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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Does God hate Obamacare?

Although many conservative Christians have the good sense not to openly vocalize the sentiment, I suspect that in their heart of hearts many of them believe that God is a Republican. Of course, the corollary to this belief is that President Barack Obama and the Democrats belong to the Devil. Hence, as the Affordable Care Act was formulated and passed by the President and his party, it must be satanic - right? Moreover, the Republican Party's dogged resistance to the act and numerous attempts to overturn it are seen as further proof that God doesn't like it (After all, if "His" party is opposed to the measure, then God must be opposed to it as well).

Is it just me, or does that sound like circular reasoning to you too? Do Republicans have a lock on God's affections because they say that they do? or Do they stand on God's side because they support the things that "He" supports and oppose the things that "He" opposes? Is the principle of universal health care an idea with satanic origins?

It is interesting to note that, in terms of the political origins of this concept (universal health care) vis-à-vis the United States, it was one of the most popular Republican presidents of all times who first ran for the presidency on this principle a little over one hundred years ago! In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt made an unsuccessful bid for a third term as the candidate of the Progressive or Bull Moose Party. During this campaign, he advocated for a stronger role for the federal government in protecting the health of its citizens and ensuring that everyone had access to adequate and appropriate care when sick.

Let's take just a moment to look at the morality of the question by asking ourselves a few questions. Is profit an acceptable motive for providing health care to people? Should a person be entitled to adequate health care because they have a million dollars in their pocket or because they can afford private health insurance? Is it appropriate to deny adequate health care to someone because they cannot afford to pay for it? What good does it do to have the best health care system in the world when citizens don't have access to it? How is it morally right for the King of Saudi Arabia to be able to obtain care at the Cleveland Clinic when many of the poor Black citizens of Cleveland, Ohio don't have access to those same facilities?

A few years ago, Rebecca Skloot wrote a book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I invite all of my conservative friends to read this excellent book. In it, Skloot tells the story of a young and poor Black woman dying from cancer whose cells became the focus of medical research for the next sixty years. The author recounts how doctors removed some of the cancerous cells from her body and used them in experiments that led to the development of a polio vaccine and a host of other medical breakthroughs that have made a great deal of money for a whole lot of people. Her family, however, remained poor and unable to afford health insurance or adequate health care for themselves. The truth is: If this story doesn't prick your conscience, nothing will.

Should issues of life and death be decided in the marketplace? Should money be the principal factor in deciding who has access to health care and who does not? How do you think that God would answer these questions?

1 comment:

  1. "Should issues of life and death be decided in the marketplace?"

    The fate of the USA (and Obamacare) will be decided by the marketplace.
    When Govt misses an interest payment on its $17.7t debt (like Greece, Argentina did)

    Generous Bleeding Heart policies have Debt rising at $10,000 per second (usdebtclock.org)