Friday, March 26, 2010

Universal health care

I know universal health care is not an option in the US right now, but I've been thinking about it, and I hope it one day is an option. A friend of mine said something about it yesterday, and I can't remember exactly what he said; nor what were his thoughts and what are mine... but I think he said there were basically three reasons people are against universal health care, and I agree:
  1. They don't feel certain people DESERVE IT. They feel it wrongly benefits people too lazy to work, or too poor to afford it.
  2. They don't like the HIGH COST.
  3. They DON'T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT.
Now, I don't want to "Christianize" the thing, but I do think those of us who are Christ-followers should try to look at everything we do from a Christian perspective. So in that regard, none of these reasons really make sense (imho).

As far as people deserving anything... every Christian ought to know that NONE OF US deserves anything. That is basic grace and mercy stuff - foundational elements of our faith. The Good News is that we don't get what we deserve, and we do get what we don't deserve. Which is to say nothing of all Jesus' commands to look after the poor and less fortunate. A "deserve it" mentality is the making of capitalistic greed, and I don't find many examples of that in Scripture (in a positive way).

In regard to the cost... well, let's see, how much have we spent on the "war on terror" to date? Do we really want to talk about cost? Or the space program? We Americans spend money on some of the stupidest things under the sun anyway: $4 cups of coffee; $2 bottles of water; $6 packs of cigarettes; the list could go on forever. Our houses need to be bigger, our cars need to be shinier, our clothes need to be nicer. Again, a society built on capitalistic greed is not going to have a very good grasp on legitimate stewardship. So to me cost is irrelevant, especially in the name of health care. The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is not an inalienable right; nor is it very Christian. You know, there's that "serving two masters."

And, finally, trusting the government... Yes, this one is hard to argue. Unless, of course, the alternative is to trust Big Business - whose only consideration is making money any way they can. Which is what our system is built around now. Drug companies, insurance companies, frivolous medical lawsuits... it's no wonder these fields are all opposed to universal health care. They would be the big losers. So, no, we can't really trust the government; but I think we can trust big business even less. Pick your poison. At least government has to be somewhat accountable for what they do; and they are ultimately supposed to be about serving the people, rather than lining their pockets.

I'm sure this is a somewhat simplistic view of the situation, but I really wish the American public would just stop and think for a minute. We have been sold too many lies, we have been worked up into too much of a frenzied panic, we seem to be putting our faith in too many conservative talk-show hosts...

What would Jesus do? What would he do with those who are passing lies off as truth? What would he do with those spreading deceitful gossip? What would he do with those making death threats against congressman? And... what would he do about the poor... the "least of these"???

I dunno. Just some thoughts. Peace out, my friends; and in.