Christians and Healthcare Reform

If you scroll down a bit, you’ll notice that I have several recent posts about the current healthcare debate in the United States.  This is a huge issue.  The fact that it has in many respects descended into a morass that is alternately farcical and profoundly disturbing is, in my mind, a tremendous tragedy.*

BUT . . . as I was reading around yesterday, I was encouraged to come across some really good pieces about Christian approaches to the issue. 

(For getting me started on this trail of links, I must first give credit to the intrepid pastor-blogger at, for his post, “Jesus and Health Care Reform.”  Thank you, sir.)

Christians, Please Report to  the Health Insurance Reform Debate  –  Rob Warmowski at The Huffington Post

This is an excellent article, in which a self-described “heathen flipping through the Bible” asks some searing questions — and provides some of the best answers I’ve encountered — on the subject of “what would Jesus do” about healthcare in the United States.

I find it very odd that Christians who live here generally don’t seem to have noticed the evidence that Jesus Christ would have serious problems with the for-profit health insurance industry.It’s an astoundingly wealthy industry that got that way by withholding coverage from the sick at every opportunity. What would the parable-prone healer think of the pay-or-die private health insurance model the US shamefully supports — alone among the 39 most industrialized nations on earth?

Warmowski goes on to cite several verses from the gospels, addressing both Jesus’ healing ministry (healing everyone … even pre-existing conditions??) and some of his more pointed comments on greed.

This article is well worth reading.  Parts of it might just be worth printing out and framing.

Christians Weigh In On Health Care Reform  –  by Dan Nejfelt at The Huffington Post

This response to Warmowski’s post contains a multitude of concrete examples, and links, to back up his assertion that millions of American Christians are

organizing in congregations across America, taking to the airwaves, and lobbying on Capitol Hill (often side-by-side with Jews and Muslims dedicated to the same cause).

Lots of resources in this article: check it out.

Pulling Together  on Health Care  –  by Jacqueline L. Salmon at The Washington Post

A news article discussing some of the efforts by coalitions of Christian groups, especially their attempts to get their message across to politicians who might be more accustomed to viewing Christians as unshakeable political  conservatives.

In recent weeks, hundreds of clergy members and lay leaders have descended on the offices of members of Congress, urging lawmakers to enact health-care legislation this year. With face-to-face lobbying, sermons, prayer and advertising on Christian radio stations, the coalitions are pressing the idea that health care for everyone is a fundamental moral issue.

This article also provides a glimpse into some broader issues of Christian identity and political diversity (and a refreshing challenge to the common, often unthinking equation of Christianity in America with the Religious Right).

I found these articles both thought-provoking and encouraging.  I hope others find them equally engaging.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


* If you can’t tell, I’m very definitely pro-healthcare reform.  Aside from the religious and philosophical convictions that lead me in that direction, I can cite a variety of personal experiences that influence me.

  1. I basically grew up in Canada.  Right, Canada, land of — cue creepy music — socialized medicine (an innacurate, but frequently-levelled charge).  And guess what?  When we were sick, we went to the doctor and got treatment.  Without freaking out about the bills.  And without wondering how many other people weren’t lucky enough to do the same.
  2. When my family moved to the U.S., there was a time when we didn’t have health insurance.  I will never forget how nerve-wracking that was, or how horrible I felt when I thought I had an ear infection, but didn’t know how my parents could pay for a doctor on my dad’s very small mission organization paycheck.
  3. The small company I work for had to change insurance coverage starting August 1 because our old provider nearly doubled our premiums overnight.  At the same time, for the past month or so I’ve been going through some medical stuff of my own — nothing really serious, but requiring multiple doctor’s visits and a couple hospital tests.  So I’m now juggling multiple policies, and facing the prospect of paying off two deductibles back-to-back.  It sucks. 
  4. I know that for all these things, I am far, far more fortunate than many in this country.

~ by h.e.g. on August 9, 2009.

6 Responses to “Christians and Healthcare Reform”

  1. I agree with you that Christians should be more more concern that the insurance live up to Christians ideals but the whole capitalistic system is contrary to the word of God. How could a Christian nation create a virus like aids for depopulation? How could a Christian nation justify killing innocent people?

  2. Great post. I felt I had to write a similar “quote-able” post on health reform today because of all the distortions and rumors that I have heard — even from really intelligent people! Look forward to coming back! I believe health insurance for all is a moral issue. Nice to read that other Christians agree!

  3. Jesus ran around healing people for free, and even ordered his disciples to pay taxes, of all things. Jesus was obviously NOT a Christian…

  4. Hi!, I have compiled a list of the top Aids blogs, and yours was included! check it out at

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  5. I’m not a Christian but I have heard many Christians say things like “health care is a good…not a right”
    I always thought Christianity was about helping the poor, sick and hungry.

    • Norris, you’ve got a definite point. “Helping the poor, sick and hungry” isn’t all that Christianity is about — not even primarily what it’s about — but it is something that Christians are commanded to do by the God we claim to follow, and it is something that we believe God is very, very interested in. It’s certainly something Jesus spent a lot of time on while He was on earth.

      The fact that some Christians oppose better healthcare for those who don’t have it is deeply saddening to me. The fact that some of them appeal to their faith as a rationale for their opposition…that seems frankly indefensible.

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