Monday, June 29, 2009

A question to my conservative friends

Why do conservatives distrust and fear the government by default, but have complete confidence and faith in the private sector?

Both the private sector and government are human endeavors and as such they are imperfect and tainted by sin. The private sector and the government have also both been the source of creative innovations that have greatly improved our standards of living. Why is it that the government rarely gets credit for its successes, and the private sector is rarely held accountable for its failures? The current state of our health care is a moral and financial failure. We spend more money on health care per person than anyone else in the world, and every day thousands of Americans go without the medical attention they need.

This is not right.

God is not pleased with this system.

We can do better. We must do better.

Jesus says that we will be separated like sheep and goats based on how we treat the poor. He said "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." I am lead to believe that it is a sin to oppose a health care system that will give universal coverage to the "least of these" because it will cost more money.

I may be a little biased as a government employee who is the son of two public school teachers, but I think our government can do a better job with health care than the patch work of private companies that are in charge now. They can't do much worse.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

One quick thought before bed

One of the exciting things we are working on at church is starting a free clinic to serve our community. Many of the people who come to our food pantry do not have access to basic medical services and we want to change that. We think that it is wrong that our brothers and sisters often have to choose between food on the table and health care.

In any other "first world" country (Canada, all of Europe, etc.) there would be no need for a free clinic. The idea of a church free clinic is redundant and laughable in England. The same idea is inadequate and sad in the United States.

It's 2:14 AM and I am finally starting a blog.

More than a few people have suggested that I should start a blog. I have resisted doing so up until this point for many reason but mostly because I have other important things to do (facebook of course), and I am not sure my thoughts are compelling enough to gather an audience (maybe my mom will show up).

What is my impetus for starting a blog at 2:14 AM on a Sunday morning? The netflix fairy delivered Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko" this afternoon and having nothing better to do tonight, we watched it. Talk about good timing. Over this past week I have been thinking about health care reform and about our government's responsibility for its citizens. Late in the week I reluctantly accepted the idea that the "Public Option" for health care insurance had lost the fight without landing a punch. It seems that the Public Option is going to be sacrificed in the the name of bipartisanship. After watching "Sicko" and seeing the disparity between our health care system and that our others around the world, my heart cries out over the injustice of our health care system. Abandoning the Public Option is not acceptable. In fact the Public Option may be the only just solution.

I know many of my friends will dismiss me for watching and promoting a Micheal Moore movie and there are some valid criticisms of the movie, but I ask you this: in his movie Moore takes up the cause of the down-trodden and oppressed, when you scoff and criticize, who's side are you taking? Empire has many sizes and forms.

So what can I do about it? Lying in bed tonight, I pondered what I might do to help change the course of a multi-billion dollar industry dead set on the status quo. I plan on writing my senators and congressman, but I felt compelled to do more. So like the widow and the unjust judge, I will plea for justice in our health care system until the powers that be relent. Hopefully someone is listening.