Mary Beck, Trig Palin and God’s Agents on Earth

Today my Facebook has a post from the tireless blogger, Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend. MSNBC host, Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is getting flamed for pointing out the obvious truth that citizens bear a collective responsibility for the welfare of our children. Even if they are not our own family, we don’t tell them to go play in traffic. Well, maybe the grouchy guy who listens to Rush Limbaugh does, but we don’t call him an expert.

I replied to Pam–
Rush Limbaugh is childless despite 4 marriages. Glenn Beck has a daughter, Mary, with a disability. Maybe he never took any state or federal benefits and had the means to afford all she needed, but if the wealth ever runs out over the course of her life and she needs medical or social security it will be the community that steps up. The same goes for Trig Palin. Are these activists so sure their own children will never need the safety net they are set on tearing apart?

In honor of the gummint entitlements that make possible benefits such as Meeting Street School, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and public education for all children regardless of their medical condition, I’m re-running this post from 2009…

Recently I got an email from Jim Wallis at Sojourners, a progressive Christian organization.

Glenn Beck has received a lot of attention for his inflammatory rhetoric lately. Recently, he shared a personal story about his daughter who has cerebral palsy, which gets to the heart of his fears about health-care reform:

They [the government] will say exactly what doctors said about my 21-year-old daughter: “She may not really have a quality of life. She may not walk or talk or feed herself. But then again miracles happen.” The “then again, miracles happen” part of that will be left out of the conversation. And I will not be able to see my daughter’s 21st birthday, where I can reflect with her how miracles do happen. Because really, as I was told at the beginning of her life: Well, what kind of quality of life is she going to really have? I don’t know, but that’s for God to decide, not the government. -The Glenn Beck Program, 8/6/2009

I hope everything is well with Glenn Beck’s daughter, Mary, and I can’t argue with faith. I can understand the Beck family praying for a miracle, and I hope it was granted. But in the world of meeting material needs, petitioning God directly doesn’t usually produce a check out of thin air. For that, Glenn Beck would petition his insurance company.

He has faith that the insurance company will be there for him. And that is fortunate. Because if he discovered in his time of need that the insurance he chose wasn’t adequate, he’d have a very tough time getting a new insurance policy for his family, with a newborn needing medical care. If his insurance company stalled on paying, who would he look to? The law, and the government.

So the question is not ‘who will you trust, God or the Government?’– the question is how much you trust your insurance company. Because when you or your family have a serious health problem you will be in no shape to go shopping on the free market.

God helps those who help themselves, they say, and maybe God blesses us when we help each other. I don’t know how long private insurance covers a child with cerebral palsy, but there are Government programs to help people with disabilities. It’s possible that Mary is benefiting from one of these programs. They exist because private insurance was not willing to meet the need, so a public option was created.

God loves us all, but insurance companies have to collect more money than they disburse, and they maximize profits by denying care. They don’t get into philosophical arguments about quality of life, they just refuse to pay the bills. Then you have to appeal to the Government. So it’s in our best interests to keep our Government strong and regulate our insurance providers, so that they have to uphold a standard of care.

Glenn Beck has faith in God, but who are God’s agents? Blue Cross, Tenet and Cigna? It’s not a debate about God vs Government– it’s how much you trust private insurance. If your trust is not blind, you’ll want the Government on your side.

UPDATE: The passage of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed ‘Obamacare’, provides protection for people with disabilities, like Mary Beck, who cannot now be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition. As wealthy as her family is, she most likely will need the support of a government program, such as Medicare D, at some point in her life. Health care reform is beginning to change the focus of private insurance from paying for procedures to maintaining wellness. Ordinary working Americans cannot meet all the needs of a child with a disability without government assistance. I’m skeptical that even the Becks, with their millions, are immune from the contingencies we all face.

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5 responses

  1. This anger at Harris-Perry is not about health care or programs to assist poor people-it’s about the notion of social engineers indoctrinating children with their political ideas.I don’t know if your remark about the “grouchy guy” was aimed at me(Kiersten so described me previously)but sorry to disappoint you-I never listen to Limbaugh.I have in fact seen Harris-Perry’s show enough times to come away with the impression that she is a race obsessed socialist.Everything she speaks about eventually gets around to race if it doesn’t start there to begin with.She got booted from Princeton for lack of professional research. BTW my wife and I raised a family and have grand children and I am sure we(mostly me) made mistakes along the way-but there is no way we ever needed some busybody sticking their nose into our personal affairs.

    1. Joe, the ‘grouchy guy’ is not you. It was just a fictional invention to sum up all the politicians who seemed outraged at the idea that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Well, we parents well know that children need a sane world to go out into– we can’t keep them home forever.
      In my limited experience helping people whose children have disabilities– a bake sale will not take care of all the needs– though private charity is helpful. Government programs like Social Security pay the bills year by year.
      I have some teachers in my family, I’ll have to ask them how the socialist indoctrination is going.
      All the times I’ve been in school, teachers pushed their personal opinions on us to some degree. Mostly conservative opinions. It was okay, I never listened to them anyway.

      1. I don’t remember much in the way of indoctrination by teachers before high school where we had one or two with agendas-as I said,I didn’t get my opinion of Harris-Perry from Fox or any place except her own words-I often force myself to watch MSNBC to see what nefarious plans the left has going on.I already kind of know what to expect on Fox.I grew up in an era of school prayer,flag ceremonies,etc and we never heard of a school shooting of the random sort like Columbine or Newtown.And keep in mind there was little in the way of gun control relating to rifles and shotguns.I think there was more respect for life then.I’m not wearing rose colored glasses-just remembering honestly.I did see a pretty good amount of violence in my neighborhood including a murder with a shotgun when I was 11.There was , despite the problems a sense of community however-people watched out for each others kids but it was nothing formal or imposed.i don’t like some of the stuff I see going on in the schools in various places.I have to say the Providence public schools seem relatively okay-my grand daughter is doing very well in her neighborhood school-the demographics there are about 1/3 Black,White,and Hispanic,just like her(more or less).I wouldn’t want her going to Moses brown or Wheeler with the little snots in those places.

  2. Health care and insurance are about money, We have a system of private insurance now, and the coverage is spotty and erratic at best. So when Rush or Paul Ryan tells you the market can do a better job than Obamacare, they’re flat wrong. If it were true, we would not need Obamacare.

    We all (I hope!) know that a very large percentage of people who file for bankruptcy do so not because they ran up too much on the credit cards after buying too big a house, but because someone in the family got sick. Because of a devastating illness or accident, they ran up medical bills running into the tens of thousands of dollars. Compounding this is often lost wages, whether because it’s one of the wage earners in the family that got sick, or because one of the wage earners had to quit work in order to care for the person who got ill. Or both.

    And the worst part? Many of these people who end up filing for bankruptcy actually had health insurance when they got sick. The problem is that most employer-based health insurance (which is most insurance in the US of A) have a life-time maximum expenditure. That is, once you hit a certain dollar threshold, that’s it. No more money for you.

    So a big problem with American health insurance is that, sure, you may have insurance, but only until you need it. If you actually have a serious problem, YOYO (You’re On Your Own). Maybe that’s how it was in the Good Ol’ Days, but back then people died from the measles and TB. Is that the sort of society you want to live in? There are plenty of them scattered throughout the world. They’re called “poor countries”.

    Now, someone like Glenn Beck, or the Palins, are so insulated from the world of most people that they simply have no idea of what most people encounter. They believed they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and, who knows? Maybe they did. But they are lottery winners. Only a very small, a very, very small percent of the population can be governor of Alaska, or a media personality. I don’t begrudge them their money.

    What I do begrudge, is their attitude that everyone who’s not so fortunate can just go pound sand. Go ahead, die on the street. But do so quietly, so they don’t have to hear you wailing in pain. That upsets their delicate sensitivities. And maybe their world-view.

    1. I can believe people go broke from having a relative in a nursing home-comparing that cost now to when I was young and my grandmother was in one is incredible-no other cost has gone up as much-maybe gasoline or rent in a big city,but really I don’t think so

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