A Preview of Universal Healthcare

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.boston.com/news/local/ar...e_cost_increases_dominate_mass_budget_debate/

    Healthcare cost increases dominate Mass. budget debate

    When Massachusetts launched its landmark universal health insurance initiative nearly two years ago, the state put off addressing rising costs so it could expand coverage immediately. Now those costs are dominating the discussion as the state faces a recession and pivotal funding decisions that could make or break health reform.
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    We are on the same page today. I posted this here
     
  3. Andre

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    While there are good and bad ways to implement it, I think that, as a concept, universal health care is indeed in line with the Kingdom of God that we are to be building for. It embodies the spirit of the parable of the 100 sheep - we ensure, as a society under Jesus' lordhship, that all are cared for.

    While the powers that be may deny Jesus' lordship - we Christians know this truth and need to act to implement it as best we can (while of course not breaking the law). Speaking up and advocating for universal health care, done responsibly of course, is an entirely appropriate way to build for the Kingdom.

    After all, when Jesus returns, all will be cared for by the "government" that that will then be in place. Perhaps we should practice for what it is to come.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Do you hold to the "Latter Rain" Theology?
     
  5. Andre

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    I do not know what you mean here. Can you please explain?
     
  6. carpro

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    My apologies.:eek:
     
  7. Revmitchell

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  8. Bro. Curtis

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    Yeah, and the lion will lay down with the lamb. Do you suggest we start that process, as well ?

    I don't know where you get your views, but I see nowhere in scripture where we will get free health care. We will have no need for health care, for we will have perfect bodies, and there is no earthly way to prepare for that.

    I think we should follow scripture, and tell the nations about the substitutionary death & sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Free health care has nothing to do with the gospel of Christ.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    The latter Rain Theology teaches that man must bring in perfection for Christ to come and and the earth is being redeemed. It is quite the heresy.
     
  10. carpro

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    True

    Forcefully taking from one to give to another is not a biblical principal.

    There is no Saint Robin Hood. A thief is still a thief.
     
  11. rbell

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    That is a huuuuuuuuuge stretching of Scripture.

    I have provided healthcare for my family--private pay, mind you (over $8K annually) for years. It's a huge sacrifice, and it means doing without some luxuries. But I would never dream of asking for others to pay for it. That's my job.

    My two points I constantly re-iterate:
    1. When one starts paying for another's healthcare, then that one begins to desire the right to dictate the terms of the other's lifestyle, habits, etc. Hence, look for taxes on potato chips, requirements to eat certain foods, and the propagation of the "lifestyle police" (as if government didn't have enough to do---and as if that was ever the purpose of the United States government).

    2. The same government that cannot take care of our veterans, and botched things like Katrina--this is who we want to run our healthcare? I got cussed at last month by someone in our state government. Why? I asked her not to put me on hold for the third time (my question was a simple, 10-second question that I held 15 minutes to ask). We want these kind of people running our healthcare? Hoo boy.

    Is healthcare broken? To some degree it is. But having government run a system with flaws...that's like someone shooting me in the foot.....and to get even, I shoot myself in the other foot.

    No thanks. Government could screw up an anvil with a rubber mallet. I'd rather not have them running my healthcare, thanks.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    And wealth redistribution is slavery.
     
  13. Andre

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    Absolutely, we should start that process.

    Jesus initiated the Kingdom of God. He did not say "Well now, wait a few thousand years before attempting to integrate the principles of my kingdom into your world. I will take care of that only when I return."

    Instead he said this:

    "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations".

    Is Jesus not claiming his authority? How can the nations be disciples if they are not encouraged to implement the kingdom values in the here and now?

    This is the great error of post-enlightenment thinking. We have somehow bought into the idea that the gospel is only about "going to heaven when we die" and we'll run the rest of the world accoriding to the secular principles in the meantime. Does it make sense that we only care about the "spiritual" well-being of people while not ensuring for their "material" needs?

    The gospel is not and never has been simply the message that "accept Jesus and your sins will be forgiven and you will go to heaven when you die". It is about so much more! It is about God becoming King of this world.

    And while we live in the arguably fuzzy time between the initiation of the Kingdom and its dramatic and final victory, the people of God are called to implement the kingdom values in the present.

    And, as per the parable of the 100 sheep, this means that we need to ensure that not one person goes without the basics of life - and that includes a minimal standard of healthcare, guaranteed for each citizen.
     
  14. Andre

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    What does the United States government have to do with the Kingdom of God? And the implication that society does not have the right to dictate the "lifestyle" of its members may be an American cultural value. But it certainly is not a Scriptural one. While we are no longer under Torah, it is described as God' perfect law by the Psalmist. And need I list the many ways in which Torah very much gets into people's lives and dictates how they live.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    Again I ask do you hold to the "Latter Rain' or "Kingdom Now" theologies?
     
  16. Andre

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    Based on a quick read, I do not hold to these theologies. My basic theological position, relevent to this and related matters, is that we are instructed by Jesus (and by Paul) to advocate for the enshrinement of the "Kingdom of God" values in all institutions of our society. In short, I see the Kingdom of God as a "now" and "not only future" kind of thing. And I believe that we make a big mistake when we effectively "privatize" the Kingdom, running our inner lives one way, while running society another way.
     
  17. rbell

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    With all due respect, Scriptural mandates and governmental regulations don't belong in the same sentence.
     
  18. Andre

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    This, I politely suggest, is the huge error of post-enlightenment thinking. The whole notion that we "kick God upstairs" and we'll run the "real" world according to secular values is not a Scriptural position. Paul declared the "gospel" of Jesus Christ. How was the term "gospel" used in Paul's culture? It was used to announce the ascendency of a new emperor to the throne in Rome. Paul knows exactly what he is doing, he is making the politically subversive statement that Jesus is the Lord of this present world and Caesar isn't. Do you think Paul would have wound up in jail for preaching a gospel that was not politically threatening, that was not about a radical change to the way governing authorities act?

    The gospel is not only about our interior lives - it is about Jesus becoming King of the entirety of creation, including the instititions of government. And it is the task of the church to remind the authorities that they are ultimately under Jesus's lordship. Will we be laughed at and dismissed? Very likely. But that did not stop Paul:

    6But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus."

    There are lots of other texts that show that indeed God is very much interested in having His principles enshrined in governance.

    Consider the Jubilee law of the Old Testament. This was a prime example of God enshrining his principles in the law of the land - something you seem to think is unacceptable.

    Has God fundamentally changed, expecting the government to be obedient to Scriptures in the Old Testament, and now suddenly supporting separation of church and state?
     
  19. rbell

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    Andre, your argument is eloquent, but IMO is flawed on several levels.

    I agree that Paul's message flew in the face of the authorities of his day. However, to somehow apply Paul's message to the concept of universal healthcare...that is a big stretch.

    First of all, Paul also made the statement that if someone didn't work, that person ought not eat. Now, in context, that was referring to people who
    could provide for themselves...however, the point is still made that we should not expect other folks to take care of our needs. A significant number who clamor for universal healthcare fit into that mold.

    Secondly, Paul wasn't trying to remake the Roman government into a Christian model. Governments are always going to be flawed. In the OT, God did not want the Israelites to have a king...but He relented. Until the day that God rules us in Heaven, government will always be flawed. And time and time again, our country has proven that government cannot do things as efficiently as the private sector (case in point: When the government ran the phone system, a 20-minute cross-country call could cost you $15 or more. Now check it out.)

    Finally, the charge to take care of the least of these in the NT is without exception put forth to God's people--not the government. Now: Has the church failed in this area? Yes...and often miserably. And the government has "filled the gap" on many occasions. However, this does not change to whom the charge was orignally given.
     
  20. Andre

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    I agree with you on this point. Although I did not explicitly address it, I do think that if it is possible to identify people who are "freeloading", they should be treated in accordance with what Paul says. I am not sure how "significant" a number of people this is, though.

    Why do you say this? What is your scriptural support? I have already made a case that Paul used the word "gospel" to say precisely this - Jesus is Lord and Caesar isn't. Do you think its a coincidence that Paul goes to Rome, of all place, and announces the lordship of Jesus? It is true that Paul teaches us to obey the existing legal authorities. But this does not mean that we are sit on your hands and not try to influence government.

    Fair enough, but Jesus is still Lord of all. We need to find a way to make that work, not capitulate to secularism.

    Even apart from specific scriptural texts, its seems very odd that Christians would commit to a certain set of values by which we order our interior lives and yet buy in to an entirely different model for the society in which we live. I am not talking about "forcing" anything on anybody. In the context of a demoracy, I think that Christians should be advocating for the enshrinement of Kingdom value into law.

    You can be sure that if we don't, followers of other kingdoms will be doing precisely this. Nature abhors a vacuum. When "religion" is expunged from public life and government, other values come rushing in to fill the void.
     

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