Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:29 PM
[quote name='glunn']I wish someone could explain to me how a Christian could oppose the Affordable Care Act.
In the New Testament, Jesus clearly advocates the importance of helping poor people:
Matthew 25:34-36 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Mark 12:41-44 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
Luke 14:12-14 He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Luke 16:19-25 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.
How can any Christian oppose the implementation of the Affordable Care Act? Someone please explain this to me.
As a Christian, the first thing I need to clearly state is that your understanding and use of Scripture is incredibly poor. Proper exegesis always takes the passages in question within their appropriate context. Jesus's commands to Christians to take care of the poor do not obligate Christians, non-Christians, or otherwise to forcibly remove wealth from the people to redistribute it to others. These passages are not a call for a government sponsored healthcare or anything of the sort... as a matter of fact, they have nothing to do with government at all. They are a personal call to sacrifice.
Likewise, the call here says nothing of forcing everyone to make sacrifices. As a believer, I give a large portion of my income to various Christian charities, so much so that it hurts, which I do in large part because of the passages above. This does not obligate you to do the same, nor does it obligate me to support the government's attempt at doing this.
I get the need for social justice, and I will not argue if you were to state that the church has been lacking in this area for some time, but to conclude that because Jesus says we should give means that we should support a deeply flawed program that does nothing to address the actual causes of this mess (and greed plays a real big one here as the health system has been engineered in such a way to allow for several groups of people to create and take advantage of cash cows) is beyond silly.
I also cannot understand how a non-Christian could oppose this. Previously, any uninsured poor person could always get FREE treatment at the local emergency room. This is very inefficient and helps explain why some hospitals can charge $50 for an aspirin or some other item what costs less than a dollar. The cost of poor people going to the emergency room gets passed on to many of the people who oppose the Affordable Care Act, and it is indisputable that emergency rooms are a very expensive and inefficient way to provide care. For example, if someone has curable cancer, wouldn't it be better to give them chemo once a week than pay for the 10 or 20 emergency room visits until they die? Do I even have to ask what Jesus would say?
Nothing is free. The first problem I have is what is being assumed here and in a few of your other posts. We do not have a right to healthcare. We have a right to exist, and in our nation, we have a right to liberty (at least that's what our propaganda says, reality is a bit different)... Liberties, I'd add, that are being stepped on both by the Affordable Care Act, and walking into emergency rooms and demanding free care. What's not being said here is that there's a cost problem.
Costs have spiraled out of control, and no one is looking into why it is that this is the case. There was a day, not all that long ago, where people paid for a doctor just as they paid for a plumber. You didn't have a 3rd party payer, and if you couldn't pay, you typically worked something out with the doctor. Medicine wasn't all that expensive. Something has changed. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry personally, and having family members involved in various parts of the medical industry, I can tell you for certain that this is a system that is in desperate need of reform from the inside out. There are large groups of people benefiting from it in ways that make them very rich and have done so on the backs of everyone else. They can do that because they've created conflicts of interest, barriers to entry, unnecessary regulation, etc. in order to increase their profits... and they've been able to act unchecked.
And to those who say that this is socialistic, it seems to me that Medicare and Social Security are more socialistic. The Affordable Care Act, like Romneycare (which seems to be working in Massachusetts), is based on creating competition among private insurers. This approach was invented by Republicans, and initially opposed by Democrats who preferred a single payer solution, modeled on Medicare.
They are all socialistic, and personally I'm against all of them. Of course I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat.