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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. esther925

    American taxpayers spend billions of dollars keeping prisoners locked away (where they receive free medical treatment). The United States has more citizens behind bars than any other nation. And it costs us a lot of money to keep them there, keep them fed, healthy, and secure. Yet, for the law abiding citizens we cannot afford basic health coverage. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

    November 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  2. art

    We have now sunken to a new low. We are now using ObamaCare to villify Christianity and saying someone is less of a Christian if they disagree with ObamaCare or simply refuses to comment. Whatever happened to the America I once knew? Our founding fathers are probably rolling over in their graves!!! So disappointing that someone like John Blake would write such a foolish piece of crap!

    November 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  3. Hmmm...

    Hey Church! Stay out of politics!…oh no, wait…We need you to get political. No, no, hold on, we need you out again. This is confusing, I don't know what we need… Let's ask B.O.. He says "In this week, but out next." OK Church, you heard the boss…

    November 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Any

      Spot on......leave it to CNN to try and bail out this debocle . How about they mention the forcing of Churches under Obama care to cover abortions which goes against their religion . Don't want the churches speaking about that. So lets run this article.
      Desperation is a stinky cologne

      November 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • A traveler

        I have not seen anything that suggests "churches should perform abortions". Once again things just 'get made up'. Ignorance is a stinky cologne indeed.

        November 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  4. Razor

    I love when church people rant. The funny thing is, if the Churches and Christian Communities were doing what the bible said instead of building bigger and bigger Churches, there wouldn't need any Obamacare.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Razor

      Sorry just can't blame the Christians, it reminds me of rich Liberals to who act like they care, but don't give up their millions to help the poor, becuase if they did we wouldn't need Obamacare either. So let the hypocrites speak!

      November 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • duhtruth

      If Christians and other believers don't take a stand on this issue, then who can we expect to? If the US would keep its nose out of the Mideast and other locations, where it doesn't belong, and take care of the citizens of the US, there would be plenty of money to allow all to obtain a basic need and to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of this country. The US is becoming a Banana Republic of the first order. Papa Doc would be proud!

      November 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  5. ron

    Pure Bull! The poor will continue to use the emergency room while everyone else has to pay more. Obama has turned this nation intoone of third word status.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  6. Noted

    One can argue the merits of forced coverage and those not covered (fair enough). To not have a viewpoint on a subject is weak however. Catholocs, Pastors, Imams, etc are all like the mafia. They want you to buy in to their thinking. Sadly, many of those who actually follow and serve are "cast out." Remember only one thing: It won't be you or I making judgement when the time comes...But, it will come.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  7. Rev. JC

    Typical of the hypocrisy of Bible-belt Christianity. Or should I say pseudo-Christianity. WWJD is a cute phrase but hardly put into practice socially by these folks.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Mike

      You sure wouldn't find Jesus strolling around on the stage of a multi-million dollar church and living in a big mansion.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  8. mary

    Osteen wont speak out he needs his millions of dollars in donations to stay in his mansion so he speaks the words of people like the Kochs who don't care about poor people. Just don't care, if you are poor automatic you are lazy shiftless bum. Maybe there would be some jobs if politicians would stop coming to Washington to start their next campaign and actually come to govern.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  9. roike

    They also don't talk about the thousands that can't afford proper air conditioning which in the summer kills many elderly people in the south. They also don't talk about the thousands in their congregation who misuse the many government assistant programs. This is just more CNN propaganda. They got their marching orders for the week from the Obama administration and these are the type of articles they produce after they receive such memos. Two days ago they stated the have reporters standing by to help people get signed up for Obama care. The posted no contact information for said reporters but did report several success stories. I want the contact info so I can get signed up! If you are going to say you have reporters standing by then they should be available to do what you are promising in your article. Or as part of your orders are you supposed to cover up lies with more lies?

    November 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jeff Rome NY

      Jeez, you computer doesn't have Google? Do you need someone to do it for you, too? Are you that lazy?

      November 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  10. Mike

    Why aren't they speaking out? Maybe because the religious right is about as far from true Christianity as you can get.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      or so the media says. Maybe if some people actually spent time in various churches they might see that 99.9% of the churches and parishoners are very good people who spend a lot of money and hours to help those who are disadvantaged in various ways. I've seen local churches in our area help peole with everything from food, to English as a ssecond language, to filing their tax returns for free, to free mental health counseling, to making cancer treatment transports into Boston for them.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Mike

        Do you do these things because you feel guilty about voting for the likes of Ted Cruz?

        November 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Truth

    CNN, you write a smear article of the South and Christians, and yet the picture you use for support is not of some poor southern homeless man, but of someone who lives in Brooklyn, NY (that man with the American flag blanket) sleeps in Grand Army Plaza, which is right north of Prospect Park and Park Slope in Brooklyn). Let's not distort reality to push your agenda of the "benighted" right.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jeff Rome NY

      Homeless is homeless. Location is irrelevant.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Would you rather be homeless in America or North Korea?

        November 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Bobbo

        How many homeless have you tried to help? Did you know that many of them don't want your help? You can't make someone take something they don't want even if it is for their own good.

        November 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • outlawgodsucks

      Good catch and well said!

      November 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Terry

      Is location of the homeless more important than the fact that he is HOMELESS? Wow. Talk about splitting hairs. Way to ignore context.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Truth

        I generally agree. I made the point because the thrust of CNN's article is that somehow this is a problem just of Southern (conservative) states and Christians. The article is intrinsically attacking the stereotyped ideology of Christians, conservatives, and the South, which isn't fair. As the recent responders to my post indicate–homeless is homeless (not withstanding being in North Korea), but somehow CNN sees fit to ignore the plight of those in liberal New York. I point out CNNs incorrect use of the picture, to point out the inconsistency in their argument, not to comment on the plight of the homeless (regardless of where they are).

        November 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Thank you!!!

    Thanks for this great article CNN. About time someone exposed these hypocritical "religious" people for what they are. Pro-life?? They don't give a s$#% about human life.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      I am ProLife and I do spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours every year supporting children of unwed mothers and disadvantaged youth. Take your stereotype spewing somewhere else, THANK YOU

      November 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        How is your blogging on this site helping those you claim to be so concerned about so much of the time. Get back to work, hypocrite.

        November 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  13. loucioccio

    Just like the song Jesus never wore a Rolex or drove a Mercedes....or had an air-condition dog house.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  14. greg in Jacksonville

    How very typical of Christians and one of the many reasons I have rebuked Christianity. And it ticks me off that they try to make the poor and sick dependent upon churches. Disgusting.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  15. Robert Constant

    These Southern preachers are in the tradition of their ancestors who used the Bible to justify slavery. Many of them are simple people who believe in the Science of Genesis which is based on the Earth being flat and having been created six thousand years ago in a six day period by a Jewish tribal God. These people FEEL and BELIEVE. They do not THINK.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  16. ireuel

    Are not these people getting Medicare? If not that is what is they are handing out mostly through the national website and may I say some state websites. Second of all, no one can be turned away from any hospital for medical services, that to is a law. This whole discussion is useless. the Left have their talking points and so do the right. Both sides are focusing on the areas that best support there political view. Also it is so tiring watching the left drag up President Bush for every discussing. Get over it he has been out of office for 5 years and the economy at the base is no better, the only thing looking good is the stock market, at which will dump 500 points the second they stop OE money dumping/printing. OK here is the deal, this Law stinks and needs fix as both sides say it does, so shut up and fix it. PERIOD>

    November 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  17. Nick2313

    I hate when people bring god in there politics.Both the democrats and the republicans have it wrong no sloth and no greediness but time and time again both sides like to quote the bible when it agrees with what nonsense they are spewing at each other.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  18. MM

    This pastor is an idiot. As more Obama policies are implemented such as the UnAffordable Health Tax, the will be more and more poor people without health-care, food, jobs, housing – like Detroit.
    You can't tax the working people to death, save half for yourself (government), and give it to poor lazy bums and call it progress. Jesus said you would always have the poor with you, and another bible teaching is that if you don't work, you don't eat. And if you don't eat, you starve. And if you starve, that's the best motivation to get you to work.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Alexander

      When Jesus comes back, these preaches better run for the hills, cause he is going to have his whip with him, and as before he will whip them out of the church. It is all about the money folks, people just want to protect their turf, and they think if the less fortunate are helped , then it will be taken away from them , so they live their greedy lives in fear. Not at all surprised that some of these red staters refuse ACA, but I must point out that they took better care of their slaves.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Betal

      You exemplify the problem pastors face in this country, you misinterpret two verses of scripture and consider the case closed on the poor.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  19. Just Sayin'

    Osteen and Jakes are celebrity pastors - they cater to the wealthy and travel in high society circles. As long as their lives are cushy (outrageously so), why should they care?

    November 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • LB

      You are absolutely correct. These charlatan preachers only care about themselves and no one else. They refuse to confront those responsible for the problem, their own local legislatures, and call them out for it because they fear losing the political power the wield.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Comen

    Interesting that CNN does not point out that folks who want Obamacare can now move, but when Obama lies his way to no other options, no one will be able to escape Obamacare.

    Also, it does not point out that the pro-Obama pastor is not being investigated by the IRS for engaging in politics. No surprise though because Obama uses the federal government to attack his political critics and reward his cronies.

    It also does not point out that religion is about the soul and not physical ailments. Of course, John Blake probably does not understand religion except to use it as a political tool or target.

    Obamacare in concept is flawed. More insurance and government subsidies does not fix problems created by insurance and government subsidies. Obama will not admit this though because it is contrary to his lies, and selfish goals.

    John Blake and CNN should be ashamed of this propaganda article, and its support for the deceit and corruption coming from the WH.

    November 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • greg in Jacksonville

      Seriously, all the poor and sick have to do is to move out of state so that they can get health insurance. No offense, but that is a stupid idea that obviously was not thought through.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jeff Rome NY

      You've hit on all of the approved daily talking points by Hannity and Rush.
      Good going, Goebbels.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Spinner49

      Yikes. First off, if you can't afford health insurance, you probably can't afford to move either. Second, Jesus said to help the sick and the needy.

      November 8, 2013 at 1:20 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.