Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conversation Starter: Christian Message on Health Care

Health Care is a big topic right now, of course, with various new regulations and reform proposals and funding questions. It's a particularly personal topic because I happen to work for a large Catholic health care system. In our system, we often talk about how we are called as Christians to help provide and care for one another. I doubt that many Presbyterians would disagree with that assessment of how God asks us to treat one another.

This past weekend I was visiting with my parents who attend a very liberal UCC church. Their pastor recently preached on the nature of that expectation that we care for one another and how it relates to the business of health care. I didn't hear it personally, but my second-hand interpretation of it suggests that the discussion circled around how that Christian calling relates to our current national circumstances.

Given the nature of our commercial health care system in the US, what is our duty as Christians? Support not-for-profit systems? Support federalized solutions? What level of oversight and sponsorship and subsidy should the federal government have or not have?

I think those are tough questions for every Christian to wrestle with, and there are probably scholars who can provide point and counter-point in scripture to support and refute any position. Does being Christian or not really have anything to do with it?

What do you think?

1 comment:

John Shuck said...


Thanks for raising this question. I think being a Christian does impact social ethics and health care in particular. Oliver "Buzz" Thomas wrote a great piece on this in USA Today.

The specifics of how legislation is crafted is up for debate of course.

The primary question of value, that is--is health care for all a value we hold--should be a strong "yes" for those who follow Jesus who healed those 'without an insurance card.'

Presbyterians (and Americans) value public education, and seek to ensure that all Americans receive k-12 education at public expense. It is good for individuals, it is good for society. Public education is a staple of our social infrastructure.

Access to health care should be no less a value.

Thanks, again, for this important discussion.