Monday, December 3, 2012
What have the Christians been up to for 2000 years?
What? No healing the sick? What have these Christians been up to for the past 2000 years? Not following Jesus, that's for sure because Jesus told us specifically to heal the sick in his name.
Universal health care is a topic of particular importance to me, because my husband and I have no health insurance and neither do two of our three adult children. That's not because we can be labeled as no-good trailer trash free-loaders. My husband and I are both professional people with 20 + years of experience, but we took a sabbatical, time off from work to serve god, and we were left high and dry. Our children all work, and the one who has health care gets it from a campus clinic where she goes to school.
Meanwhile, my relatives in Canada receive the care they need when they need it. When my dad was in his last years, Canada took care of his medical needs and gave my stepmom caregiver respite time. Yes, for free. Yes, high quality. Yes, from their taxes. What better thing to spend our taxes on than health care? Would you rather the government spent it bailing out the banks? Dropping bombs? My stepmom was able to carry on after my dad died without being burdened by huge medical debt.
Some people say that universal health care would lower standards and we'd get lousy doctoring. Why? Do they think doctors are only in it for the money and that paying them less would mean they'd stop caring and do a bad job? Do we think so little of our doctors? And would I want a man or woman who was only in it for the money to even touch my body?
Current medical training, the profit-based health care system, and the focus on technology all conspire to lower the quality of health care in the United States. Just look at what a mess our bodies are, with obesity and related diseases skyrocketing, infant mortality at a shameful 6 per 1000 (making us number 50 among the nations and well below the countries with universal health care), depression and anxiety rampant, death from cigarettes and alcohol still high . . . More to the point, iatrogenic (doctor caused) mortality is listed as 225,000 yearly in the U.S. (To compare, in the U.S. per year: all cancers 567,000; alcohol related deaths, 75,000; marijuana related deaths, 0.)
For-profit medical care is not the best. Not by a long shot. And it seems to me that healing the sick for free is what Jesus would do. In fact, that's exactly what he did.