The religious wrong
I don’t need to expand on this concept too much as I think my implication is clear.
It is hard for me to understand how people professing to be devout Christians can be so militant in their attempt to deny health care to 30 million people. The overwhelming majority are the working poor who are now genuinely in need and deserving of this assistance, if nothing else, as a matter of simple human decency. Isn’t it also a basic American value? This group is composed increasingly of those who once were part of a thriving middle class and are now victims of 30 years of relentless income stagflation.
And let us not forget that, no matter who we are, we can fall out of our comfortable life in a flash. Just one failed company, one illness, one ‘act of God’ and we can tumble into debt and need. No one is permanently immune. I wonder whether misfortune is the only thing that would humble the arrogant and callous. Rudolf Steiner was once asked how it was that he knew so much about how to deal so skillfully with human beings. His answer was simple, by seeing the situation from the other person’s vantage point. Even Don Corleone advised this!
There are numerous places in both the Old and New Testaments where we are instructed to take care of those who cannot care for themselves. This is why I cannot understand the basis on which those who would otherwise invoke the Bible to justify their various positions on other social issues, take vehement exception to providing health care for everyone in this country, as cheaply as is feasible.
I am not talking about people who could pay for health care on their own and choose not to. That is a wildly inflated shibboleth. The people for whom this kind of assistance is going to be available through the Affordable Care Act cannot afford today’s health costs. They are often two adults juggling two jobs each, just to put a roof over their children’s heads and food on the table. That is fact, not spin.
And let’s clear up another myth. Someone in my extended family told me that if they didn’t own property, they would never pay for health insurance, since they can just go get treatment for free at the nearest emergency room. No! There is no free treatment. When people go to the emergency room, they are presented with a bill, inflated by the fact that care was provided under duress. Then aggressive collection agencies pursue that individual until they are paid or they have a judgment handed down against the recipient in court. Then that judgment is perfected in a variety of disastrous ways.
Speaking personally, I have had Anthem Blue Cross (Blue Cross/Blue Shield in NY/NJ) my entire life. Despite the fact that I have never filed a medical claim of any kind, I have watched those costs spiral upward exponentially out of all proportion and in multiples of inflation or cost of living factors. Why wouldn’t all of us welcome a universal, single-payer plan similar to those in other industrial countries, which are known to keep the actual costs of health care under control? For that matter, Switzerland has a public/private insurance system similar to the ACA and their health care is among the best in the world. Why are the extremists opposed to that?
Obviously, it is largely the result of unreasonable animus against the President (here is just one example of several despicable incidents that occurred this week alone: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/12/gop%E2%80%99s_rodeo_of_racism_blows_up/singleton/)
To a somewhat lesser but no less destructive degree, it comes from opposition to Democrats who are overwhelmingly supportive of having government administer health care for the majority of us, the way it has successfully managed Medicare.
And why would relatively poor, rural white, mostly older people (sorry, have to call it like it is) be so vitriolic in their opposition to something that will ultimately help them, most of all?
Ed Schulz said on Sunday that there is little other than talk radio in these areas and the endless stream of slurs and lies that spews from canny radio hosts raking in millions, knowingly duping their frightened, vulnerable audience has hijacked their minds and hearts perhaps irrevocably.
Because I truly want to understand if there is sound data from reliable sources and clear reasoning to support their position, I invite someone to explain to me how withholding healthcare from the needy comports with Christian values and how they believe that they, themselves would personally benefit from the insurance companies continuing to have a stranglehold on our healthcare and its costs.