Some Thoughts On Health Care

I’ve been wanting to write something about the proposed health care reform that is taking place in Washington D.C.  National Health Care is a huge issue with potentially huge ramifications.  For some, it’s a step towards providing health coverage for everyone.  For others, it’s a step towards socialism.  For some people are divided along politcal lines. 

First, a few thoughts of my own…

  1. Health Care in America is broken- When there are millions without health coverage, it is a broken system.  Health care has become a dividing line between the “haves” and the “have-nots”
  2. Many people’s view of the governments role in the reform is uneasy, at best.  I’m not a fan of big government, but how can we fix a broken system that is this big?  Are there other ways that reform of this magnitude can happen (if you believe that reform needs to take place)?
  3. Captialism has contributed to the problem.  Now, don’t paint me as a socialist.  The bottom line of Capitalism is the bottom line.  When you put that together with the sinful nature of humanity, it’s a recipe for disaster.  Corporations outsource there manufacturing to foreign lands, which exploits women and children, so that profits can increase.  Oil companies, in difficult economic times, have posted huge profits.  Insurance Companies/Health Care is not immune to this.  The price of health care keeps escalating.  Medications keep going up in price.  Our sue-happy culture raises the price of malpractice insurance…and the trickle-down goes to the average joe/jane who comes into the doctors office/hospital.

I’m certainly not advocating any answers, but some biblical thinking on the issue.  To do that may require one to set aside their preconcieved ideas about health care reform, political allegience (remember, Jesus wasn’t a Republican or Democrat), or other views on the issue.

  1. We know that Jesus was just as concerned with the poor as he was the rich.  Jesus restored the health and dignity of those who had been made outcast in society.  How do we as a society create systems that do not discriminate on the basis of race, income, gender, disabilities, etc. How do we restore the dignity of those who have no health care; those who can’t afford basic coverage? End of life care? Etc.?
  2. You can go through the Gospels and see many examples of Jesus healing the blind, the lame, the diseased- if the Church is the Body of Christ, is there an opportunity here for us to be a greater part of the healing process?  Can we work to provide more free clinics? Affordable vaccines/flu shots/etc.?  Can we provide/create ministries on greater scale that are healing in nature?  If we do not, are we missing an opportunity to be light in the darkness?
  3. In John 17, Jesus prays that his disciples would not be removed from the world but would be kept safe from the evil one.  How often do we as Christians refrain from getting political?  We are called to engage the world and the culture around us…and this means even in politics. We must use what we know about God, Jesus, and the Bible to inform our beliefs and our actions and let that lead us as we participate in our democratic system.
  4. Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  What would God’s justice look like in the health care reform?  How do we, as Christians, work torwards that on this issue?  What would  God’s mercy look like?  How do we, as Christians, work towards this?

This post is not meant as a comprehensive argument one way or another, but a way to begin thinking critically as Christians on the issues at hand. 

How does your faith inform you on the issue of health care reform?  Talk it out in the comment section!

About Steve LaMotte

Husband and father of three amazing children. Campus Minister of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware. Elder in the Pen-Del Conference. Fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. Lover of music that makes hipsters cringe.
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4 Responses to Some Thoughts On Health Care

  1. Matt says:

    I am a big fan of the church doing more to make health care just.

    To dig your heels in and oppose everything being proposed as some Christians seem to be doing in lockstep with the Republican party seems to suggest that there is nothing wrong with people being uninsured or under-insured. Apparently, the teaching I can never seem to find in the Bible about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps applies here.

    As someone who thinks both parties have it mostly wrong, I think we in the church need to wake up to the reality of the health care disaster in our country and provide for the “least of these” in any way we can.

    Simply saying that whatever the party you hate supports is evil or completely perfect doesn't really address the real issue: people are sick, hurting and dying because they don't have access to proper care.

  2. Andrea R says:

    Having worked with those with NO access to healthcare, who have lost jobs because they were ill and couldn't get to work (having no health coverage at work),I have seen the need firsthand, and have had many conversations with friends and family who have never known someone who didn't go to the doctor for an infected wound because they had no money and no health coverage (I have known more than one person like this.)

    I have been appalled at the reluctance of those who openly and repeatedly professed to be Christians (former president, for one) to do anything whatsoever to FIX this problem. How can one justify the politics of today while looking at the needy? Which Christ are they following if they believe that protecting big business is ok while letting the impoverished go without prenatal care and the most basic healthcare? It surely is not Jesus Christ, whom you quoted in your piece.

    For more FACTS about universal coverage (not the bunk we hear drowning out the facts from the political establishment), please listen to this reporter/expert interviewed by Terry Gross:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112172939
    (Steve, it would be perfect to burn to a CD for one of your long drives.)

  3. Andrea R says:

    Please take a look at my blog piece on this, if you have a chance:
    http://herdingcatsandsuch.blogspot.com/2009/08/healthcare-debate.html
    I'd like your comments, too.
    Thanks.

  4. I had a conversation with a friend who works in Washington say that it would be interesting/helpful/needed to have transparency on what health care really cost. How much does an x-ray really cost? An MRI? How about the medications we take? How much does the advertising that pharmacutical companies do increase the cost of their products? That might be a good place to begin in this discussion.

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