18,000 dead: The moral issues of health care
It’s not just politics.
For decades now, the physical health and well-being of our country has been a proxy battle for partisan politics.
When Truman tried to pass a national health insurance plan, the American Medical Association spent $200 million (in today’s dollars) and was accused of violating ethics rules by having doctors lobby their patients to oppose the legislation. In the 1970′s when Nixon tried to pass a national health insurance plan, strikingly similar to what many democrats are proposing today, the plan was defeated by liberal democrats and unions who thought that they would be able to pass something themselves after the mid-term elections and claim political credit for the plan. In the 1990′s the “Harry and Louise” ads misrepresented the Clinton health care plan but was successful enough PR to shut down that movement for reform. [...]
What we need is an honest and fair debate with good information, not sabotage of reform with half-truths and misinformation.* [...]
About 46 million people in our country today are uninsured and many more find themselves without adequate coverage … Many of them are working families who live in fear of getting sick or injured. … An estimated 18,000 people a year die unnecessarily, many from low-income families, because they lack basic health insurance. … Seeing your child sick is a horrible feeling; seeing your child sick and not having the resources to do something about it is a societal sin.
… An estimated 60 percent of bankruptcies this year will be due to medical bills. Seventy-five percent of those declaring bankruptcy as a result of medical bills have health insurance. … In the end, some are paying too much for care and others are making too much from these present arrangements. [...]
… special interests groups … will be promoting their own self-interests during this process. The faith community has the opportunity to step in and speak for the interests of the common good and those who would not otherwise have a voice. I am sure that every one of the 18,000 preventable deaths that will happen this year from a lack of basic health insurance breaks the heart of God. And, it should break ours too [...]
Amen to that. People in this country are dying on our watch. The life preservers have been kept under lock and key by special interests for a hundred years. Profits are saved; human beings are sacrificed.
That’s a moral issue.
*As a resource for congregations, small groups, and individuals, Sojourners has worked with its partners to publish a health care tool kit [click here to download] to help frame and guide this necessary debate. This guide gives an overview of the biblical foundations of this issue and frequently asked questions about it.
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Written by Monte
July 3, 2009 at 10:32 am
Tagged with American Medical Association, Health, Health care, health care costs, health care reform, Health insurance, health insurance premiums, Health Policy, healthcare, healthcare industry, immoral health care, Insurance, Jim Wallis, moral health care, morality health care, Nixon health care, public, public option, Richard Nixon, Single-payer health care, single-payer healthcare, Truman health care, United States, Universal health care, universal healthcare
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