An open letter to critics of healthcare reform

I understand that not everyone is a fan of the changes coming with the new health care reform legislation. However, I expect most can understand why at least the 32 million people anticipating having some kind of coverage would beg to differ.

This is not my issue. My beef is with the fear-mongering about the “government takeover of health care.” this is a broken system, and most of us simply find basic health care and insurance untenable. It’s been a problem for decades and nothing substantial has been done, so kudos to those lawmakers who bucked up and spent some political capital to do SOMETHING. But in debating the law’s implications, let’s stick to logistics rather than capitalizing on fear of big government to polarize public opinion.

I would also suggest that such rhetoric is hypocritical for anyone benefiting from any of the following taxpayer-supported programs, which we have “no choice” but to support through our taxes:

Medicare
VA Benefits
Public Education (this includes state universities)
Social Security
Transportation systems (you drive on a road I/we paid for with our taxes)

I could go on, but the point is that ALL of us benefit from taxpayer-supported programs. Sure, health care is a huge portion of our national economy, but how about national defense? I’ve yet to hear a tea party activist complain about their tax dollar going to missile systems or to fund internment camps for enemy combatants. Why is this? isn’t the health of our citizenry at least as important?

For me, this is an issue of theological importance. If Jesus were here today, it would be hard to argue that he wouldn’t chastise us for our treatment of the poor and less privileged, here in the wealthiest country in the world. And while I’d love to see our communities address this and other issues without government intervention, how much longer do we wait? How many more thousands/millions should remain sick or die while we debate how to best reform a broken health care system? How many more decades should we say is acceptable until we say “enough”?

It’s not a perfect bill, and no one is saying it is. But thank God something is changing. At least now we’re taking some responsibility for one of the most sorely neglected issues of social justice we’ve yet to content with as a nation.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • http://pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com Bob Cornwall

    Here, Here!!! Yes, it’s time to get the ball rolling. This is a good first step, a foundation upon which to build a solid health care system that can serve all the people. There are many holes in the legislation, so perhaps the opponents and critics could stop yelling and start thinking about ways of actually dealing with costs.


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