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Healthcare discussion/debate

What happened to the days of being able to have a decent debate or discussion with those whose views don’t align with our own? Why does ignorance have to get in the way?

America is currently in the throes of unrest due to a bill on the table to create a government controlled healthcare, socialized healthcare. There are a lot of people that aren’t too thrilled with this idea, mostly those well off enough to afford health insurance and Christian’s who get hung up on the idea that socialized healthcare will pay for abortions, and that means the world is going to end. :p

I took part in a group blogging project a couple of months ago and it was hosted by a great guy, Dan King (aka: bibledude). He recently did a post on why Christian’s shouldn’t be surprised that socialized health-care is happening because there is a void, Christian’s should have filled it, we didn’t, so the government stepped it. You can read it here.

I commented on this post in the comments section, as well as on his facebook status promoting it, as there had been a couple of other comments there as well. I was hoping to start a decent discussion, but all I got was defensiveness and what I will call ignorance. Now I’ve been learning a lot about diplomacy over the past little while, and am learning to exercise it when possible to allow things to flow smoothly. I don’t always do so well, but I like to think that I’m getting better. Here’s the conversation: (i’ve included extra comments in italicized brackets)

H: I completely agree with the article…If we want to be
Christ-like…we should be feeding the poor, caring for the sick, and taking in the orphans. The basic principlwe is that if we all contribute we can accomplish more. Also, Christians can’t just be Pro-Life without addressing the needs of the lives of children that are saved, but still need care. If anything this a call to the church to be more self-less. How about being more concernend about others than ourselves for a change! (great points, it’s nice that someone else is acknowledging that if you choose to be pro-life, you need to address the needs of those you are “saving”)

A:
Interesting & great thoughts! The problem is, if the government gets its way, it won’t matter how much money a church raises for a person’s illness. The socialistic turn of the US will cause people to be denied healthcare depending on their heath situation. Just downright scary. The church does need to be concerned about these issues and proactive. Pray! (why do so many american’s automatically think the word “socialized” is so evil?)

Me: I do not understand all the controversy and fear-mongering that is taking place in the US surrounding socialized health care. The would “socialist” is thrown around like it is a bad thing. Everything about socialized health care is Christian, heck Christianity is more like Communism then Democracy.
I don’t think the church has the scope, nor the … Read Moreability (at least not in it’s current or past state) to do what the government is able to by creating socialized healthcare. Sure it would be great, and in theory it would work perfectly. I just don’t think the structure is in place, nor could it be in the foreseeable future.
I don’t understand why people figure that turning to a socialized system will result in denial of care for those who need it. Right now the system results in the denial of care for all that can’t pay. I don’t see how this can make it worse, it is going to change so that anyone who needs it has access to it, not just those with the money.

S: I couldn’t disagree with Christopher more! As Christians we, should be adamantly against what is going on in Congress right now. If you read the bill, you will see that this will allow the government – our tax dollars – to pay for abortions! Not to mention that EVERY country that has a plan that looks like this one in failing in all aspects. I live in Michigan and can tell you that Canadians come here when they need the critical care their government denies them. (Think about that, your government saying you can’t get that pace maker – or whatever. How Christian and loving is that?!?!?) Contrary to what the president is saying, you will not be able to keep your own insurance plan! As soon as anything changes, like your premium or any detail of your coverage, you will be forced to take the government plan. I don’t know about yours, but my plan changes a little every year! This is not fear-mongering… this is all STRAIGHT from the bill. I encourage you to read it!

Me: I live in Canada, I know what socialized healthcare is like. I’ve read what the bill is about, and what they are going to do. People don’t cross the border because the government denies them adequate care, they cross because they can afford to pay out of pocket for speedier service. For those that can’t, healthcare is more than adequate.
The negative side-effect to socialized healthcare that I regularly experience is that of longer wait times to get in to see specialists and for things like MRI’s. But I would take this over having a huge chunk of population that doesn’t have access to adequate healthcare just because they can’t afford it.
And yes, it will pay for abortions, but the world isn’t going to end because your tax payer dollars pay for that.
The only people complaining about socialized healthcare are those that can afford privatized. The big thing here, that everyone seems to be forgetting, is that EVERYONE will have access to healthcare.
(trying to keep things lighthearted)But the nice thing about living in a Democratic society is that both sides get a say. People get a vote. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and each opinion is valid. šŸ™‚ I appreciate that.

S: Well in the REPUBLIC in which we live, I have the right to say where I want MY money going and I do NOT support nor will I PAY for someone to take the life of an unborn child. IT IS WRONG! As wrong as someone not being cared for who needs it! Which is why NO ONE in our country is denied healthcare – that is the fear mongering LIE that our government is spreading! The majority of the people who do not have health care insurance are choosing to not have coverage. Those who cannot afford it are covered by Mediaid. We are taking care of our sick and poor! I agree that insurance needs to be reformed, but this is NOT the way to do it.
The other difference is that your system in Canada is not being headed up by a man who during his short political career voted FOUR times to deny care to babies who were aborted in the third trimester. These are babies who, if given care, were viable human beings. But instead, they were left to die in a janitor’s closet a slow and agonizing death. That is not the Christian love and compassion that I want making decisions about my health care and who deserves to receive it!

Me: (quoting S)”The majority of the people who do not have health care insurance are choosing to not have coverage. Those who cannot afford it are covered by Mediaid. We are taking care of our sick and poor!”
I’m not sure where you are getting this info, but my research would show otherwise. Approx. 60 percent of poor Americans are not covered by Medicaid(1), and “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007.”(2)
45 million people aren’t “choosing to not have coverage,” they can’t afford it.
While abortion is a hot-button topic, and a contentious issue at best, I don’t think it outweighs the fact that millions of people are without adequate healthcare. And yes, while you live in a republic, it is still a democratic nation, so while you get your vote, the majority still says where your money goes.
I’d love if there was a way Christians could supplement the healthcare system, in every country, not just the US; there sure are enough of us. As Dan mentioned, Relational Tithe is a great idea. So is no longer paying pastors 3 figure salaries.
While I don’t think the Church is in a place to do much in the healthcare realm, I think it could be done with a lot of hardwork, dedication, and heavenly help.

(1)http://www.nchc.org/facts/coverage.shtml
(2)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicaid
(I worked my butt off to stay diplomatic here, and not use the word ignorant. I thought I was laying things out nicely and was hoping for a decent rebuttal.)

S: Show me in the constitution that it is the GOVERNMENT’S job to provide health care. I agree that we need to look at healthcare and reform to take care of those who cannot afford it. But that is NOT what the government is supposed to do. With the bill the way it is written, not only will the poor not receive care – NO ONE will!

And this is where is ends. I’m not going to reply to that, as she’s just getting worked up, and this discussion can’t go anywhere productive. I was hoping for more, but sadly, am leaving disappointed. I was initially a little annoyed that it ended this way, but such is life, and I will continue to engage folks in discussion other places. šŸ™‚

Can someone please tell me why people don’t seem to think that “it’s not the government’s job” to take care of the sick and needy? In my books that’s the perfect thing for the government to do, but what do I know, I live in a “socialist” country. :p

What do you guys think? Yes or No to socialized healthcare?

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