I don’t really get political on here because this site was originally designed to be a pop culture haven, but I’ve written so much on healthcare today that I feel it necessary to put all of my writing in one place. I honestly tried to stay out of it, but I just couldn’t. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, but be logical and respectful in the comments and don’t make them hurt too much (my ego has been bruised a lot lately).First, the statement by John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today, upholding the Obama administration’s health care plan:
“We are grieved by the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Health Act, particularly the court’s ruling to uphold the mandate that health insurance plans cover contraceptives that may cause abortions. Through the health-care act, the president and his administration have declared war on religion and freedom of conscience. And sadly, the Supreme Court is a party to this injustice. The court’s actions today reflect the secularization of our society and the marginalization of people of faith. This is a defining moment for our nation, and a grave threat to the religious liberty and freedom of conscience that all Americans have enjoyed for more than two centuries. We ask all citizens to join us in praying for those who, for the sake of conscience, will choose to obey God rather than men.
“At the same time, we understand there are many people in Missouri and throughout the nation that suffer physically and financially because they are unable to obtain medical coverage due to pre-existing conditions or portability issues. We are greatly concerned for hurting people and believe the president and the Congress should work together to address these provisions without creating a Constitutional crisis.”
And my response:
1) There are exceptions in the law that allows for religious institutions to not participate in the contraception clause. Religious hospitals, for instance, don’t have to provide contraception for their employees if they deem it inappropriate. Therefore, it doesn’t violate the First Amendment in anyway. In fact, striking down Obamacare based on that would the exact opposite of religious freedom because it would be imposing religious doctrine upon others who may not agree with it.
2) Though I appreciate John Yeats’ acknowledgment that “there are many people in Missouri and throughout the nation that suffer physically and financially because they are unable to obtain medical coverage due to pre-existing conditions or portability issues,” the idea that the good being done through the law outweigh the damage that is being perceived (note: not the damage being DONE, because based on the statements that Yeats makes, there isn’t any damage really being done given that religious institutions can opt out).
Years ago, before my wife and I were married, my wife was diagnosed with a pseudo-tumor that forced her to buy exceptionally expensive medication that emptied her bank account and would have made her have to choose between food and rent or medicine to keep her alive. Through a very fortunate turn of events (one that I absolutely attribute to the hand of God), she started a full time job that gave her health insurance which made her medication affordable.
Not everyone is as lucky as my wife is. In fact, the vast majority are not. I praise God for providing for my wife in her time of need and I praise Him again for guiding our leaders to create legislation that will provide for the poor in our country because I know that is what Jesus would have done
My comparison of Healthcare to Public Education:
Let’s say there was no public education (not so hard to imagine if you go back a couple hundred years). Obviously, many people consider part of success to be a quality education, so you and most Americans would want their child to go to school. But, as you pointed out, private schools can be expensive and everyone can’t afford to go to private schools, so what is the alternative? Kids just don’t go to school? Not at all. Public education is the alternative and it is funded by our tax dollars because as Americans we have decided that education is important and that all people should be educated (I should note that public education isn’t nearly as bad as people would make it seem, but maybe I’m biased because my students passed their EOCs with 82% proficiency).
Now, let’s connect this to healthcare. Medical bills are expensive. There is no denying it. Before we were married, my wife’s bank account was drained due to her medical bills. She had to choose between eating and paying rent or paying for medicine to KEEP HER ALIVE. She had a part time job and went to college and therefore, had no health insurance. Fortunately, by the grace of God, a full time job was provided for her and she was able to get health insurance, but what about the other Americans out there who simply can’t get full-time jobs? This has nothing to do with work ethic, but simple logistics – that there aren’t enough full-time jobs with benefits for the unemployed out there. What is the solution? Affordable healthcare for those who don’t have it because that’s what Americans do – they pay taxes to help other Americans out.
If you still think education and healthcare aren’t 100% compatible, you’re right. If children don’t have access to free, public education, then at least they will still be alive. For people who don’t have affordable healthcare, they might not even have that.