Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mennonites and Health Care Mutual Aid.

thedistractionrocks, a story on the Mennonite church's plan to insure pastors across the country, regardless of congregation size and resources:

Compared to the national problem of 46 million Americans without health insurance, the Mennonite clergy’s problem might seem insignificant. The denomination has fewer than 100 pastors without health insurance. But the attempt to ensure that all Mennonite pastors have health insurance regardless of salary or the financial status of their congregation presents a microcosm of the larger health-care debate: Are the wealthy willing to pay more to ensure that everyone has health insurance? In this case, the question michigan auto insurance quotes is: Will larger churches be willing to subsidize smaller ones so that all Mennonite pastors can have heath insurance?

The plan under consideration is called the Corinthian Plan, a reference to 2 Corinthians 8:14, in which Paul urges that the abundance of some should be used to provide for the needs of others. (”In turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.”) Under the plan, every pastor will receive essentially the same coverage–with a range of choices for deductibles–and larger and wealthier congregations will subsidize smaller congregations in order to make premiums affordable for all.

Keith Harder, architect of the Corinthian Plan and the person who has taken on the task of explaining it to congregations, has said it is “an expression of mutual aid as much as an insurance plan.”

In our family there is the story of my grandfather and grandmother leaving a church because it required they have no insurance. (There's also the rumor that my grandmother didn't like being told how long the strings on her covering should be by the pastor.)

Because many Amish have chosen to work in construction, lack of liability insurance has caused municipalities to challenge their right to such jobs.

I would venture that most Mennonites today have insurance of all sorts (home, car, health), and there are Mennonite run insurance plans now, but that was not always the case. Anabaptists, the sect of faith to which the Mennonites and Amish belong, have long shunned modern health insurance in favor of "mutual aid" plans that assist those who suffer catastrophic injuries or illnesses. Amish and Old Order Mennonites still eschew private corporate insurance for their own assistance plans, church aid, or community support.

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