Texas Citizens Help Defeat House Bill 573 and Protect Health Care Sharing and First Amendment Rights
May 20, 2021
PEORIA, Ill. — A bill that, as introduced, would have punished 150,000 Christians in Texas who are currently members of health care sharing ministries was effectively defeated on May 13.
House Insurance Committee Chairman Tom Oliverson was forced to withdraw his bill, HB 573, that would have unfairly regulated health care sharing ministries under the Texas Department of Insurance.
“HB 573 (and its companion bill, SB 1271) was a misguided piece of legislation. The bill would have granted unlimited power to the Department of Insurance over religious ministries and their non-insurance programs, and would unfairly burden the religious exercise of these faith communities and infringe upon the First Amendment rights of every Texan,” said Joel Noble, Director of Public Policy at Samaritan Ministries (samaritanministries.org).
“We want to thank the thousands of Texans who contacted their Texas state representative and Texas state senator to urge them to oppose HB 573 and its discriminatory treatment of 150,000 religious Texans.
“We also want to thank Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton, who courageously called a Point of Order toward the end of the session, causing Oliverson to postpone his bill and effectively end debate. This decision is a major victory for health care sharing, successfully preserving the freedoms of people of faith in Texas.”
Samaritan Ministries provides people of faith with an effective, Bible-driven health care community in which approximately $30 million in medical needs is shared person-to-person every month. During the past 26 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards, and letters.
To interview a representative from Samaritan Ministries International, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.