Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Health Care for All
Before you lose your mind and begin to think I am becoming political in my writing I want to assure you I am not. That being said I am amazed by the amount of energy and TV air-time being spent on the issue of President Obama and the Congress' health care solutions. Obviously this is something citizens feel very strongly about and debate is good. Yet as I listen I am wondering where the thought of loving your neighbor has gone? Not supplying healthcare to everyone 'just because' it is too expensive is not the reason not to do it. However, working together as a country to truly address the broken nature of insurance, government and health delivery is something worth shouting and organizing around. It appears most wealthy and well insured want to keep what they have at their employer and many self-employed or under-employed would like to have coverage or greater access for their families but just cannot afford it. Is there a comprehensive answer to this delimna?
On my last trip to Africa our group came away with the conclusion that most of the good health and community care was being accomplished by the church and faith based community. Men and women who chose to serve others and give freely of their resources were changing lives and communities. Usually this happened on a community by community basis and those who were served were generally grateful. Yet all of this was voluntary and the men and women giving of their lives and living well below their financial aptitude were filled with purpose and joy - though their lives were not easy.
Where is that drive in our health care debate showing a concern of others first? Not by forcing collection of taxation and redistributing wealth, but men and women of good faith giving of themselves and the church organizing around this issue. Not advocating for more or less government but working through the problem. I have served on the board of Mercy Health Services in Franklin, Tennessee (mercytn.org) where a model for child health care is being created and lived out every day. No government money is spent. No taxes necessary. Yet getting the community to voluntarily give their wealth to care for children is difficult. Perhaps because current taxes and compulsary fees leave little to give?
We can care for one another without a government program, but in a fallen world where sin abounds God has given us civil government to check those who would line their pockets at the expense of the poor. Perhaps that is why so many have gotten behind Obama and his system of care? Maybe in a post-Christian culture the needs of the least have gotten lost in the pursuit of 'more' and now laws must be created to stay the covetous hand of man? I have heard it said cutures reap what they sow. Just thinking!