons YOUR taxes go up. Uninsured people cost ALL OF US MONEY

      Posted this earlier. Lets hear your solutions "show somthin' dave."

      November 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      You should have read the article. It is the oh so Christian states that are putting the poor out to hang. The more secular states are trying to be inclusive. See MA health system, you may slip out of ignorance.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Lobo

    I love Jesus to! Send me money and I will pray for you. I need a new Bentley and my Jet Ranger needs new rotor blades. Hurry now. Oh and don't forget to watch me and make sure your donation comes in fast.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Huge_Brain

      I love the American people, don't forget to send me campaign donations and remember to vote for me even though I am stealing from others to give you free healthcare.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  18. Huge_Brain

    Jesus said render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's. The poor belong to God and are the responsibility of the church to care for but in the left-wing church/state we live in the state has taken over this responsibility for the purposes of bribing the poor for votes to keep power. The writer of this article is the worst of religious bigots and hate mongers.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • bigfoot

      No. YOU are.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
      • lilyq

        How old are you?

        November 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • bigfoot

          Old enough to know that you are a hypocrite.

          November 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Huge_Brain

        You are a liar and a false accuser.

        November 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • lilyq

        Wow. Fabulous job of deducing from a simple question.

        November 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Piet

      Well, Huge-Brain – if the church took care of their mission, it would not be necessary for the state to step in, would it.

      November 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  19. bigfoot

    These aren't Christians. They are fake Christian hypocrites.

    November 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Huge_Brain

      You are a bearer of false witness.

      November 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • bigfoot

        Yu are a pos.

        November 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
        • Huge_Brain

          Grow up you immature little parasite.

          November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.