This is a Luxury?

In the last 5 years, I’ve experienced much that our health-care system has to offer and, I can tell, it’s not good. It’s expensive, it’s unresponsive (at times) and it’s rigged against you  unless you have excellent insurance and plenty of money. Fortunately, I’ve had good insurance (standard health care and supplemental), so the cost of paying for my treatment of colon cancer had managable. Believe me, if I hadn’t had it, I’d be in debt up to my neck; maybe even over my head. Back in 2007, when I was first diagnosed, I spent two weeks in the hospital, part of that time in the  surgical critical care unit. When I received the bill from Wake Medical Center, I almost fainted: $48,0000. Then, I read a little further and saw that my insurance company had negotiated a lower cost: $12,0000. I couldn’t believe it, just because I had an aggressive insurance company, the cost of my care was cut by 75%?!? What if I hadn’t this particular insurance company? Or worse, what if I was like many in this country and had no insurance at all? I’d be on the hook for every single penny. This was just one of the instances that showed me there were severe problems with our health-care system and changed my mind about the Affordable Care Act, which I’d opposed up to that point. But, even at my most conservative moments, I never said anything like the recent Republican catch-phrase, “Health-care is a luxury, not a right”.

This is another idea the party that’s supposed to be Christian has taken from Ayn Rand’s theory of Objectivism. In an essay, Leonard Peikoff elaborates about how “socialized” medicine is a fallacy and that the only rights we have are to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness, with the observation that “all legitimate rights have one thing in common: they are rights to action, not to rewards from other people.” Later, he states we destroyed rights and replaced them with entitlements. These entitlements, of course, are provided to the needy at the cost of those who have much and, somehow, this is a bad thing. Strange theory (or theology) coming from people who claim to follow Jesus and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I think I’ll debunk this idea with a little scripture. Things like:

Acts 20:35 _ “In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Hebrews 13:16 _ Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.

1 John 3:17 _ But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him?

Matthew 25:35-45 _ I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’

37 “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who will receive terrible things. Go into the unending fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry and you didn’t give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you didn’t give me clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t do anything to help you?’ 45 Then he will answer, ‘I assure you that when you haven’t done it for one of the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.’

And, finally, one of my favorites:

Micah 6:8 _ He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.