Healthcare system in the U.S.Healthcare has been in the news a lot recently. It’s a deeply political issue which forces splits along ideological lines. What is often drowned out beneath all the noise and finger pointing, however, are the basic moral and philosophical questions that guide our thinking. The gospel says “love thy neighbor”, but how far should that generosity extend? If your neighbor needs a ladder, you probably offer to lend him yours. However, let’s say he falls off the ladder and breaks his leg. Should you help pay for his medical bills? At what point does the situation become your neighbor’s problem?

Health Care for All?

This brings up the central question of the healthcare debate: is it an individual problem or a collective problem? Most other countries treat it as a collective problem. Everyone pays into the system automatically, and it is free to use for anybody who needs care. This system gives medical access to all, regardless of their income. Better yet, nobody goes broke trying to pay off astronomical hospital bills.

The downside is that if you never get sick, you end up paying for everyone else’s health care without seeing any benefit for yourself. Over the course of a lifetime, that is a lot of money spent helping others – which some people see no issue with. They are happy to contribute to the collective good. Others, however, feel such a system is unfair. “Why should I pay for other people’s problems?” they ask.

The Cost of Unhealthy LifestylesAn overweight American holding a cheeseburger

Further complicating things are the unhealthy ways we live our lives. It is one of the reasons the U.S. spends so much on healthcare: we require a lot of it. Let’s face it, many people in our society are not exactly role models for healthy living. Obesity rates are at an all-time high – leading to all manner of preventable health problems. Bad diets, overindulging on alcohol and sweets, and a lack of regular exercise result in trips to the doctor that are more frequent and more expensive than they ought to be.

What the Bible Says

The Bible consistently advocates for assisting those in need and “being your brother’s keeper.” This preference for the collective good over the individual is a common theme throughout the teachings of Christianity. Here’s how a few Bible passages approach the subject:

Holy BibleSpeak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. — Proverbs 31:8-

Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.  — Proverbs 22:22-23

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. — 1 John 3:17

Where Do You Stand?

Do we have an obligation to help our neighbors if they get sick? If so, why? If not, why not? How does your faith inform your views on healthcare?

 

80 comments

  1. jaz wilson says:

    We can afford to care. We waste so much on corporate welfare and enriching the rich. We spend so much on the war machine. We pay taxes for a gov’t ‘of – by – and for the people’. The Trump wall is a ridiculous waste of money. The GWBush wars in iraq & afghanistan have cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. We can care. It costs less to care than to wait till health situations become catastrophic.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      DITTO !!!

    2. Charlene Newman says:

      Amen!

    3. Dr. Maryann Zihala says:

      It’s always ‘blame the rich’ for everything. Raise your hand if you ever got a job from a poor man. Lowering taxes for corporations causes them to come here, expand their operations, and create jobs. Lowering taxes for rich people causes them to invest more of their money here, creating jobs. We could find tens of billions of dollars if we did nothing more than cut the federal government. The size and the waste and the fraud and the abuse – tens of billions.

      1. FW says:

        Excuse me Dr. Zihala,

        But what your saying sounds good in theory, however it is obviously false. Over the last 40 years, taxes have been reduced on businesses, as well as high income earners, so where are all the jobs?

        It is not a matter of blaming the rich, it is a matter of introducing sound economic policies. To many rely on anecdotal evidence and political ideology and not enough facts. Based on you comment, it appears you may have also fallen in with the latter, since the facts say otherwise.

        Take care,

    4. Sam says:

      Well said.
      If the 1% cared more about the 99%, in particular women and children. Low income families then everyone would be better off.
      This is not a right vs left thing. It’s about caring. The Dems were moving in the right direction. You need a few years of good Dem politics to see some real change.
      Now Trump is greating a big mess that the Dems will have to clean up in the future once again as they did with Bush. Then 8 years later people forget and vote republican again and so the circus continues.
      When will people learn?

      1. Gary Shade says:

        It’s not government’s role to care about 1%, 2% or even 99.9% of the population. The government’s role is supposed to be a limited one as specified in the U.S. Constitution.

        If you want caring Sam, then go to church. Don’t turn to the government for your feel good moment.

        And what a hypocritical thing to say when you say “It’s not a right vs. left thing” but then go on to skewer the Republicans. What a hypocrite.

        In fact it was Obama and his ACA that screwed up healthcare for millions of people and made even simple coverage impossible due to the outrageous premiums and deductibles now in play.

        You beg the question “When will people learn”? Good question but let’s rephrase that to “When will liberals learn.”. I suppose the answer is when they stop seeing others as victims or villains, and when they learn to make a life of their own, free of other people’s charity and monies.

        1. Sam says:

          Government is there for leadership.
          The ACA was going in the right direction.
          It’s the long game,
          Caring is in the heart. There are uncaring people at church hiding behind their guilt and hate.
          I would suggest you look deeper into others plight before you just see the surface. There is a history of repression there that all are responsible for.
          I would probably gamble that liberals are less tight fisted with their money.
          It’s hard to debate with people who lack empathy.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            Actually Sam you are wrong about healthcare, Republicans and Democrats and who gives the most to charity. Study after study has shown that conservatives on average give about 30% more to charitable causes than the tightwad liberals like yourself do. Do some research before making these asinine sweeping statements that have no factual foundation.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html

        2. Ken Lyman says:

          Sorry Gary, the healthcare system was heading for collapse since the 1930’s when insurance was developed so that workers could have medical care when needed. Slowly, the family was included but you had to pay extra. Then medications were covered, but you had to pay extra.

          The insurance companies are enjoying the private healthcare system we have now. What about the 98% of the planet that has socialized medical care? They must be doing better than the US because their health outcomes are much better than ours statistically.

          I’ve said this for years, as a practitioner, that health is a right and not a privilege. We must recognize the failure of our system and how the few benefit at the expense of the many and begin to treat our citizens as equals.

          1. Sam says:

            So true.
            It seems the ones with $$$ who can afford what ever system that meets their needs. They look down on others thinking they haven’t worked their butts off to deserve what they have.
            The problem is these people think they are better and therefore don’t want to treated as equals, they want and will always want special treatment as long as the have the $$$$.
            The sad part is many of them made their $$$$ on the backs who can’t afford it. Companies don’t want to pay because that would mean less profit for them, not healthy employees.
            It’s a circus.
            Tax paying citizens deserve better.

          2. Wendy says:

            A voice of reason!

          3. Wendy says:

            Bravo Ken!

          4. Gary Shade says:

            Ken Lyman you stated: “I’ve said this for years, as a practitioner, that health is a right and not a privilege.

            But you are wrong. While it may sound nice to make things up and call them rights, just because you say they are does not make them so. I’ve commented elsewhere on the natural rights of man. Suffice it to say your rights rely on a compliant citizenry to provide that right to you and others. Yours is called a “positive” right as opposed to a negative right as enumerated in the Constitution.

            It is not morally correct or acceptable to force others to provide you or anyone else with a pretend right.

            Spandex is a privilege and not a right.

            “We must recognize the failure of our system and how the few benefit at the expense of the many and begin to treat our citizens as equals.”

            But we are not equals. We are all created equal but through a circumstance and mainly through choices, we each go our separate ways after birth. Why should I pay for your healthcare when you won’t stop eating a bag of chips every time you site your fat ass down on the sofa? Or consume liters of soft drinks every day.

            What you want to do is called socialism where through brute force you make everyone equal.

            Our medical system has been looked at in the world as one of the best. We have the best technology, the best doctors and the best medicines. Where as you see the cup as half full in terms of medical care, I see it as overflowing.

            What will destroy it will be universal healthcare and those of you who falsely believe healthcare is a right.

          5. Diego Rose says:

            I have worked professionally in and studied healthcare for the past 25 years.Ken Lyman, you are correct. We spend more $ on healthcare than any other nation and the quality of the care we receive does not reflect what we should expect for the money spent.
            Why?
            1. Greed of some groups of physicians and the companies that provide our care. I have worked in management in a few of these companies & have learned that what drives them is not quality care, but profit.
            2. Insurance companies. They also have no interest in our health, only in their proffitts. Think about it. They make billions of $ in healthcare, but provide no care to anyone.
            3. Our society belief that we should never feel pain or even discomfort. That every fetus should live without regard to the quality of the life it will have. and that people in their 80s & 90s who are in failing health should receive very expensive treatments to keep them alive for a couple more weeks. It does not matter if they have any quality of life after the treatment, only that they live long enough to complete the process. That way the family can feel a bit self- righteous about demanding the treatment, and most importantly the health care companies will get payed.

            All that said, there are many wonderful and caring people working in healthcare who give their all for their pts.

      2. Dr. Maryann Zihala says:

        Hmm… let’s see. The Dems have had decades of total control in Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis. How’s that working out? Highest crime rates, worst schools, tremendous job loss.

        1. Sam says:

          Not saying they are perfect, but they seem to be always cleaning up the mess the GOP make. Perhaps if the GOP could work with the Dems and not act like spoiled children in a sand box throughing sand in people’s eyes and changing the rules to suit only their interest then maybe some good things can happen.
          Just saying

          1. Gary Shade says:

            I believe it was the Democrats who held a sit in when in the Senate chambers (against Senate rules). Who again are the spoiled children? Everything I’ve seen tells me it’s the Democrats who are.

    5. Reverend Chad Laney says:

      Does ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ Include Paying for Their Healthcare? Ok lets look at this, Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. All over the Holy Bible we are told to help your neighbor in need. We do have rights and I use mine daily. Real Christians will take the shirt their backs to give there cold neighbor in need. Now ask yourself with would Jesus do? As a Christian, what have I learned from Jesus, and God? It would also be good to look inside yourself to see just were you are with God? Ask this am I a real Christian or a want to be? So to me if my neighbor could like my mom or dad, who needed help with healthcare I would do it not because it is my mom or dad, it is the Christian thing to do.

  2. Gary Shade says:

    Unhealthy live styles contribute greatly to our healthcare costs. Yet we live in a society where some people believe anything goes is the only way to live and consequently take no responsibility for their own actions.

    But to have free healthcare also implies that healthcare professionals will also agree to be paid from a single payer: The government. It also implies that while we would have FREE healthcare, the providers of those services might be forced into involuntary servitude.

    From a moral perspective that would be grossly unfair, and wrong.

    Unlike Jaz, I believe in free markets and competition. I want the doctor that is the best for me and I want to make that choice. I want the procedure that is best for me and I want to choose the physician to perform that procedure free of government interference.

    We can all be slaves, conscripted for the “greater good” or we can be free men and women. That’s the real choice and it should be the real debate.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, that is WHY the NEED for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE !!!

    2. Pastor Pete says:

      Speaking as someone who lives in a country with free health care, it’s hardly a case of involuntary servitude, I have private health insurance because I can afford it, but I pay my taxes joyfully because I don’t see why any child or disabled person should be penalised for the circumstances of their birth. Nothing wrong with profit, everything wrong with not loving your neighbour as yourself.

      1. Gary Shade says:

        Health care is NOT a human right. A human right is something is agreed to be universal. Right of free speech to be free from violence etc.

        A right is nothing more than a claim upon others. In this case, your right to FREE health care is a claim of the resources from other people. In other words, RIGHT protect you from other people’s aggression as opposed to a sword to extract a piece of hide from the person providing you with what you have deemed to be something you have a right to.

        You don’t have a right to shelter, food, or anything else that demands someone else give up their sovereignty to provide you with a “right”. Rights make no such demand on others. It’s a shield to protect you from other people’s aggression.

        BTW – the taxes the government extracts from you diminishes your RIGHT to work and your RIGHT to keep what you have earned. Yet you seem to believe the taking of your money through force (which is what taxes are) is O.K> and everyone should see the world as you do.

        Sorry – not me.

        1. Leslie Gray says:

          Even as a Witch, I find that I know more about the teachings of Christianity than most believers do. I am surprised at the large numbers of people purporting to be Christian who seem to know nothing about the biblical concept of compassionate care.

          The full text can be found at Matthew 25:31-46, often known as the parable of The Sheep and the Goats. The following exert covers what everyone should do for the poor.

          31… 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’…46…

          And, that is only the beginning.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            I’m sorry but where in Matthew does Jesus ask for the Roman State to provide healthcare? Jesus speaks to the individual, to provide these charitable acts. NOT the state.

        2. Roy L. Patterson says:

          Agree 100%. In you want health care you need to work for it. Why should I pay for someones unhealthy life style.

    3. Roy Patterson says:

      Remember one thing, If we get One-Payer Healthcare. paid for my the government, they(the Government boards) will decide what healthcare you get and when. Just look at the VA Government Healthcare system. Poor at best with people dying before they get Treatment. I don’t want that.
      What I want is a market based system with healthcare companies able to compete in all 50 states. With everyone able to take their policy with them where ever they go or work. People belonging groups should be able to buy insurance thru the group at group rates.

      1. Gary Shade says:

        I ageee Roy.

  3. Phill Salzman says:

    We live in the richest and most blessed nation on the face of the earth. We can afford to feed, clothe, educate, and provide basic medical care for ALL of our population. I am not talking about Cadillacs and lobster. I am talking about basic care to provide for everyone in dignity. The amount that we provide to corporations in subsidies and tax breaks would more than suffice to cover all the costs. And if we wanted to pay down our debt, we could stop getting in foreign wars for a few years. It would not take long, and we could be debt free.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      AND the RICH continue to BOAST of THEIR GAINs and LAUGH @ YOUR LOSES !!!

    2. brian oerman says:

      Just create a 2% vat on the United States GNP and pay for universal health care. I am will to pay my share but only in this way

  4. Rev. Theo Klebes says:

    Well said!

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      THANK YOU !!!

  5. john Ruland says:

    For one thing health care should be free for everyone no matter where they live in the USA. Anyone that comes from another country should be given an SSN card and a USA ID. This way if they want to go to work they will have a SSN number to give and an ID so they know who it is and this way everyone can pay taxes when they go to work. If you do not have an SSN number or an ID you can go and get one. This way you can work and pay taxes just like everyone else. We were founding on other people from other countries so why deport them when they can go to work and pay taxes just like everyone else. If they want to go back to where they come from let them come and go as they please. Just make sure you have your birth recorders with you when you come here. With this said all we have to do is raise the tax 10% and use this for health care and more on preventive care.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      SOUNDS GREAT WRITE YOUR CONGRESS PERSON !!!

  6. Rev. Theo Klebes says:

    Sounds logical.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      IT CERTAINLY DUZ !!!

  7. Pastor Pete says:

    Yes, we should, I do!

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      YOUR RIGHT, YOUR RIGHT,YOUR RIGHT !!!

  8. JOHN MAHER says:

    the WAR of RIGHTs is in WASHINGTON D C, CLEAR the SWAMP, CLEAN HOUSE, RUN them OUT of TOWN, the FIGHT is UP to the PEOPLE, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER !!!

  9. William R Clapie says:

    I see many complaints. “The wealthy” , “The Corporations”. In many instances, these are the cash cows of the economy. A lot of them provide the places to work and the jobs “we” need. There is already an almost universal healthcare in most of this country. Welfare/medicare. Not everyone has access to the medical care they want or need. Our countries infrastructure is aged and falling apart, some rural areas have no roads or at least, no good township or borough upkeep of roads. In many cases, there is medically free transportation. I use it. Taxes? Have you read anything of our current president and his supposed tax free years? There is too much a feeling of entitlements in this country, we are not our parents, they worked. The “war of rights”. Yep, got me on that one. There are very small minorities that scream very loudly and get their opinions turned into new laws. The squeaky wheel gets oiled. Proof? Look at the changes of national monuments and government buildings, some of which are no longer allowed to show any religious symbols as they might represent a failure in the separation of church and state according to a few squeaking mice. Yep, whittling away at freedoms. “They” scream about signs and imports that impinge upon their freedoms while at the same time not caring about the damage they do to others. “They” always the ubiquitous “they”. MIght be you, might be your neighbor, might be a small anti-government group in town you never heard of. This is not wandering off subject. These little bits and tidbits of data are put here because the MAJORITY of the people will not stand up and shout “ENOUGH”

  10. Sam says:

    It’s a complicated process and Obama was on the right track. It needs to be tweaked and then the next step will be as Bernie Sanders put it free health care.
    When you have tax breaks for the one percent who could afford to pay healthcare for a whole State it’s messed up.
    The people need to take the power back and put a woman in the WH.
    The States are the joke of the world now. Trump the clown and all his fumbling jugulars who had eight years to come up with a better health plan then The ACA or as some people would call it Obama care. They couldn’t. When other countries like Canada have had it for years.( no system is perfect but people have health care) I knew someone who loved Trump and hated Obama and said his premiums for ACA were too high. Then he got cancer. Lucky for him now that he had ACA. One never knows.
    Health care is a Human Right. It is an egual right and should be for everyone not just the wealthiest. Don’t let them take ACA Obama care away. They need to make it better.
    Trump needs to show his taxes.
    WH needs to go after tax evaders
    No tax breaks for the rich, put that money in I fractucture including health care.
    No tax increases for poor and middle class.
    Tax the rich for a luxery tax unless they donate a good proportion back into health care.
    It can be done.
    Vote Vote Vote
    Protest, organize and call your congress and senators and most of all call to impeach the unethical, nepotism Trump.
    Send a strong message to the WH that the people will rule not the 1% and not heartless ignorant republicans.

    1. Gary Shade says:

      Health care is NOT a human right. A human right is something is agreed to be universal. Right of free speech to be free from violence etc.

      A right is nothing more than a claim upon others. In this case, your right to FREE health care is a claim of the resources from other people. In other words, RIGHT protect you from other people’s aggression as opposed to a sword to extract a piece of hide from the person providing you with what you have deemed to be something you have a right to.

      You don’t have a right to shelter, food, or anything else that demands someone else give up their sovereignty to provide you with a “right”. Rights make no such demand on others. It’s a shield to protect you from other people’s aggression.

    2. C says:

      Here we go again
      Show me your taxes.
      Is your life gonna change by Mr Trump showing his taxes? Nobody cares it does not matter how much he makes, pays in taxes or how much he does not want to donate. He is a business man. Just as I am I will pay as title tax as possible. I am in business to make money not give it away.

  11. shiningwolf9 says:

    Consumerism is a costly and slippery slope. More, more, more, and never enough. CEO’s and “higher-up” of insurance companies do not want to lose their life-styles. Neither do bankers, and any Founder, CEO, or Owner of big businesses. There is never enough money to pay employees, nor to help with medical insurance, yet, these same people live in what we call mansions (many having a few homes), drive expensive vehicles (some having a few vehicles), go to expensive restaurants, buy expensive name brand clothes, take many vacations…on and on…. We can not afford health care for all. We can not allow the wealthy to lack for any of their pleasures. They come back, and take away jobs, fire people, send their factories to other countries…. What would happen if a revolt like this country has never seen before would take place? What if it would be possible to garner the courage of all workers, or as many as would be willing, even though it would hurt financially, to not show up for work for 3-4 days straight, all over the United States, showing these companies and businesses who really brings in the money, and supplies them with their life styles? A REVOLT like no other. What if…?

  12. Sam says:

    What if history repeats itself, similar but not the same as the Peasents Revolt in England.
    The time is now before journalist and protesters are killed, locked up and democracy is disabled.
    The hypocrisy that is happening in the WH is shameful beyond redemption. The extreme measures that are taking place to control and repress women’s rights, the rights of the marginalized, children, human rights in general and not to mention evirmental and healthcare.
    The blatant lies, ignorance and passive aggressive forgetfulness has let to a power hungry selfish one sided congress that does not seem to represent All of the American public.
    Their slogan seems to be
    We the people
    For our people and ourselves
    Not you, not all the people.
    Bring back Obama

  13. Zeke Hanzl says:

    We need universal health care period.

    1. Gary Shade says:

      That is not an argument for universal health care you do know that … right Zeke?

  14. Minister Richie says:

    Please allow me to be a fly in the ointment. I strongly disagree that we need or should have socialized medicine, aka universal health care or single payer.

  15. Wendy says:

    Until 4 yrs ago I lived in a country with universal healthcare. I have been in America for the past 4 years. I am blessed to have a good health benefit package through employment. I could write a book about why universal healthcare is the better option. Ultimately, it boils down to a willingness to suspend judgement and acceptance of the concept of every citizen in this amazing country being able to sleep at night knowing that if they become sick they will have help. It’s not an issue of poor vs rich or hard working vs lazy. It is a fundamental human right.

    1. Pastor Pete says:

      Well said Wendy, we’re all cousins fundamentally, let’s make sure the family’s ok…

    2. Gary Shade says:

      Health care is NOT a human right. A human right is something is agreed to be universal. Right of free speech to be free from violence etc.

      A right is nothing more than a claim upon others. In this case, your right to FREE health care is a claim of the resources from other people. In other words, RIGHTS protect you from other people’s aggression as opposed to a sword to extract a piece of hide from the person providing you with what you have deemed to be something you have a right to.

      You don’t have a right to shelter, food, or anything else that demands someone else give up their sovereignty to provide you with a “right”. Rights make no such demand on others. It’s a shield to protect you from other people’s aggression.

      Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/04/does-love-thy-neighbor-include-paying-for-their-healthcare/#V8EgQDrKMcvMyYHL.99

      1. Pastor Pete says:

        May I ask Gary, would you call yourself a Christian?

        1. Gary Shade says:

          Being a Christian does not mean that you turn to Government when you want to impose your will on someone else and FORCE them to pay for your madeup and pretend “right”.

          if you are your brothers keeper then dig deep into your own pocket and show them charity. You can do this today through the many health care sharing ministries out there like Christian Healthcare Ministry.

          You have to stop your thirst for forced servitude of others. It’s called slavery.

          1. Pastor Pete says:

            As I said old boy, I am lucky enough to live in a civilised country with universal health care, as I said, why should any child be penalised for the circumstances of their birth. Do you know how many people here were bankrupted by illness here last year? Zero people. What you are proposing is social Darwinism, a concept I find absolutely repellent. I believe we were given a new commandment, namely love one another. That’s if you’re Christian of course. I sincerely hope that neither you or your family are put at the mercy of market forces, because that path leads to a hell which no rational person could contemplate. I have private health insurance because I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford it, and glady pay my contribution to the common good, that’s civilisation surely?

  16. Gary Shade says:

    Pastor Pete you said: “As I said old boy, I am lucky enough to live in a civilised country with universal health care, as I said, why should any child be penalised for the circumstances of their birth.”

    And I’ve lost count on the number of your countrymen and women who have availed themselves on American healthcare because their illness could not wait to be even acknowledged by a country that rations healthcare. We see every day here in MN at the May Clinic. People from other countries coming to us, here in America for their healthcare. Great system you have Pastor Pete.

    ” Do you know how many people here were bankrupted by illness here last year? Zero people. ” That’s not the question to be asking. The question is how many people and business did your social justice model bankrupt to deliver those services for “free”. In your country FREE is an illusion. Someone is still paying for those services.

    “What you are proposing is social Darwinism, a concept I find absolutely repellent.”

    Absolutely not. Reread my post and this time do it for understanding and not for the purpose of rebuttal. I say very clearly you and I are free to show charity to those who need it. You must have missed that part. I find turning to the nanny state for these pretend rights repellent.

    “I believe we were given a new commandment, namely love one another. That’s if you’re Christian of course.”

    So show your brothers and sisters charity in kind. I do and I even specified a way for you to that. But of course you won’t, because you are not the Christian but rather a socio-political embodiment of socialism. There is NOTHING Christian about socialism Pastor Pete and for you to pretend there is relies on the forced servitude of others.

    “I sincerely hope that neither you or your family are put at the mercy of market forces, because that path leads to a hell which no rational person could contemplate.”

    With all due respect, I have to call bullshit here Pastor Pete. Market forces enable me to CHOOSE my healthcare provider, not have one dictated to me by the state. Market forces enable me to choose my own doctor and to tailor my the services to my choosing. Market forces also enable me to choose my own insurance provider WITHOUT penalty.

    “I have private health insurance because I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford it, and glady pay my contribution to the common good, that’s civilisation surely?”

    What??? You who believes universal healthcare provided by the state should be forced on everyone, has “private health insurance”??? I thought you said your country was “civiised (or rather civilized) and that your country has universal healthcare. Then why the devil do you need your own “private healthcare insurance”??

    You’re a hypocrite at the very least. And your entire premise has now fallen apart. Great job Pastor Pete. Are you really a Christian not just a socialist in disguise?

    1. Pastor Pete says:

      As it happens I’m not a Christian, and I am most certainly a socialist, not in disguise, absolutely proud. I call you bullshit matey, follow your own rules or shut up. I have private health insurance because I can afford it, thereby taking the burden off the National Health Service, which I also fund, gladly, as I said. Since you are now aware of my political leanings, I do understand that any further conversation is not possible, but I will say this. I’m kind of left leaning, but have chums who are kind of right leaning, and to be perfectly honest I find the idea of any “wing” gaining the overall dominance a bit worrying, both sides have major flaws, but if you look at the life of Jesus, I don’t see how you can honestly see him as being anything other than a bit of a leftie…. Look, I don’t like funding the armed forces, or the Queen, or any of this ceremonial nonsense, I don’t like paying a bunch of corrupt politicians to screw the world ever further into the ground. No. Health care is a human right. Think what you like mate, we will never agree.

      1. Gary Shade says:

        “Look, I don’t like funding the armed forces, or the Queen, or any of this ceremonial nonsense, I don’t like paying a bunch of corrupt politicians to screw the world ever further into the ground. No. Health care is a human right. Think what you like mate, we will never agree.”

        You’re right we will never agree and I do thank you for confirming my observations from your writings about you being a die hard socialist.

        As someone also observed some time ago “”The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”

        And that is exactly what universal healthcare relies upon: Other people’s money. It relies on a willing & compliant populace from whom they can forcibly take money from (we call them taxes) and then redistribute those hard earned dollars to others in the form of healthcare.

        It would be much better if the government stayed out of everyone’s pocket and let CITIZENS decide on their own fate. A couple of other areas of disagreement I am sure we would have is in regard to self-determination and individual excellence and achievement which is only possible in a capitalist society.

        Universal healthcare is no more a RIGHT than it would be my right to walk up to you and punch you in the nose. Neither are rights since they both rely on aggression to achieve their means. Universal and Government rationed healthcare in the form of taxes (taken by force by the government) and in my example, aggression of an individual.

        A RIGHT protects us from aggression from both the state and individuals. You don’t know what you’re talking about when you call forced conscription to healthcare a human right.

        1. Pastor Pete says:

          We’re not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on Earth, and if you ask me about these footling economic quibbles that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer “To hell with them” the top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.
          Your statements reek of social Darwinism, I find your attitude to charity condescending, as I clearly stated, I think neither “wing” has all the answers, balance is an interesting concept, and frankly your country seems to be drifting even further to the right, to the point where socialism is seen as a disease rather than a philosophy. As previously stated, we will never agree but I don’t think that it matters really, because in the UK we have universal health care, and you don’t, and please do believe me when I say I truly hope you and yours remain in good health, my belief in equality and justice extend to everybody, even you my capitalist friend. Really.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            Pastor Pete you said: “No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on Earth, ”

            And you should as I should if we truly believe that philosophy. We will be judgede by OUR actions not by the actions of others as socialism requires.

            Your philosophy from all you have written can be boiled down to: Force others to pay for a something I have decided is a human right even if it isn’t. NO. You achieve charity by you yourself living like a spartan, by volunteering your time and worldly possessions. My guess is that you have done none of that. Paying your taxes and patting yourself on the back because as you have said, you believe you have contributed to the greater good is a cop-out. You did nothing. You sat on your ass and paid higher taxes and felt good about it. That is NOT charitable, it is not Christian. At best it’s downright stupid and socialistic.

            “and if you ask me about these footling economic quibbles that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer “To hell with them” the top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.”

            If it were not for those who risk everything to start a business you’d have a society of leaches. Nothing more. If you tax everyone so heavily for your pretend human rights that they can not provide for their own families, then you are nothing more than a modern day King of Nottingham.

            “Your statements reek of social Darwinism, I find your attitude to charity condescending, ”
            No it reeks of FREEDOM. It REEKS of individualism. It reeks of CAPITALISM. Not social Darwinism. You’re own Winston Churchill stated “”The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” He was absolutely correct.

            “and frankly your country seems to be drifting even further to the right, to the point where socialism is seen as a disease rather than a philosophy”

            Socialism is a disease. And it is entirely dependent upon the forced compliance of others. Whereas Capitalism compels no one to buy a product or service. Socialism and universal healthcare both fail as a moral code.

            See you at Mayo Clinic someday. It’s the European way.

        2. Pastor Pete says:

          As I said old thing, not a Christian, my beliefs and ethics are not governed by the fear of some fictional sky father, and, as I stated, we have universal health care here, and everybody seems cool with it…
          Ah, the assumptions flow freely. I do my part little man, have done for years, active in ecology, human rights, etc, etc, fact is you are the disease, sucking the life from the planet in the name of greed. Won’t see you at the Mayo, no plans to return to the Disunited states of Idiocracy. You pack a piece dude? Sound like the kind of fool who would. How does that tie in with gentle Jesus? Hmmm?
          As I said before ( do try to listen) your prosperity is propped up by the crippling poverty of most of the rest of the world, the culture of greed is what drove most of these people to their knees, and if you can’t or don’t want to see that, and I can see why you wouldn’t, then to hell with you.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            Pastor Pete you said : “As I said old thing, not a Christian, my beliefs and ethics are not governed by the fear of some fictional sky father, and, as I stated, we have universal health care here, and everybody seems cool with it…”

            A Professor tells his class “I will prove to you that if God exists, he is evil”
            He then asks “Did God create everything that exists?” His young students nod their heads in the affirmative.

            “If God created everything, then he created evil. Which means God is evil.”

            A young boy raises his hand “Excuse me professor. Does cold exist?”
            “what kind of question is that?” The Professor asks. “Of course it exists, have you ever been cold?”

            “In fact Sir it does not exist. According to the laws pf physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat.”

            “Professor, does darkness exist?
            “Of course it does” the Professor answers the boy.

            “You are wrong Sir. Darkness does not exist either. Darkness in reality is the absence of light.” the boy responds. “Light we can study but not darkness.”

            The boy continues: “Evil does not exist. It is just like darkness and cold. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of when man does not have God’s love present in his heart.”

            The atheist (you Pastor Pete) would have others believe that God does not exist, but yet you fail to prove it. You cannot prove a negative argument. On the other hand I can point to his essence if not his existence as being all around us and in the hearts of good men and women everywhere.

            “Ah, the assumptions flow freely. I do my part little man, ”

            Is this how you think you win arguments? With sophomoric name calling? I gave you way too much credit.

            “[I do my part…] have done for years, active in ecology, human rights, etc, etc,”

            So you also protest and carry around signs? That’s not being charitable.

            “fact is you are the disease, sucking the life from the planet in the name of greed.”

            There you go again. Losing the argument so you resort to this type of behavior? I have never met a socialist who themselves were not envious of what other people have. After all that is the premise of a Socialist: Redistribute other peoples money and property. That Pastor Pete is what sucks the life out of the planet.

            “Won’t see you at the Mayo, no plans to return to the Disunited states of Idiocracy.”

            Yet another sophomoric attempt at an insult. You are not good at this debating thing at all Pastor Pete. You have shown no logic to your arguments here. You have convinced no one that healthcare is a human right as you so erroneously state.

            “You pack a piece dude? Sound like the kind of fool who would. How does that tie in with gentle Jesus? Hmmm?”

            As a matter of fact I do as do most Ministers and Reverends I know. In fact I teach a course on Biblical self defense and what the Bible says about self defense. But as an atheist you wouldn’t know a thing about the Bible would you?

            “As I said before ( do try to listen) your prosperity is propped up by the crippling poverty of most of the rest of the world, the culture of greed is what drove most of these people to their knees, and if you can’t or don’t want to see that, and I can see why you wouldn’t, then to hell with you.”

            And this being your last attempt at passive-agressive insults… No it is NOT the ‘crippling poverty of the rest of the world, the culture of greed” that drove “most of those people to their knees.” It was little fascist Socialist Dictators like you that drove those people to their knees. It is true in Africa, in Venezuela and much of Southern America, and China. Although China is making progress as it embraces more and more of western culture and capitalism.

            What I find so interesting in our conversation is that you have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about. You arguments are similar to saying “Spam is the best tasting meat in the entire world. It really is!!” You may say it is Pastor Pete, but at the end of your hollow rhetoric, you’ve still not proven a damned thing.

            http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/store/index.php?crn=245&rn=1811&action=show_detail

  17. Wendy says:

    Goes to her closet to find that old sign….where is it?….aw here we go….”give peace a chance”

    1. Gary Shade says:

      There you go.If you bought and paid for the sign yourself – by all means express yourself. However, if you FORCED someone to make it for you…. then shame on you.

  18. Wendy says:

    I recycled! 🙂

    1. Gary Shade says:

      There you go!!! 🙂

  19. Ken Lyman says:

    Me thinks Gary Shade is more of a troll. People go to the Mayo Clinic because of the exceptional expertise of the staff there. They are paid enormous amounts of money for that expertise. I can’t afford to go there because my insurance will not cover what they bill. But the foreigners there are usually the exceptionally wealthy people who pay out of pocket. Can you afford to go to the Mayo Clinic without the welfare of the other insurers paying into your plan? Do you use Medicare? Do you plan on it? Most likely not. Can’t use such a socialized plan of healthcare such as that now can you?

    1. Wendy says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    2. Gary Shade says:

      “Me thinks Gary Shade is more of a troll.”

      Typical of the liberal. Losing the debate resort to name calling. I always overestimate the liberal.

      ” People go to the Mayo Clinic because of the exceptional expertise of the staff there. ”

      And ask yourself why it is excellent. Not because we’ve made care at the Mayo Universal is it?

      “They are paid enormous amounts of money for that expertise. ”
      ‘Enormous sums’? Really? Members of my family have been there for services and they charge no differently than any other doctor or specialist. An MRI or CAT scan is still priced what you pay at any other hospital.

      However, you typically need a referral to get an appointment with a Mayo specialist. That’s all it takes. It sounds to me like you are just making stuff up because I know on this topic you don’t know what you are talking about.

      “I can’t afford to go there because my insurance will not cover what they bill. But the foreigners there are usually the exceptionally wealthy people who pay out of pocket. Can you afford to go to the Mayo Clinic without the welfare of the other insurers paying into your plan? ”

      Yes. I just told you the magical secret: Get a referral. It has nothing to do with your insurance paying. Your insurance will cover you IF you have a referral or it’s a covered and necessary medical procedure.

      “Do you use Medicare?”

      No.

      “Do you plan on it? Most likely not. ”

      I will be on Medicare after I turn 65. Why do you say “most likely not.”??? Do you know something I don’t? Or are you just shooting off the lip again?

      “Can’t use such a socialized plan of healthcare such as that now can you?”

      I can and I don’t particularly want to. I prefer my Christian Health Care Ministries that I belong to. An alternative to Obummer care. Check it out and please educate yourself before posting again so you don’t look like a fool when you do.

      http://www.chministries.org/

  20. Reverend Ian says:

    Dear Folk,

    I am an Australian. We have a system of health care for which all of us contribute a levy, about 3% of our annual income. Through this
    every Australian is entitled to and can see a qualified medical professional. We can be referred to a specialist, some may require payment at the time of consultation. About two thirds of this payment can be recovered by taking the account to a Medicare office.
    We can also purchase private medical insurance in case we need treatment and feel we are not prepared to join a hospital waiting list, usually for a period of about three months, before entering hospital for an operation or procedure. Buying private health insurance
    in Australia does not excuse you from the Medicare levy but is but is discounted from your premium as a person who has purchased
    private health cover.

    Neither of these systems concerned me in 2000. I had private insurance cover and paid the levy. I was self self employed, single
    earned about $100000.00 a year. My neighbor commenced breeding dogs which barked all day and night. This destroyed my
    peace and sleep. They then began breeding native Australian birds, mainly of the parrot variety. These birds screech and did from daylight until late evening and then the dogs barking continued until morning. We live on two acre lots. The local council and police
    couldn’t help me. My lawyer wrote many letters on my behalf. Over a period from 2003 until 2010 with no rest/sleep and paying my lawyers that my income evaporated. I was exhausted. It was during this time and despite owning two other rented properties I needed
    help. My health insurance (while their fees continued to rise) dropped me because I was visiting my General Practitioner too often and I could no longer afford to pay the health insurance premiums.

    My wonderful General Practitioner continued to see me on Medicare (in other words free with my Government Card). I was referred
    to a local Psychologist for six visits FREE. He came to my home and listened to the noise I was subject to. His exact words were “I would have shot the animals years ago”. He wrote to council, he wrote to the Police, he wrote to my General Practitioner. By now I had moved my bed into the lounge, had not opened a window on that neighbors’ side of my house in six years or attempted to use my yard for any type of recreation. My income was nothing. I was living on my savings and meager rental income while supporting
    the same.

    As a result of this one man (psychologist) and my General Practitioner standing by me on our Medicare levy system, the dogs
    received anti bark collars and over four hundred birds were removed from breeding cages next door.

    My income has never recovered to it’s previous level. I suffered severe anxiety for many years. I sold the investment properties
    to survive but I have survived and been no burden by further deteriorating to unemployment.

    Universal health care is our blessing and right and I’m sure without it, I wouldn’t be writing this now.

    God Bless,

    Ian

    1. Gary Shade says:

      ??? Most people I know making $100,000 a year would have sold their house and moved and been done with it.

      Life is all about choices. You made yours. You had a nasty boorish neighbor who in the U.S. would have been forced to tone down the dogs and birds long before it got to be the problem you describe.

      I just find it incredible that you didn’t move.

      You also said “We can also purchase private medical insurance in case we need treatment and feel we are not prepared to join a hospital waiting list,”

      We don’t have waiting lists in the United States for hospital care or to have procedures done. Rationed healthcare which waiting lists are a byproduct of, come as part and parcel of a universal or single payer system.

    2. Sam says:

      Thank you Ian,
      This clearly shows your empathy.
      Please don’t listen to GS, He seems to be a self righteous condescending troll who only wants to engage in arguments to pump up his low self esteem. He sounds like a narccasit and much similar to Trump in that way.
      I think he is a troll and his game is one upmenship.
      The US falls far behind in many ways compared to other countries and with Trump at the helpm, fall further.
      So many other countries have universal health care.
      Some have both. It’s not a socialist or left or liberal thing. It’s the right thing. It’s wrong not to care for your citizens, particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable.

      1. Gary Shade says:

        “Please don’t listen to GS, He seems to be a self righteous condescending troll who only wants to engage in arguments to pump up his low self esteem. ”

        A troll eh? So you too have lost the argument based on any form of logic for your pretend right to healthcare and now continue your sophomoric assault on those who believe differently than you by calling names. Typical of a liberal and an adolescent.

        “He sounds like a narccasit and much similar to Trump in that way.”
        What is a ‘narccasit? Did you mean narcissist? A narcissist is someone who always blames others for their
        problems and their lot in life. much of what you and others are doing here. I take responsibility for my own actions and I make my own destiny with the decisions I make (both bad and good) and I don’t shove them off on someone else and whine that it is “their fault”. You need to first learn how to spell and secondly learn what the language means before you use it.

        “I think he is a troll and his game is one upmenship.”

        Not “one upmanship” as you state. But a rebuttal to bullshit. Big difference.

        “The US falls far behind in many ways compared to other countries and with Trump at the helpm, fall further.”
        Is that what it’s really about? You being a Trump hater and all? Did you also blame Bush? These are the real characteristics of the narcissist. Blaming others.

        “So many other countries have universal health care.
        Some have both. It’s not a socialist or left or liberal thing. ”

        Oh but you are mistaken. It very much is a socialist thing. How can you be so against free markets on the one hand but be for socialized medicine then deny it’s “not a socialist or left or liberal thing.”? It defies logic.

        “It’s the right thing. It’s wrong not to care for your citizens, particularly those who are elderly and vulnerable.”

        Nope it is never morally right to force someone else to provide services to other. And that is what socialized medicine does.

        You’d win more arguments of you tried using logic as opposed to calling names Samuel.

        http://www.garyshade.com/?p=271

        1. Sam says:

          Ok you Win Bill O’ Riley want to be.
          Keep hiding behind your guns.
          Big man Troll
          White privileged who is afraid of helping others.
          Yes I like Bernie Sanders and Eliziabeth Warren.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            “Ok you Win Bill O’ Riley want to be.
            Keep hiding behind your guns.
            Big man Troll
            White privileged who is afraid of helping others.
            Yes I like Bernie Sanders and Eliziabeth Warren.”

            I don’t say this much, but wow you really are intellectually challenged aren’t you Sammy..

            Nowhere have I said not to help “others” as you erroneously state. I said it si wrong to turn to the state and have them do it by forcing others to pay for your pretend rights.

            But this really does cement my argument that you liberals are the losers of the world. You whine and cry and moan. And the only solution you have is to force others to comply with your desires, passions and wishes.

            I’ve given you ample time to provide a well thought out response but all you can do is call names and throw a tantrum. How mature of you.

  21. Charlene Newman says:

    What a wonderful testimony for everyone having health care options. No one every knows when they might need it themselves. I pay auto insurance, not because I am a bad driver, but because no one every knows when it will be needed. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Ervin says:

    I’ve read most of the comments and it seems that most people failed to address the basic question whether people of faith should pay healthcare costs for others. I few mentioned that a lot of people get sick because they live a very ignorant lifestyle. That is beyond the question or have you forgotten that Jesus says not to judge others? Who knows? Maybe if we help a very irresponsible person without passing judgment we guide that person towards the Lord… So I believe the answer is obvious, we are instructed by the Bible to help those in need and that might include contributing their healthcare costs or helping them get food or other basic needs.

    Since most of you seem to be interested in healthcare systems let me tell about it as I see it. Universal healthcare, I must say, however reasonable it may sound it has a zillion of problems. I happen to live in a country in the EU with “free” healthcare for everyone. That is, everyone who works or is an adult and is not disabled has to pay a minimum monthly contribution. Even unemployed have to pay! The amount is about one and a half days’ earnings on minimum wages; you might say it’s reasonable. And I guess sane people pay that contribution gladly just like they pay insurance on their homes or cars. But when everyone has coverage and the number of doctors, nurses, hospitals and resources is limited, care can be really poor. I had a friend who needed a very urgent double-bypass surgery. He was in intensive care waiting for his turn and it was scheduled for 3 months!!! He died in 3 weeks. My mother got cancer. She was diagnosed in a January and she got her first chemo in May. She died in August. Probably these people in the US would have lived a lot longer if they had had proper insurance. These are just a few examples, unfortunately I’ve heard of hundreds of similar cases over the year. The government does not pay medical staff enough, they don’t provide enough hospital space and equipment and medicine are limited. That is the price of “free care” for everyone.

  23. Roy Patterson says:

    The problem with a government one-payer Government Healthcare system is that the Government decides what healthcare you get and don’t get. Just look at the VA Government Healthcare system. People are dying before they get treatment. Do we want that happening to everyone??? No we Don’t!!!

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