Can you be a truly good Christian, yet be against universal healthcare?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by 777, May 17, 2008.

  1. 777
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    777 Member

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    Consider these statistics for a moment

    In the United States alone
    Over 40 million uninsured, many children, elderly, working poor families
    Lucky enough to have a private insurance? You may be denied care, medical claims, etc …
    Over million families / individuals file medical bankcrupty every year in the USA. In many other westerns world countries this is unheard of.

    US system is most expensive in the world, yet in quality and access it rates poorly, around 30th – 40th compared to other healthcare systems in the world.

    … and so on …

    So, how does a compassionate Christian defend his/her position in support of private healthcare that leaves so many behind, especially children? Or, if you do believe in private system, do you believe you are a compassionate, good Christian?

    Also, is there such a thing that a priest, nun, a monk (the most pious persons) supporting a US-type of healthcare system as lined above, leaving behind scores of persons without healthcare?

    Would Jesus approve of private healthcare system considering what is in reality?
     
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  2. frazzledgear
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    frazzledgear Senior Member

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    I love it when people like you pretend Jesus was in favor of a specific kind of system of government or government policy. Funny, no matter how often I read the Bible -Jesus' message wasn't about people uniting in favor of a specific system of government or government policy. It was a message that what is here on earth is temporary and will pass, that no one will enter heaven without salvation and how to receive that salvation. And that if you love the Lord, then you will follow God's Commandments. And not a one of those is "thou shalt pay burdensome taxes for a universal healthcare system that will cost you in your own level of health and possibly your life expectancy", sorry. If a faceless, inhuman government adopts and provides universal healthcare insurance -what does the heck does that have to do with Jesus at all? But let's pretend it does anyway.

    In which case, an intelligent person -Christian or not -would take a good, hard look at the "statistics". Statistics are misleading unless you know HOW certain things are being measured and whether or not everyone is measuring it the same way.

    For instance -just one thing that is considered in the measurement of the overall healthcare system of any country. Infant mortality. This one is perhaps THE most misleading "statistic" in the world. While the World Health Organization considers infant mortality to be the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births -countries are totally free to report that number in accordance to what THEY consider to be a "live birth" and "infant". Which makes for some interesting reporting. For instance, some countries -even a couple of western ones -will report a "live birth" as any baby born after the 24th week of gestation and report any infant deaths for the first three months after birth. Some will stop reporting after the first 6 months. Other countries, especially the less developed ones -will only report as "live birth" babies born after the 32 week of gestation. (That is because babies born before that in those country just don't survive anyway.)

    But the US reports ALL live births, regardless of gestational age. We also report all deaths that occur in the first year of life. Extremely premature babies are at high risk of dying -even months later. But there are some countries which will not report that baby as a live birth because it was born prior to whatever cut-off week they have chosen -and even though that child may not die for several weeks, it is not reported as an infant death. It is treated as if a stillborn -not a live birth.

    That means we report a whole lot more live births and we report a whole lot more babies dying per 1,000 -but only because we report for a longer period of time than most other nations and we report all live births regardless of their gestational age. Yet compared to a country that reports as "live births" only those babies born after 32 weeks gestational age and stops reporting any infant deaths that occure after 3 months -it looks like the US has a ridiculously high infant moratlity rate. So comparisons of healthcare systems is only possible between countries with identical methods of reporting -which are very few.

    Then you have to go look at the "benefit" countries have gotten from universal healthcare. And the results of THAT should be cause for concern -if your concern is REALLY doing the best thing possible for as many people as possible. Every single nation that has adopted universal healthcare -has paid a HUGE price for it that has not been offset by the benefits. And I'm not just talking about the fact people pay more in taxes than they would have voluntarily paid if it came straight out of their pocket for that identical level of care. Nations like the UK have some extraordinary findings that should give anyone with a brain real pause.

    People are now dying at a higher rate of illnesses that once had a lower death rate in nations like the UK. That is because the waiting period to be seen for a routine doctor's appointment is 18-24 months. (And people bitch about waiting 4-6 weeks here.) So by the time a person who may be concerned about a slight change in health is even seen by a doctor -the odds that it has continued to progress to a serious or even critical problem -rises. When that happens, a person is more likely to die at that stage. So you see people die at a higher rate of heart disease, stroke, all sorts of cancers and even infections -for the sole reason they were just seen too late in the course of disease. Then you add in the REALLY nasty reality.

    When you have universal healthcare, people figure that healthcare is free -and you see people overutilize the system. They decide to go see the doctor for things they wouldn't bother with if paying for it directly out of their pocket -which is what causes the back-up in getting in to see the doctor in the first place. Elderly people naturally have more healthcare concerns than the young -and nations like the UK figure the real solution to their problems is to ration their healthcare -at the expense of the elderly. In the UK, people die a much higher rate of diseases like stroke -appalling so. And in the UK they are even refusing to treat elderly people for some kinds of cancer that would be survivable if they were just given treatment. In other words -they are letting old people die of a disease that they would likely survive if they were just TREATED for it. Under our system -if doctors believe a person is likely to survive their illness if treated for it -then they DO IT. Regardless of their age. They will even do it if the odds are not high for survival because it is still better odds than the zero chance of survival they will have if left untreated.

    So I don't see how a Christian could even support universal healthcare in the first place. We don't tax everyone so that government will give every single person their own home, do we? We don't tax every single person in order to have government provide clothing to every single person. We don't tax everyone so that government will provide every single person with food -all things we need to actually survive. Every single person doesn't need healthcare in order to survive though -but we don't expect government to provide all the things every single person DOES need to survive.
    The truly big concern with healthcare in this country is targeting who actually needs help and who actually does not for reasons of their own choice. Those of most concern are those who desire healthcare insurance but cannot afford it but do not qualify for Medicaid -and those with inadequate healthcare insurance for whom a catastrophic illness would financially wipe them out. Those are the two big problems.

    So are you REALLY insisting that it is just impossible for a decent society to figure out how to help the people who actually require assistance - without the incredible burdensome taxes on everyone that it will require in order for government to then provide healthcare insurance to EVERYONE? Even when it means far more people will sacrifice their own health and even life expectancy who otherwise would not - in order to do just that? And what is this STUPID notion that government is the most cost effective, most efficient means of providing healthcare to everyone in the first place? Government was NEVER created to be cost effective or efficient about ANYTHING.

    Somehow I don't see Jesus insisting that everyone else must sacrifice their own health and even their life expectancy and assume onerous taxes -as the only or even best possible answer here.
     
  3. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Nah... Jesus never said "give unto Caesar... "... nope. And, of course, he'd have said everyone should fend for themselves.

    I can just see him standing on the Temple Mount saying how he believes in darwinian social policy. :eusa_dance:
     
  4. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Twist it anyway you want, I notice you did not addrees the meat of the argument. I wonder why that is?
     
  5. MasterChief
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    MasterChief Member

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    I don't what bible you're reading but in mine, Jesus does not support any government system, he just touches them and heals them. Now if I'm remembering my history right, many of the first hospitals in the US were started by churches and I have not heard of a hospital or doctor who has ever turned a child away.

    It sounds like you're dialing up the fear meter so you can justify robbing from some and giving to others. If you believe in universal health care run by the government, next time you're sick go to Cuba and see how good things are there.
     
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  6. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    yes, we have a major problem with our healthcare system, it is unaffordable to many people.

    but the only sollution or even the best sollution may not be a quasi universal healthcare plan.

    The proposals from the presidential candidates will not really help with cutting any kind of healthcare overhead because they both have included the private insurer as the managers of our health care and they are precisely 33% of our healthcare costs now....for doing absolutely nothing but being the MIDDLE MAN, who takes his take of the profits.....they don't supply any kind of health care, they are not the hospitals and doctors and nurses and medicines and MRI's..... they just handle the paperwork, and also figure out ways to make doctors not give us the healthcare we need without their approval to cut costs to make them more profitable.

    our healthcare system does need reform, comprehensive reform....to deny such is ridiculous.

    if we go on to a system where businesses no longer share in the cost of the 60% of the people covered, and we the usa citizen has to pay for everyone's healthcare, we as a country, will go bankrupt and more than the 40 million will be at risk...we are already going to go bankrupt with medicare coverage is what all projections point to....especially with all the Boomer citizens getting ready to go on it....

    We got big problems with the cost of medical care....and unless we figure out how to reduce the costs, BEFORE any kind of universal plan is set up, we will be raked over the coals making the pharma industry and the hmo's and the hospitals and the insurance companies richer and richer, at the tax payer's expense and as said, bankrupt the country....leaving even more people vulnerable to bad times.

    But to address your issue regarding Christians and Jesus....yes, i think that Jesus would show compassion and want us to do something to help all of us with our healthcare....and with poverty in general...but what i think you fail to recognize is that there is not only one way to address these issues....and there are legitimate concerns that should be taken in to consideration when choosing the methods of reform.

    being allowed to negotiate bulk discounts on our medicare program that the gvt is paying for would be a huge beginning in cutting costs...streamlining all hospitals paperwork could save a bundle too....this has to be done before a universal plan ever comes in to play imo...along with many other reforms, with some regulating too....

    btw, i had read once that almost all of those people that declared medical bankruptcy HAD HEALTH INSURANCE, but still went broke on the medical care they needed, that was not paid for by the health insurance companies because of the limits they put on their payouts and on tests that are permitted to be performed.

    care
     
  7. jillian
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    jillian Princess Supporting Member

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    Because, frankly, there isn't anything to discuss. Jesus isn't here to say how he'd have voted on the issue. Do I think people should have health coveage? Yes. But that has nothing to do with Jesus.
     
  8. Dogger
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    Dogger Active Member

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    Jesus also led by example.

    How much did he charge people for healing them?
     
  9. frazzledgear
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    frazzledgear Senior Member

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    Part of the problem is being glossed over and entirely ignored. But it is very real. Ok, let's all be appalled at the fact that 40 million people in the US have no healthcare coverage. Is that all you need to know? NO

    1. It is also a fact that within six months, that 85% of those 40 million will be totally different people and a year later -nearly 100% will be totally different people. That is because 85% of those without healthcare insurance at any given time -will have it within six months or LESS and nearly 100% will have it within a year. So we aren't talking about a solid figure about people who are ALWAYS without healthcare insurance. We are talking about people who lack it for a few months only at any given time.

    2. Then you have to look at those of that 40 million who could afford it -but choose NOT to buy it. More than 70% are people in their 20s and early 30s who are unmarried and could afford it but CHOOSE not to buy it. And for them it may well make perfect sense. They tend not to be married, have no dependents and are perfectly healthy. Of all age groups that end up requiring expensive medical care -these are the very people least likely to even utilize medical care, much less require the most expensive medical care.

    So -are you going to insist they MUST buy it anyway even though they have decided it makes no sense to do so at that point in their lives and in nearly all cases -it is actually a financially wise decision?

    The problem with healthcare is this. Those who want to purchase healthcare insurance but just can't afford it and also don't qualify for Medicare. And those who have purchased AND can only afford inadequate healthcare for whom a catostrophic illness would wipe them out financially.

    Sorry, but not even Jesus could convince me the only possible way -much less the BEST way -to make sure these people have assistance when needed -is to impose onerous taxes on EVERYONE for a system that will actually cost others their own health and even life expectancy.
     
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  10. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    i think cuba ranks higher than us in healthcare if memory serves so your example doesn't prove a point in your favor....

    jesus said to the rich man wanting to know what he could do to be saved and was told by Christ to give up all his money...

    and that the love of money, IS the root of all evil....

    he also said to ''give unto caesar what is his'' ....as jillian mentioned

    and he sent the apostles out with only the sandals on their feet....

    and he flipped the tables of the money changing profiteers in the temple square....

    pardon my frankness but i don't think Jesus gave two hoots about YOU Holding on to your precious money because it is yours and you earned it kind of mentality....in fact, i think he condemned it, many times over masterchief???

    the Levite and the priest passed the injured man on the side of the road, but the good samaritan man....who was considered from a lower in class and stature tribe, is the one who stopped and helped the left for dead, robbed man....

    care
     

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