A Christian website I visit frequently recently opened a debate about the newly-signed health care reform bill.
I will not get into the specifics here, but one recurrent theme caught my eye: the number of Christians who are vehemently opposed to the bill on the basis that they will need to contribute more in taxes to support those who cannot afford quality health care on their own.
I was horrified.
Whatever happened to sacrificing for the needy? Selflessness? Love? Aren’t those some of the greatest expressions of Christianity?
Jesus tells us in the Bible that the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second? “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
And while I do not know all the specifics of the bill (nor am I a biblical scholar), my understanding is that there isn’t anything glaringly un-Christian about it, especially in regards to those two commandments.
On a more personal note, I think that the bill definitely has its faults, but it is a step in the right direction. And while I am not a great fan of socialism, I believe that government intervention is necessary in certain parts of our lives, because all human beings deserve — or at least deserve the chance at — a decent life. The status quo isn’t worth protecting if it only benefits the most wealthy and powerful members of a group.
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One of the many cases that are brought forth by opposers of the bill cites other countries as examples. They say that citizens of countries with universal health care must pay more in taxes (my household pays 35% — do you pay more?). They state that the doctors and the quality of health care in these countries are sub-par to that of the United States, that the wait for necessary procedures and tests is disturbingly long.
Now, I’m not too sure about other countries, but I do know that S. Korea has universal health care and my relatives who live there were appalled when I informed them how much we pay in taxes, or how much we pay for insurance.
In addition, health care in Korea is so much more accessible and cheaper than that of the U.S. that my parents — who are U.S. citizens and have health insurance — choose to have procedures done while visiting Korea because the costs are less than what they would pay in the U.S. with insurance.
So I’ve decided to pose a question to all my international readers: what do you think about the health care in your country? Do you agree with the above statements?