Healthcare Is A Moral Values Issue
Brothers and sisters: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
There is no harm in being a fool;
harm lies in being a fool at the top of your lungs.
Our healthcare system is broken. Families are going bankrupt over medical bills and high premiums. Small businesses are burdened beyond their limits. People are suffering and dying from treatable illnesses because the price for care is too high. No one is denying that the status quo is unacceptable. But the special interests and big insurance companies are spending a fortune to distort the truth and scare Americans into inaction. Scripture warns against those who pursue wealth at the expense of the lives and welfare of others. We are empowered by a spirit of strength and love and hold firmly to the truth that all God’s children should have the opportunity to live whole and healthy.
The nay-sayers claim that we cannot afford healthcare reform and it will hurt the economy. The truth is that the current system is crippling our economy and we cannot afford not to act now.
As a nation, we currently spend $2 trillion a year on healthcare. Between 2000-2006, while inflation increased 3.5% and wages increased 3.8%, healthcare premiums increased 87%. Our emergency rooms are overflowing with people who delay receiving medical treatment because they cannot afford it, further burdening an already stressed system. Prices will only continue to rise in upcoming years and Medicare and Medicaid will come under further strain as more and more Americans are unable to afford healthcare on their own. Our economy and our families cannot survive without healthcare reform.
The nay-sayers claim that healthcare reform will devalue human life and deny the elderly and vulnerable care. The truth is that it is our current system is one that spurns life in favor of turning a profit.
46 million people in this country live without healthcare and 25 million are underinsured. Each year 18,000 people die unnecessarily because they cannot afford the medical treatment that will save their lives. As long as our elderly must choose between paying for their food and their medicine, we as a society are not valuing life. As long as children must go without medical treatment because their parents cannot afford to pay, we are not holding their lives as sacred. The lives of all of God’s children are precious, not just those who can pay their insurance premiums.
The nay-sayers claim that healthcare reform will entangle government in personal medical decisions and hurt private industry. The truth is that reform will give people the freedom of greater options for their care by creating healthy competition that will lower costs.
Our nation is founded on the idea that competition is healthy and benefits the consumer. Insurance companies are saying that the government plans could be so much more cost efficient that no one will buy private insurance. What they are really saying is that they don’t want to lose their skyrocketing profits. The fact is that Medicaid and Medicare are very efficient programs. Approximately 4 cents of every dollar that goes to Medicare is spent on administration, compared with the private sector where it could be as much as half of every dollar. Having public insurance choices alongside private ones would help reduce administrative health care costs by $265 billion over ten years. And unlike European systems, doctors will remain independent just as they do with Medicare.
The time to reform healthcare is now. It is the smart thing to do economically. It is the right thing to do morally. We must not allow fear-mongers pursuing profit to scare us into inaction.