health-care sharing

'No more faith-based than Satan himself': Houston Chronicle digs into health-sharing ministry

'No more faith-based than Satan himself': Houston Chronicle digs into health-sharing ministry

Even before the Houston Chronicle’s investigative piece on a Christian health care cost-sharing ministry was published in print — at the top of Sunday’s front page — the newspaper got action.

To the tune of $129,000.

The dead-tree version of the story notes:

On Tuesday, the day this story appeared online, an Aliera claims director called Martinez and said the company had reversed its previous denials and would pay the entire claim.

But that decision does nothing to blunt the power of this hard-hitting piece of journalism, which presents the “ministry” profiled as — to use the words of the main source quoted — “no more faith-based than Satan himself.”

Christian health-care sharing is a topic we’ve covered before at GetReligion — here, here and here, for example. Elsewhere, Christianity Today’s Kate Shellnutt wrote about the future of that approach back in 2017.

The Chronicle story does an exceptional job of detailing the concerns about Trinity Health-Share, Aliera Healthcare’s affiliated health-sharing ministry.

The opening paragraphs set the scene:

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Three things to consider about that long BuzzFeed takeout on Christian health-care sharing

Three things to consider about that long BuzzFeed takeout on Christian health-care sharing

Yes, I'm doing a listicle about a BuzzFeed News story. Honestly, would any other approach make sense?

After all, as I type this, you can go to BuzzFeed's home page and click "35 Pictures That Will Make You Love NYC More Than You Thought Possible." Or if you prefer, there's "23 Things You Did In 2007 That You've Probably Completely Forgotten About."

On the other hand, BuzzFeed News does some important, thoughtful journalism — so we at GetReligion can't completely ignore its contributions to the Godbeat.

As regular readers know, we at this journalism-focused website tout a traditional American model of the press — focused on fair, balanced reporting with sources of information clearly named.

So what do we make of an in-depth BuzzFeed News story that blends elements of traditional journalism and advocacy reporting?

That, my friends, is a key question we face in analyzing BuzzFeed News' in-depth — really in-depth — piece headlined "There's A Christian Alternative To Health Insurance, But It's Not For Everyone."

Because it's crucial to understanding where the piece is headed, here's a big chunk of the opening. It's a larger block of text than we usually quote. But there's much more of the story left even after this, so please stick with me:

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