'Thank God I'm American'

by Sara Johnson

Have you ever stopped to consider how many choices we have in one aisle of the grocery store? Seriously, we have entire aisles devoted to one type of food. Take cereal for example; there are hundreds of different types of cereals. In how many other counties in the world is that possible? Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Special K, Cookie Crunch... I doubt I could even name half of them.

The blessings surrounding us in America are so easy to take for granted that many don’t even think of them as blessings. Something as simple as “what type of cereal I want” seems so trivial, but when you begin to think about how many families could be fed from one aisle of a grocery store, it is easy to see how much we take for granted.

Don’t get me wrong, this is in no way, shape, or form an attack on what we have in America, or a message saying we have too much. Believe me, “I gotta have my pops.” But, do we slow down enough every day to recognize how lucky we are to simply live in this country?

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” It’s a simple saying. We’ve heard it a million times, and most would agree, but we don’t seem to learn from it. I think America has a problem. (Okay, America has a LOT of problems, but I think this is at the root of many of them.) Americans are suffering from a severe case of situational gratitude. We don’t seem to appreciate anything until we no longer have it.

As a new resident of NYC I look up in awe at all of the massive, larger-than-life buildings surrounding me as I walk to and from the office every day. I think that’s a mild version of what it would be like to take 99% of the rest of the world into a Super Walmart or a Kroger. What we have in America is amazing, so why is everyone complaining? We are turning into the land of the free, and the home of the whiners.

I can’t help but think that our founders must be incredibly disappointed in us. George Washington didn’t have a Northface jacket, fleece-lined boots or an REI tent to sleep in, while he was fighting against the British for independence from an oppressive government. He certainly didn’t have free healthcare, food stamps, or public education. There was no life insurance for Martha if he took a cannonball to the head.

There is a movement sweeping across our country with a message against “corporate- greed.” Not to be confused with anti-greed, as we are seeing their list of demands grow and grow every week. We’ve lost touch with what it means to be an American so much, that these protests are attracting 20-somethings across the country who, A: don’t have a clue what real oppression is, and B: from the looks of their iPhones, iPads and Macbooks, love corporations. They are clueless as to whom they are standing with, and what they are standing for. These kids actually believe they are being oppressed because they took out student loans, and that it is wrong for a cop to use pepper spray on someone actively breaking the law.

Any why wouldn’t they? They’ve been told their whole lives that they deserve a job and they deserve an education. These are the kids who got the “most-improved” trophies on the soccer team, and didn’t realize it solidified that they were the worst player at the start of the season. Basically, they’ve been raised to be the spoiled brats they are acting like. They don’t know how good we have it in this country—a country where cops use pepper spray, not tanks and missiles.

We need to start actively showing how grateful we are to live in America. We need to live it through our actions, our service, our speech, and our worship. The government and the media were not actively pushing God out of the mainstream when the majority of Americans, who say that they’re Christian, actually lived like they were Christians. Tim Tebow should not be a phenomenon for standing up for a faith that over 70% of Americans says they believe in. In an interview with Skip Bayless on ESPN, Tebow said he vocalizes his gratitude to Jesus Christ because he is thankful for the sacrifice He made for him.

Shouldn’t we all be doing that for the things we are thankful for?

We live in the most exceptional country on the planet—the only country that protects our God-given freedoms by law.

Americans have more freedom and more choices in every aspect of their lives than the citizens of any other country: brands of food, clothing, cars, modes of transportation, who we want to vote for, what we want to do in life and most importantly the freedom of religion. I know what I’m thankful for and Who I am thankful to this “Thanks-giving.”

Thank you God, that I am an American.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Pat Gray discussed the Trump defense team's arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

"This is different than what the Democrats were doing," Glenn said of the Trump team's impeachment defense. "We know the case of the Democrats, they just kept going over and over and over, for three days, the same stuff. The Republicans, at least on Saturday, did not ... and I thought it was really, really good."

Glenn added, "The president's defense was very compelling."

Watch the videos below to hear Glenn's top takeaways from the president's defense team:

Part 1: Why the president's defense is 'very compelling'

Part 2: Top takeaways from president's impeachment defense

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Americans are getting crushed by healthcare costs. In 2018 alone, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare — that's more than $11,000 per American and nearly a fifth of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It's on everyone's minds, which is why it has taken center stage in the Democratic party's primary. Of course, the solutions offered by the current crop of presidential candidates would do nothing to help alleviate that enormous spending. In fact, it would only add to it — what with Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All and Joe Biden's proposed ObamaCare expansion.

However, what also deserves attention in discussions about plans that increase the government's role in health care is how religious organizations would be affected. Faith-based hospitals and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) play an important role in America, often serving as a critical provider and/or facilitator of payments for medical services in many states. If plans like Medicare for All were implemented, these groups would be at risk of going bankrupt or being severely curtailed due to the elimination of choice that comes with these proposals.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives. And more Americans should consider them.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives.

As mentioned, one such option is a health care sharing ministry. In this model, individuals contribute money into a pool managed by a religiously or ethically-affiliated organization, and costs for medical treatment are shared by people who adhere to that organization's belief system. Typically, applicants are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be accepted. It's basically like a subscription service: consumers pay a set amount of money into the ministry every month. Then, when they have a medical need or incident, they submit a claim to the ministry. Members whose claims are approved are reimbursed by the ministry from that pool of funds. Note, these ministries don't cover procedures they deem immoral.

Because providers are often getting paid in cash under this model — and typically within 90 days — patients are able to negotiate significant discounts, in some cases slicing procedures' costs to a fraction of the initial price. Insurance companies, by comparison, tend to not pay dollar for dollar on claims, and certainly not in cash. Additionally, insurance companies usually have onerous paperwork requirements, forcing doctors to spend half of their time on electronic health records and desk work. This increase in demand for administrative work is partly responsible for the United States leading the world in administrative costs in healthcare.

There are various types of HCSMs, each offering different benefits depending on what the individual needs — and a lot of savings on monthly plans. Take Christian Healthcare Ministries, for example. It's resulted in enormous savings for its members. Whereas the average healthcare plan can cost about $400 a month on the low end (with high deductibles), CHM plans can run between $78-172 a month for a single person. These kinds of plans are particularly great options for people who are relatively healthy and young, where the need for doctors and prescription drugs is less likely.

HCSMs have seen explosive growth in popularity recently. In 2014, there were only approximately 160,000 members. By 2018, membership ballooned to about 1 million HCSM members around the United States who have shared over $1 billion in medical expenses. But unfortunately, many people still feel locked into the traditional — and expensive — health care insurance model. HCSMs provide a way out, and, depending on their belief system, people should research them and see if there's one that best suit their needs. If more people deviate away from the traditional health care insurance market, insurance companies would be incentivized to adjust their pricing. That won't be possible, of course, if plans like Medicare for All are implemented.

Health care is one of life's biggest expenses, and voters are understandably desperate for a plan that cuts costs without compromising quality of care or access to it. Alternative options to health care insurance such as HCSMs are practical, free-market solutions that saves money. Americans should sift through these options before subscribing to plans that will only break the bank.

James Czerniawski is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCz19.

Bill O'Reilly: Adam Schiff is in 'wonderland' during the Senate impeachment trial

Image source: BlazeTV video screen save

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, Bill O'Reilly gave his latest take on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and explained why he thinks House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is like "Alice in Wonderland."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

youtu.be


Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to discuss the latest developments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Cruz, Thursday was a "very consequential day" in the otherwise tedious and redundant impeachment proceedings.

"Yesterday, the House managers effectively threw Joe Biden under the bus," Cruz said. "They doubled down on what they started doing on the first day of arguments, which was making their entire case ... based on the proposition that there was zero evidence to justify investigating Burisma [the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on the board]."

Cruz went on to explain that every time the Democrats, namely House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), rehash the "zero-evidence" argument, they open the door for Republicans to present the overwhelming evidence that contradicts those claims.

"That proposition, that there's zero evidence to investigate Burisma, is utterly and completely absurd. So, I'm looking forward to Saturday when the president's lawyers will begin presenting his case. Because what the Democrats have done, is they have opened the door to this. And I hope the president's lawyers will stand up and systematically lay out the case," Cruz said.

"They've been arguing that Hunter Biden is completely irrelevant to this case. Well, the House managers have now, through their arguments, made Hunter Biden not only relevant — he was always relevant — but critical now," he continued. "They built the entire case, like a house of cards, on the proposition that there was no reasonable basis to investigate Burisma. And that's just absurd."

The two also discussed Cruz's new podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which he records with Daily Wire host Michael Knowles each night following the Senate trial.

"Last night's podcast went through systematically ... all of the overwhelming evidence of corruption from Burisma that any president, not only had the authority to investigate, but the responsibility to investigate," Cruz said. "And that, ultimately, is why President Trump is going to be acquitted at the end of this process."

Watch the video below for more details:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.