Sunday, August 23, 2009

Christians Against Health Care For All?

I must admit to being simply astounded that anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ would be against providing health care for every child of God.

Unless you cut out the 25th chapter of Matthew, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the year of Jubilee, and various other big swaths of scripture, it is simply impossible to refute the clear message that God has a preferential bias for the poor.

More than 46 million Americans lack any kind of health insurance. Millions more are are underinsured. Many of them don't have coverage because they simply can't afford it. And, because of that, people are dying. Specifically, at least 22,000 Americans die every year because they don't have health insurance or because they are underinsured. The current health care system simply does not work.

Yet, this guy claims that the health care reform currently being considered by congress is anti-Christian:

ObamaCare is immoral and anti-Christian.

It is immoral to rob citizens of the their hard-earned money in order to give to other citizens something that they did not earn. That is government-sanctioned stealing, pure and simple. And it is anti-Christian to take something out of the hands of individual believers something that they should voluntarily do out of their compassion for the poor, and place it in the hands of government to do through a mandated program...
His argument seems to be that the churches should provide for the health care needs of the poor. In theory, that is a lovely idea. But here's the problem: IT DOESN'T WORK! The churches do not have the structures in place to address such a huge problem. If they did, it would already be happening. But, except for a few scattered church-sponsored providers, it hasn't happened in the past, so there is little reason to think it's going to happen in the future. The efforts of the churches alone, although commendable, simply cannot meet the needs of 48 million Americans.

It is obvious as one reads the above article that the author cares little about those who are suffering and dying because of lack of medical attention. He is using this issue to rant about his own political agenda, nothing more. He provides a shameful witness to his Christian faith.

There are others who bring shame on all Christians by repeating outright lies regarding H.R. 3200: America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. I suggest that you read the bill for yourself first, and then look around elsewhere on the net, before jumping on the bandwagon of such extremist positions.

Let's touch on some of the more outlandish accusations being made. :

1. "Death Panels" - Here's the relevant section of the bill. As you can see, this is an "end of life counseling" session, and is completely voluntary. The idea that some panel is going to decide to kill grandma is just plain nuts.

2. Federally funded abortion - FactCheck claims that this is true, while PolitiFact claims it is false. Why the confusion?

Read the two relevant sections of the bill here. As you can see, "abortion" is not mentioned. It was introduced into the bill by the Capps Amendment, which is an attempt to make sure public funds are not used for abortions.

What FactCheck and PoitiFact did not mention (although Open Congress did) was that nothing in the bill or the amendment nullifies the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prevents any federal funds being used for abortions, except in a few limited cases; rape, incest, or danger to the mother's health.

This bill does not introduce any new legislation that would allow federal funds to be used for abortions.

3. Illegal Immigrants - I have no idea where this one came from. In sections 242 and 246 of the bill, it is made clear that those elgible must be "lawfully present" in the US.

There's other false statements being made, such as "it will raise taxes" (sure, if you make more than $350,000 a year), and "it will take away the private insurance option" (actually, it will expand your options, while not eliminating any of them). If you want to learn more about some of these popular distortions, take a look here and here.

I also recommend that you consider A Christian Creed on Health Care Reform:

As one of God's children, I believe that protecting the health of each human being is a profoundly important personal and communal responsibility for people of faith.

I believe God created each person in the divine image to be spiritually and physically healthy. I feel the pain of sickness and disease in our broken world (Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:22).

I believe life and healing are core tenets of the Christian life. Christ's ministry included physical healing, and we are called to participate in God's new creation as instruments of healing and redemption (Matthew 4:23, Luke 9:1-6; Mark 7:32-35, Acts 10:38). Our nation should strive to ensure all people have access to life-giving treatments and care.

I believe, as taught by the Hebrew prophets and Jesus, that the measure of a society is seen in how it treats the most vulnerable. The current discussion about health-care reform is important for the United States to move toward a more just system of providing care to all people (Isaiah 1:16-17, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Matthew 25:31-45).

I believe that all people have a moral obligation to tell the truth. To serve the common good of our entire nation, all parties debating reform should tell the truth and refrain from distorting facts or using fear-based messaging (Leviticus 19:11; Ephesians 4:14-15, 25; Proverbs 6:16-19).

I believe that Christians should seek to bring health and well-being (shalom) to the society into which God has placed us, for a healthy society benefits all members (Jeremiah 29:7).

I believe in a time when all will live long and healthy lives, from infancy to old age (Isaiah 65:20), and "mourning and crying and pain will be no more" (Revelation 21:4). My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters who watch their loved ones suffer, or who suffer themselves, because they cannot afford a trip to the doctor. I stand with them in their suffering.

I believe health-care reform must rest on a foundation of values that affirm each and every life as a sacred gift from the Creator (Genesis 2:7).
Amen.

J.

UPDATE: Cany provides us with a great link that exposes 14 of the top health care reform myths, as well as two clips from The Daily Show that are excellent examples of just how bizarre this debate has become. Go pay her a visit.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We had coverage with a church plan, don't want to mention name, but the coverage was not what we were used to. Essentially, it omitted certain coverage because they were allowed to. So in the end we went to www.easytoinsureme.com and were able to speak with an agent and the agent directed us to real coverage. Funny thing is the rate was like $18 a month extra and good coverage. It would cover the pill too. It covers birth control at 100%.

Anonymous said...

We had coverage with a church plan, don't want to mention name, but the coverage was not what we were used to. Essentially, it omitted certain coverage because they were allowed to. So in the end we went to http://www.easytoinsureme.com and were able to speak with an agent and the agent directed us to real coverage. Funny thing is the rate was like $18 a month extra and good coverage. It would cover the pill too. It covers birth control at 100%.