A Christian Perspective On Health Care Reform

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(image of Creative Rescue Organization public option t-shirt)

This post is part of a synchroblog on Christian approaches to health care.

When it comes to the current health care reform debate I am totally dumbfounded that conservative Christians (for the most part) are against a public option and/or a universal health care plan.  I understand how Christians can fall on both sides of the abortion issue or both sides of the same sex marriage issue (for the record I am pro-choice but not pro-abortion and I am in favor of legalizing same sex marriage) – but I do not understand how they can be against a public option and/or a universal health care plan and not have it conflict with their faith. 

I know that there is contention over the issue of abortion but perhaps it should be considered that many of the private insurance carriers to whom we pay premiums presently cover abortion care.

I think the “socialistic” argument  is bunk.  We have medicare/medicaid and public schools – they are federally funded to educate and care for others and no one calls them socialism. 

The other arguments I hear seem to mostly have to do with individual rights and conveniences and it seems that those arguments fly in the face of the Christian faith.

Do I have scripture to support a public option and/or a universal health care plan?  No, I don’t – but neither is there scripture to oppose such a thing (although many twist and turn and contort scripture to support their position).  Although there isn’t a specific scripture that I can offer up to support a public option and/or a universal health care plan I would go so far as to say that it seems much more likely that the heart of scripture would support such a thing.  Scripture repeatedly calls us to care and provide for the poor and the sick, to give up our own rights, to put other’s interests above our own, to take action to help those less fortunate, to protect the most vulnerable, to share one another’s burdens, to be a voice for the oppressed and the weak.

From a Christian perspective it seems we must look at this from the perspective of the needy, of the poor, of the uninsured…and I don’t think we will hear many (if any) needy, poor, uninsured people rallying against a public option and/or universal health care plan.  From a Christian perspective it seems we must look at this from the perspective of Christ, the one who identifies himself with the least of these. 

Check out the other synchroblog participants:

How Healthy is Your Health Care? by Steve Hayes

Self-evident truths and moral turpitude by Steve Hayes

Christian perspectives on health care by Ellen Haroutunian

The Christian’s responsibility to healthcare by KW Leslie

Baby steps towards more humane humanity by Beth Patterson

Is Healthcare a Right  by Kimber Caldwell

Clowns to the left? Jokers to the right? Stuck In The Middle by Phil Wyman

Its Easy To Be Against Health Care Reform When You Have Insurance by Kathy Escobar

A Christian Response To Health Care In America by Jeff Goins

Carrying Your Own Load by Susan Barnes

Caring For Human Dignity by Lainie Peterson

43 thoughts on “A Christian Perspective On Health Care Reform

  1. Pingback: Caring for Human Dignity (August Synchroblog on Health Care)

  2. kathyescobar

    liz, thanks as always for your perspectives. i always love to read your stuff and have missed the synchroblogs for a while now so it’s nice to be back. great pix, by the way. i completely agree, i am so dumbfounded at the lack of understanding on our behalf of those who don’t have. i really feel strongly that if the shoe were on the other foot, they’d be re-considering…peace, kathy

    Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Kathy – thanks for your kind words and so glad to see that your post is up. I have added to my list of participants and am now headed over to your blog to read :>) blessings and peace to you

      Reply
  3. Pingback: it’s easy to be against health care reform when you have insurance « the carnival in my head

  4. Pingback: Self-evident truths and moral turpitude « Khanya

  5. jacksmith

    NO CO-OP’S! A Little History Lesson

    Young People. America needs your help.

    More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% of republicans). Basically everyone.

    According to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. And 79% of seniors support creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!! Senator Max Baucus, You better come out of committee with a strong government-run public option available on day one.

    The History:

    Our last great economic catastrophe was called the Great Depression. Then as now it was caused by a reckless, and corrupt Republican administration and republican congress. FDR a Democrat, was then elected to save the nation and the American people from the unbridled GREED and profiteering, of the unregulated predatory self-interest of the banking industry and Wallstreet. Just like now.

    FDR proposed a Government-run health insurance plan to go with Social Security. To assure all Americans high quality, easily accessible, affordable, National Healthcare security. Regardless of where you lived, worked, or your ability to pay. But the AMA riled against it. Using all manor of scare tactics, like Calling it SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! :-0

    So FDR established thousands of co-op’s around the country in rural America. And all of them failed. The biggest of these co-op organizations would become the grandfather of the predatory monster that all of you know today as the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry. And the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry.

    This former co-op would grow so powerful that it would corrupt every aspect of healthcare delivery in America. Even corrupting the Government of the United States.

    This former co-op’s name is BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD.

    Do you see now why even the suggestion of co-op’s is ridiculous. It makes me so ANGRY! Co-op’s are not a substitute for a government-run public option.

    They are trying to pull the wool over our eye’s again. Senators, if you don’t have the votes now, GET THEM! Or turn them over to us. WE WILL! DEAL WITH THEM. Why do you think we gave your party Control of the House, Control of the Senate, Control of the Whitehouse. The only option on the table that has any chance of fixing our healthcare crisis is a STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION.

    An insurance mandate and subsidies without a strong government-run public option choice available on day one, would be worse than the healthcare catastrophe we have now. The insurance, and healthcare industry have been very successful at exploiting the good hearts of the American people. But Congress and the president must not let that happen this time. House Progressives and members of the Tri-caucus must continue to hold firm on their demand for a strong Government-run public option.

    A healthcare reform bill with mandates and subsidies but without a STRONG government-run public option choice on day one, would be much worse than NO healthcare reform at all. So you must be strong and KILL IT! if you have too. And let the chips fall where they may. You can do insurance reform without mandates, subsidies, or taxpayer expense.

    Actually, no tax payer funds should be use to subsidize any private for profit insurance plans. So, NO TAX PAYER SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PLANS. Tax payer funds should only be used to subsidize the public plans. Healthcare reform should be 100% for the American people. Not another taxpayer bailout of the private for profit insurance industry, disguised as healthcare reform for the people.

    God Bless You

    Jacksmith — Working Class

    Twitter search #welovetheNHS #NHS Check it out

    (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

    American HEROES!! 🙂 Click replay to play http://bit.ly/j31oU

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbWw23XwO5o) CYBER WARRIORS!! – TAKE THIS VIRAL

    Reply
  6. gracerules Post author

    Jonathan – you said “I don’t think there’s a one size fits all solution. It has to be a multi-prong approach ” I couldn’t agree more! It is sad how the church has “sat this one out” for so long and I love the ideas you were throwing out there – it seems like such a big job – but there are so many elements of that “big job” that we could get involved in doing.

    Reply
  7. Jonathan Blundell

    I only wish the Church would stand up and do something to provide health care coverage for all – rather than sitting around and arguing about what the government should or shouldn’t do.

    Imagine if the Church really got behind the idea of caring for our neighbors… would the government be necessary? Would insurance be necessary? Sure, they could help too – but would they be required?

    If we really understood love – capitalism wouldn’t work and Marxism wouldn’t be necessary. (shane claiborne)

    Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Jonathan – It’s so nice of you to stop by my blog. Thanks!

      When I was listening to The Idea Camp on Saturday I heard part of a comment that I believe was probably a reply to someone asking about the church providing healthcare. It was a guy, I don’t know his name, and he was saying that it would only take a few months (I think he said 4 months) for all churches to go bankrupt if they all got together and provided health insurance for all the uninsured. He said the cost of private for profit health insurance is too expensive for the church to be able to support it. Did you hear the comment? I had never heard anything like that before.

      I am not saying that I don’t think the church should do this – I had thought many times recently that they should. But in light of what he was saying I am now thinking maybe the best thing the church could do is try to push through a universal health care plan.

      What do you think?

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Blundell

        I guess I missed that comment while i was out running errands.

        I’d be interested to hear where the stat came from. And if that’s with our current system in place – where we pay pastors 6 figures, have 30+ people on staff to play music on Sunday mornings, hire assistant childrens ministers — or if that would be a new system and a new way of doing things.

        I don’t know that the church providing/paying for universal health care would be the way to go either – but perhaps a church sponsoring clinics so people can get pre-emergency and preventative care. Or churches working to give a hand-up to help folks eat more nutritious foods so they’re at less risk for diabetes and cancer and other diseases that are caused by poor diets.

        I don’t think there’s a one size fits all solution. It has to be a multi-prong approach – just like the universal health care system that’s being proposed.

        We need doctors who are so convicted by their faith that they’re willing to donate time and energy to caring for the sick and the poor. We need technology folks who are so concerned that they’ll volunteer their time and efforts to make record keeping improvements. We need mothers who are willing to help lead, teach and encourage single mothers in how to best raise up a healthy child. The federal government can’t do it alone – and individuals can’t do it alone – it’s going to take an intentional effort by everyone to bring about real change.

        Reply

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