Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Case for Obamacare & Medicaid Expansion: Why Christians Should Support It Based on Biblical Teachings

Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) has long been regarded with fear and skepticism by many.  In fact, some of the Christian left has opposed its implementation.  While these people say they are "Christians" and they oppose accessible healthcare for millions is truly an ANTI-LIFE, ANTI-CHRIST position. And those false teachers who say that America should deny healthcare and healthcare access to MILLIONS of people, clearly are not familiar with or care about what the Bible says on the matter of dealing with the sick.

The Divine Commands

What does the Bible say about dealing with sick people and Jesus?  What does the Bible say about following Jesus' example on how to live.

First, let us consider the following...
"If you love me, you will follow my commandments."
- John 14:15
The Importance of Scripture

Let's consider that statement for a moment.  Jesus has given us several divine commands to which Christians are, as part of the basic faith principles, supposed to follow these commands and fulfill them on a daily basis. There are no exceptions.

Saint Timothy wrote the following and confirms this point - that all scripture is to be used a guide for living:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
- 2 Timothy 3:15 - 17
Real Christianity & Hypocrisy

Fake Christianity is really what we call "religious hypocrisy" and for good reason.  Real Christians try to live out all the teachings and precepts as written in the Bible.  Fake Christians (sorry for this being politically incorrect but it is painfully "on target") take what they want to live out in their lives and leave the rest out. Such people who don't care about doing the "right thing" and yet requiring others to do the "right thing" are the most painfully obvious hypocrites of all - especially to those Christians who are well acquainted with the teachings and precepts of the Bible and of Jesus the Christ himself.

Our Command to Heal the Sick

Apart from Jesus, curing the sick is true philanthropy.  No doubt, Jesus is the greatest of philanthropists EVER.  Indeed, his ministry was spent on healing the sick.  It was so important to Jesus, he made it one of his divine commands:
"Heal the sick..."
- Matthew 10:8
Jesus As Example to Heal the Sick

The Gospels were very concerned for sick people and mentioned Jesus' ministry in action with regard to curing the sick many, many times.  There are many verses that pertain to his healing of the sick: Matt 4:23, 8:16, 9:12, 9:18, 9:35, 10:1, 10:8, 14:14, 14:35, 14:36, 25:36, 25:39, 25:43, 25:44; Mark 1:32, 2:17; 4:29, 5:21, 6:5, 6:13, 6:55, 6:56; Mark 16:18; Luke 4:40, 5:15, 5:17, 5:31, 7:2, 7:21, 8:40, 9:2, 10:9; John 4:46, 6:2, 11:1, 11:2, 11:3, 11:4 and 11:6.

Jesus also said in the Washing of the Feet, the following remarks:
"You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, I am the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did it to you."
- John 13: 13-16
The Epistles of the Saints (As Part of the New Testament)

Saints Peter and Paul wrote to the Christian Churches and gave them instructions on how to live with one another and also to have a strong relationship with God.  As Teachers, their instructions to act like Christ was quite clear:
"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love..."
- Ephesians 5:1-2
An Ultimate Love

If Saint Timothy is right, then all Scripture is God-breathed and true.  Here's another quote taken from another Epistle:
"Everyone who hates his brother is a murder; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." - 1 John 3:15 & 16
 We are called to live charitably for others.  We are REQUIRED to give much.  Charity is a sign of love as well as Godly love.

The Good Samaritan Parable

Luke 10:25-37 is the Parable about taking care of another person who is in bad health after a robbery. Although a Parable, the point illustrates that the persons who are EXPECTED to do the right thing fail and walk past the victim who is dying in the road.  A priest and a Levite left the man for dead (who were the "politicians" of their time).  Along came a Samaritan (who were not well-liked by the People of Jerusalem) and he picked the man up from the where he was laying, put him on his donkey, dressed his wounds and even paid for his stay at a local inn.

Jesus asked the crowd who was the neighbor to the man.  An expert in the law said, "The one who had mercy on him.."  Jesus then commanded, "Go and do likewise."

God Doesn't Care About Economics

God cares about whether we love one another (and he isn't concerned about cost - even if it means laying down your life for another person) - and exhorted us to love even our enemies as he stated...
"A new command I give to you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Remember, Jesus said that if we keep his commandments, this is our testimony to others that we really do love the Lord.  And, Jesus didn't add, "if it is affordable" to the sentence.  Love requires a sacrifice.  That is what makes real love - exactly that - REAL love.

Taking care of the sick isn't an option for Christians.  There is no price tag too high.

Our Bodies & Our Health Is the Greatest Asset God Gives Us

Our health is the most important asset we have.  It's more important than money, roads, bridges, electrical systems, housing or anything else we can have as a person, state of nation.  Protecting and promoting good health and healthcare habits should be the #1 PRIORITY of any nation.  Why?  Because with poor health, nothing else matters in terms of assets.  Helping our fellow countrymen recover from sickness and remaining healthy is a "common sense" requirement of ourselves, our fellow patriots and for God.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies."
The other reason why God wants us to heal the sick: Our bodies ARE temples of the Lord.  God wants us to tend to them always - especially in times of sickness.  Every temple must take care of every other temple because they are holy as "Temples of the Lord" and to which attendance is a divine requirement set by God himself.

Poor Health Costs Businesses OVER A HALF TRILLION DOLLARS Every Single Year

Forbes just published an interesting article entitled, "US Workforce Illness Costs $576B Annually From Sick Days to Workers Compensation" and poor health is costing business all across the United States billions and billions of dollars annually with NO END IN SIGHT.  What does this mean to states who are already struggling to make ends meet?  Less taxable revenue from businesses in every place across the country.  As a matter of fact, healthcare maintenance and getting people to stay in better health would add to corporate profitability - NO DOUBT.

No doubt, a healthy populace makes the nation and states more money.  Tax revenues increases and helps offset deficits (if not otherwise spent).  A healthy population can and does raise taxable revenues.  Healthy people are are more productive and have higher incomes are also more "well adjusted" and have less stress in their lives.  In short, better health means greater happiness and leads to a more joyful life.

Wild, Wild West Healthcare or Regulated Healthcare

There are many insurance companies that are not comprised of true Christian believers.  In fact, many companies, I would venture to guess, ONLY CARE ABOUT PROFITS.  This means, PROFITS before people and PROFITS before patients.

Christians have a duty to make certain that healthcare providers provide enough services for the policies they offer consumers.  Gone now are the days when healthcare companies can now just issue crappy, terrible consumer policies without regard to any laws or legal restrictions.  Christians have a moral obligation to make sure the consumers receive the care they need without being gouged on high premiums and served with substandard policies that offer little in the way of meaningful healthcare substance.  Consumers have an unequivocal right to receive as much healthcare as they pay to receive and the exchange for premium payments and care should be commiserate with each other.

The healthcare exchanges now allow consumers to see policies and compare plan features and deductibles. There hasn't been any kind of feature that has allowed companies to compete for consumer premiums as these plans do.  A side-by-side comparison now exists to open the door to greater and more meaningful competition among insurance providers.  Indeed, the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") now allows for insurance companies to compete in a meaningful, and real way.  In fact, www.healthcare.gov, now makes buying healthcare more affordable because competition on side-by-side premium comparisons helps drive down premium costs as providers compete for greater market share of the healthcare insurance market. Furthermore, the government website can now be likened to travel and hotel websites where several thousand businesses compete for consumer travelers all across the United States such as www.hotels.com and www.expedia.com.

In Conclusion

As a final thought, Christians have a moral obligation to heal the sick and those obligations, in the light of a divine command from Jesus, is a very serious one.  Christians (at least the REAL ones) must understand that our duty to help those are sick is not a choice that God gives us - it is a command that is not subject to change.  The costs of not healing the sick means a less fruitful life for the sick person and a less joyful one as well.  Indeed we are called to be a light to the word and provide help and service to the sick.  When we heal the sick, we restore their lives in much more meaningful ways than just their health.  We are able to give them a second chance at life, to enable them to have the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the world.  When we heal the sick, we not only restore their bodies to health.  We become the purveyors of hope, love, joy and better opportunity.  We become their ticket to a better life.

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