Sunday, May 2, 2021

Stuck in the System

When I received my spinal cord injury in 1985, most of my medical expenses were covered by private insurance through my dad's employer. In 2014, due to the Affordable Care Act, I nearly lost that coverage. After a long trial, I ended up with private insurance covering nights and a program through Iowa Medicaid covering my day hours. This is what I have been using since that time, and it appears with no alternative.

In the last few months, my parents have celebrated their birthdays; with both either at or near retirement age. When most people reach this milestone, they look forward to decreasing their hours at work and doing other activities they enjoy. However, that apparently isn't something my parents are allowed to do.

Mom discovered that if my parents go off of private insurance and start taking retirement funds, it would disqualify me for the Medicaid program I use, as well as other consequences. Iowa uses what's called MCOs, or Managed Care Organizations, for all but a few recipients in the state. I'm one of the few that doesn't use an MCO, and it's a good thing. Many stories of problems with Iowa's system have been documented, including receiving less coverage. We can't find anyone to tell us for certain what I could get covered if I switched, and it very likely would be much less than I use. Also, since my private insurance is through dad's employer, he needs to continue working full-time to receive medical benefits.

This has been an upcoming issue my family has known was coming for about a year. We have looked for solutions, but it appears the only guaranteed answer would require an act of congress. I don't have any plans on running for an elected position, so it's very unlikely that anything would change in the next decade, or three.

Seeing all my parents have done for me, it has been hard not feeling responsible for keeping them from enjoying what they have worked decades to achieve. While attempting to sleep, thoughts of going to a care facility to ease their work load have filled many nights. However, I know that moving to a facility would also end everything I do outside of home.

The only comfort in this, and all, situation is diving deeply into God's Word. Just as He cares for the birds of the air, He knows our needs as well. I have had many times in life that looked uncertain, but God has carried me through. The time before a solution comes is hardest, but it does come in God's time. I have no idea what that could be in this situation, but I will continue to pray, wait, and do His will until change comes.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Names in Chronicles

It has been a few weeks since I posted on Bible reading, but I continue with it every morning. The two books of Kings finished Thursday and Chronicles started Friday morning. Some parts of the Bible are easier to read than others, but this is the area I find most challenging.

First and Second Chronicles primarily repeat the information given in First and Second Kings. Chronicles was written about the time Israel returned from captivity in Babylon to their home land. One difference between the books is that 1 Chronicles starts off with names, a lot of names.

The first chapter begins with genealogies from Adam, through Israel, and the kings of Israel. After several chapters of reading who had what sons, the book lists various positions held in the kingdom and who had them. Reading lists of names that sound very unfamiliar for several days gets challenging to stay awake, but they have a purpose.

God saw it as important to record each of these individuals, who lived in history, in a way that they would be remembered for thousands of years after they died. Very few people in the last 1,000 years get to have that recognition, let alone a large number of people as recorded in Chronicles. The genealogies also serve to record the ancestry from Adam, the first man, to Jesus. While I read each name recorded in this book of the Bible, it reminds me of more books that God has told us about.

In Revelation, and elsewhere, we read about judgement at the end of time. Books will be opened that have recorded our activities while we lived. Anyone whose name is not found listed in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire, where there will be everlasting torment, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.

While it may be difficult to sit and read through so many names, it should remind us that our name has been written down as well. Just as the people recorded in Chronicles have been written for all generations, so have our names been recorded for all of history. Every person needs to repent of sin and trust in Jesus alone for salvation and be written in the book of life. It is one record that will have eternal benefit, and always be remembered.