Wrestling Out Loud With Health Care Policy

The world says, "We want to create a system where everyone can have access to health care."

The Church screams, "No, don't do that."

Some will nuance that proclamation by arguing that health care is not the responsibility of the State. Others just don't want to pay more in taxes. A few will take a more theological stance where they argue that this is the responsibility of the Church, not the State.

Who is being the loving one here? Is this the voice of Jesus we are echoing?

We say the Church could do it better.

Why aren't we already doing it better?

We are called to sacrifice and love the least of these. Jesus told us that loving the sick is akin to loving Him. If we were taking care of the sick the way we should, the world wouldn't have this problem to deal with. Yet we aren't. And they do.

We say it isn't the responsibility of the State to provide health care.

Do you think God would rather have a person's health care not taken care of or provided through the State?

I wish this wasn't an issue. I wish the Church was taking care of the sick. I wish our light was shining through our love for the uninsured, but it's not. The harsh truth is that we aren't taking care of the sick. Oh, we have pockets of generous doctors and organizations, but they aren't enough to meet the massive health care shortfall.

Is it better that the sick don't receive help or that the State helps them out?

It's not like the Church is forcing the world to be loving here. We often stray into trying to force the world to live by our morals, when that is not our calling. Yet here, the world is trying to live by a moral we proclaim that we hold, yet we are trying to tell them not to do it. Somethings seems out of whack.

Do we really value loving the sick?

When the world says that it wants to love their strangers and neighbors, is it the right place for the people who claim to follow a loving God to stand against them while the strangers and neighbors are sick and uncared for?


A few relevant articles.

The Obamacare 'scandal' you haven't heard about by John Blake at CNN
Should Bible Belt pastors say anything publicly about the millions of poor people in their communities stranded by the coverage gap? Is it anti-Christian for state leaders to turn down help for the people Jesus called “the least of these"? Or should pastors say nothing publicly about such issues because they are strictly political?

When these questions were sent to many of the most popular pastors in the Bible Belt, they hit a wall of silence. Virtually no prominent pastor wanted to talk about the uninsured poor in their midst.
 A Comment on No Comment by Scot McKnight
Blake’s mistake here is the logical leap from Christian compassion for the poor into support of ACA. He suggests the pastors’ “no comment” means a lack of Christian action. In other words, those who don’t oppose those states’ decision don’t care about the poor.  It does not follow that care for the poor must include support of ACA. There are other ways to care for the poor.
But what bothered me was not Blake’s logic, for it could be argued that the logic may be a bit weak but the overall direction of his observations entirely justified, and I agree.
No, it is the silences, those “no comment” observations, that concern me. From John Blake’s piece: “Virtually no prominent pastor wanted to talk about the uninsured poor in their midst.”