What Would Jesus Do?

Dear Christian Family Values Voters,

What would Jesus do?
It’s a test many Christians, including myself, apply to problems to determine a course of action.

I’m writing today concerning health care in America, because I can’t understand your position. I’ve gone round and round in my head and I can’t see how the Republican position on health care is at all Christian.

Jesus went around healing the sick and helping the poor and righting injustice. The one commandment he left us with is to love one another and do unto others as we would have done to ourselves.

And I just can’t make the mass raping of the American people by private insurance companies jibe with Jesus’ message.

I can respect your position on other issues, but I just can’t even understand where you’re coming from on health care. It’s not even in your own best interest. Generally you should expect that people will vote for their own best interest, economic or otherwise. But, I know so many lower- or middle-class Christian Family Values voters who would vote against themselves on this issue. I simply can’t understand why.

Some of you are uninsured and even uninsurable. Why would people who have no way to pay for doctors visits and beg for money to pay emergency room visits be in favor of private insurance companies?

Like every American, I’m a capitalist. But, there’s one reason why the free market system isn’t working for health care – the consumer has no freedom of choice.

In a free market capitalist system the guiding principle for keeping things fair and affordable is the consumers’ choice to purchase the product or not. We make choices every day about what we buy. For example, if no one wants to pay $600 for the new iPhone then it will simply not sell and Apple won’t make a profit. As a consumer I have a choice whether to buy that phone, another phone or no phone at all. As a consumer, in this example, I exercise my free will and the best or most cost effective product wins out. There is no consequence of me not buying that phone or choosing a different one.

The same can not be said for healthcare in America. As a patient, I am not in a position to choose to not receive care if I am diagnosed with cancer or am in an unfortunate car accident. If my child breaks his leg and I do not take him to the hospital to have it set I could be charged with criminal neglect. My family’s loss of life, safety, health and well-being is the consequence of not purchasing the product. Yet the consequence of purchasing the product may very likely bankrupt my family, keeping us as far away from the American Dream as say Communist China.

There are no choices involved in the current system. At least not for the patient. Take what doctor I go to for instance. I do not get to choose any doctor I want. The insurance company told me which doctors they will pay for and those are the ones I see. This system can not be confused with a free enterprise system because I do not have access to any doctor I like in practicality. My insurance company has also dictated which hospital I must visit in case of an emergency.

My insurance company also arbitrarily dictates which tests, services and medications my doctor is allowed to give me. If he prescribes something that isn’t covered I ask him to change the prescription to something that is covered. Only the excessively rich choose doctors not covered by their plan. The middle class can’t afford this privilege.

I just can’t understand where the “Christian family value” is in supporting the current system of private insurance in America. What exactly is the value? It’s not choice. It’s not dignity. It’s not justice or fairness or respect for human life. It’s not caring for others. It’s not kindness. I just can’t imagine what value Christian Family Values voters are supposedly supporting.

As a Christian myself, with values and a family, I’m asking you to carefully reconsider your position on this issue. Please, suck up all your personal loathing over the politics of its director and go see the film Sicko. The sickest thing about it, is that it’s not even hard to believe. You already know the stories of these Americans, for you are one of them.

Reexamine the issue of health care by applying the question: What Would Jesus Do? Can you really say Jesus would support private insurance companies who have abused the American people’s trust? Would Jesus defend the inhumanity involved in denying a fellow American citizen medical care based on whether or not it’s profitable for the insurance company?

I, as a Christian, don’t believe that’s what he came here for at all.

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