The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an unexpected positive for Christians. Many of them who object to the unbiblical principles written into Obamacare are turning to faith-based healthcare ministries where believers essentially share the burdens of healthcare expenses by sending offerings to fellow believers when healthcare needs arise. Enrollees have increased exponentially since the Act was passed.
Such ministries are based on the principles of the first century church when the saints loved each other enough to share their finances and goods with any believer who had a need (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:34-35). Fortunately, when the ACA was being written, healthcare ministries approached Congress and asked that they be allowed to exercise their religious freedoms as reflected in their healthcare ministries without interference from state regulators and the avoidance of fines for not buying insurance outside of their ministries. To join such a ministry, agreements are signed by enrollees stating they will adhere to certain beliefs and Christian practices, such as regular church attendance.
Nevertheless, as with anything Christians do, they have their detractors, such as insurance regulators who raise fears about what would happen if some members are at risk of not having their medical bills paid since the ministries don’t answer to any government entity. There are also lawsuits that have been filed by members who were disappointed if their bill wasn’t paid because the ministry felt it violated their beliefs, for example if someone had a medical expense resulting from them having pre-marital or extra-marital sex. For the most part, such ministries seem to have more positives than negatives and they take the church back to the times where they did such innovative things as start hospitals and orphanages to help those in need.