How Should We Respond to the Obamacare Ruling?

“Sometimes, bad is bad.” Huey Lewis and his mullet-loving friends had it right back in the days of Reagan. Sometimes, bad law is just bad law. Obamacare is bad law. It doesn’t help when a narrow Supreme Court decision makes it worse.

I’ll point you to Tim Dalrymple’s excellent first take on the decision here to sort through the political implications and to Paul Mirengoff here for a summary of the legalese. Suffice it to say, I’m not a fan of Obamacare as evidenced from my series “Why Obamacare Fails to Get God’s Vote.” I think the Court got it wrong.

So now what?

My humble concern is that we as Christ-followers respond in a way that pleases God. Here are a few ways to respond to the Obamacare ruling though they may grate against our feelings at this time:

  • Respect those in authority over us. Immediately after the decision, the blogosphere and Twitter lit up with insults hurled by all sides and in all directions. Jesus often spoke the truth with great clarity, but not with vitriol. We should do the same but with passion not poison.
  • Obey those in authority over us. Like it or not, the law has been duly — if somewhat shadily — passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Under our national covenant, we are bound as citizens to comply to the extent that we can with a clear conscience. Submitting does not mean agreeing or that we won’t work to change the law. It means our allegiance is first to Christ and then to country and other legitimate and passionate loyalties.
  • Double our efforts to provide creative and compassionate alternatives to government programs. Instead of giving up on showing the compassion of Christ now that the government’s role just increased exponentially, we should let this decision fuel our commitment to developing health-care ideas and real-life partnerships with churches and other voluntary associations. When the government program collapses due to lack of funds — as it must — we will need alternatives ready and functioning to fill that care gap.
  • Work to change the law. Now is not the time for critics of the law to head for an island somewhere off the coast of Canada where Alec Baldwin is rumored to hide after disappointing political decisions. Tim gets it right predicting a reawakening of grassroots conservatism for the coming election. I call it “Tea Party 2.0.” Already the Romney campaign has seen more than $4.2 million pour into its campaign coffers. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obamacare but may have just handed a mini-landslide victory in November to Mitt Romney.

What other suggestions do you have on how Christ-followers should respond to the Supreme Court ruling? Leave a comment by clicking here to share your thoughts?

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, speaker, author, content and messaging consultant, and general Kingdom catalyst. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with Equip Leadership, Inc. (founded by John C. Maxwell) and ministry leaders around the Pacific Rim to better equip ministry leaders there to lead with passion and greater influence.

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  • Dave Burt

    Not sure why you have an issue with a health care safety net for all Americans. It’s what any other compassionate advanced democracy would do. The US is 40 years behind other advanced economies with this sort of health coverage for all. Stop your whinging and counting your pennies. As Huey Lewis sang you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Dave, We’re also 40 years behind the collapsing economies of those who have attempted to have their health care run by the government.

      Thanks.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      And we already have a health care safety net. If that’s what this was about, why did we need two or even three nets?

      • Jennifer

        The first net has too many holes….

        I have a question for you, Bill. Regardless of whether this law is a good law or an imperfect law, the main thrust of your arguments seems to be that government run health care would be frowned on by God and that turning to government equals turning away from God.
        So I’m going to ask you directly: Do you think the Pope is wrong when he says “Important also in the field of health, integral part of each one’s existence and of the common good, is to establish a true distributive justice that guarantees to all, on the basis of objective needs, adequate care… Health justice should be among the priorities of governments and international institutions. ”
        (Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone followed up a statement that Justice requires a guaranteed universal access to health care and that governments are obligated, therefore, to adopt the proper legislative, administrative and financial measures to provide such care along with other basic conditions that promote good health, such as food security, water and housing).

        I’m looking forward to your opinion.
        Happy 4th of July!

        • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

          Had a great day with family. Hope your 4th was happy, as well.

          Yes, I believe the Pope to be wrong based on the quotation you gave. Government should remove barriers to the process but not provide it. It should guarantee the freedom to pursue it, but not pretend to be able to guarantee the result. It just can’t.

          Since I am not Catholic, I have no problem with the Pope being wrong — as they have often been through the centuries — though I respect his opinions.

          Thanks.

          • Jennifer

            Thanks for your honest answer, Bill. Although we don’t agree on the issue of government involvement in health care I have a great deal of respect for your opinions and for the thought that has obviously gone into them. I guess I see health as a basic right – as basic physical safety. And I see a role for government in providing basic health care even though I don’t think that the current plan proposed by President Obama is a particularly good one . Your comments have really made me examine this issue (and the role of government in general) and for that I thank you.

  • ymoore

    Peace, Bill,
    I just read the “About Bill,” which says you have a wife and six children. Does your family have health insurance?

    I have two children and a husband. We are all covered under his job health care plan. The Affordable Health Care Act extends coverage to my oldest, 19, who’s in college. I have a sister who, like me, is a cancer survivor. She , however, is self-employed and unable to afford health insurance. In my state, there are health insurance collectives for freelancers, but this doesn’t exist in her state. We checked. When the Affordable Care “exchanges ” are set up, she will be able to purchase health insurance.I don’t know if you know this, but cancer is a disease for which follow up is part of the treatment. She’s had no follow up for at least a year. I love her, and she’s not worried. We all go on and pray everything is ok. I don’t have the money to pay for her coverage, although when I get extra I do pass it to her w/a “Go get a check up.” We pray and keep it moving. I’ve read your articles, but they don’t cut it for me. For the life of me, I don’t understand why people who says they love Jesus and follow his teachings and study his life on earth, which included so much healing, are so vehement about NOT doing what is well within our power to help in the healing of others. My sister is Christian and a member of a “Word” church, and it does not pay for health insurance or doctor visits for her or other members without health insurance. Her church, like mine and most I know, have outreach ministries but not enough money to cover their members health care. When I hear folk say the church should be caring for the sick and the government is usurping the church’s role, I say to myself, “Now there’s a person who does not go to the church business meeting.” Because if they did, they’d know the church is busy trying to keep the mortgage paid up, the lights on, pay the staff and keep outreach ministries running. I really don’t get you guys. Proverbs 3:27 instructs us to not without good from those to whom it’s due when it is within your power to do it. Providing basic health care for everyone in America is within our ability to do collectively, which is what a democratic government is — governance of, for and by the people. Honestly, I don’t understand you segment of Christianity and don’t recognize your Jesus.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Peace to you, too, of course.

      To be more precise, your family is covered by the health insurance that your husband has purchased through a third-party — his employer. He simply does not have to pay taxes on that income. If the employer suddenly decided to offer him a higher salarty and let him shop for his own insurance, you might also be saying that you could not afford it. Part of the problem we have with out-of-control-costs is due to the facts that most Americans now do not directly purchase their health insurance or pay for most of their care. They don’t deal first-hand with the costs and decisions that drive those costs and therefore don’t pay much attention to it. It is and will be no different under the governement plan. Instead of the employer, it will be the government managing and deciding these details that each of us will find very important. And, as many have already discovered, your health care that you now have through your employer is likely to go away as they realize it is less expensive to pay the fine than to pay for your health care package.

      There are a few good things mixed in with the bad in the law. Extending the age of coverage within a family has merit as well as finding ways to ensure that everyone can get coverage regardless of pre-existng conditions. However, the economics of this bill mean that it is not sustainable. It cannot do what it claims without significant tax increases. So that the health care you rpesently have will cost more — it already is rising exponentially in anticipation of the bill going into effect. And on top of it all, it doesn’t even address the coverage for most of the currently uninsured.

      The issue is the artificially inflated costs of health care. Several factors drive this. One is the lack of any meaningful competition. Another is the separation of the consumer from the payment as I mentioned. Another is the already invasive government involvement that insists on lower payments for itself which drives up the costs for everyone else. Currently, the free market does not set health care prices, the government does. For it to pass a bill to address the healthcare issue without addressing its own complicity in the rising costs is ludicrous. It gives the appearance of doing something without actually doing anything except expand its own role — which has caused much of the problem in the first place.

      I have been to many church business metings also. I have also been to many government meetings. In spite of their faults, the church meetings give me far more hope for compassionate effectiveness than the government bureacracy. It’s not that I wish to withhold good from anyone. It’s just that the governmetn will not be able to deliver the good you think they are promising. We will end up with far more bad. The government always lowers quality for all to the lowest common denominator in the name of “fairness” to all.

      There are better solutions available to address the real problems. And they know it. Otherwise why would they have exempted themselves from this magnificent health care program?

      Even if we disagree,

      • ymoore

        Peace still, Bill,

        The Affordable Health Care Act does not set up a government health insurance company. It does not include “the pubic option” — which would have been a government-run health insurance plan–although 2/3 of the Americans who didn’t like the health care reform law said they wanted that option, according to a 2010 Associated Press survey. We didn’t get the pubic option — health insurance companies and a vocal “anti-government” minority made sure of that. What we got is a compromise that makes use of the vast private health insurance system we already have and some rules for the road that will protect us as consumers of these insurance products. We got “exchanges” through which people like my sister who cannot now afford $500-$900/month for health insurance can purchase it at rates lowered because they are part of a “pool” of buyers, as is my family via my husband’s job. We got rules that stop insurance companies from dropping us when we need the care most or not insuring us if we have known illnesses. Is this plan perfect? No, but it will help many.
        As the old folk used to say, “Tell the truth and shame the devil,” Bill. This is NOT something churches do for members. If someone in the church is sick, we put them on the prayer list and visit them. Even churches that have health clinics for low-income people in the community work with government programs like Medicaid to provide such services. So this business about the church could have or would have provided health care for all if the government wasn’t in the way is simply not true.
        Jesus asked the Pharisees, and is still asking us today, “Which is lawful [on the Sabbath]: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent (Mark 3:4).

  • Jay Saldana

    The thing that always amazes me in your blogs is you make statements but seldom..no actually never back them up with data. Lets take a few:
    “I have been to many church business metings also. I have also been to many government meetings.”
    Why are church meetings and government meetings treated as an equal in stature or nature. Their content, nature, and purpose or seriousness is not near the same.
    “In spite of their faults, the church meetings give me far more hope for compassionate effectiveness than the government bureaucracy.”
    Why? What is it, other than appealing to our unconscious prejudiced, gives you a sense that that statement is true? Being generous is the call of the Church and yet all of us know there is much farther to go in taking care of the needy in our communities, or the size or number of people to be involved.
    “It’s not that I wish to withhold good from anyone.”
    In all honesty, that is exactly want you want to do as I have not seen an honest proposal come from the right
    as an alternative.
    “It’s just that the government will not be able to deliver the good you think they are promising. We will end up with far more bad.”
    Could you give data on that please? You mean like Early child reading programs, or Medicaid and Medicare?
    You mean like our armed forces? You mean like FEMA, or any of the thousands of programs we all depend on?
    “The government always lowers quality for all to the lowest common denominator in the name of “fairness” to all.”
    Really, could you name five that objectively are of lower quality?
    “There are better solutions available to address the real problems. And they know it. Otherwise why would they have exempted themselves from this magnificent health care program”
    Really, now I thought they got the same health care as we do. Same doctors, same medicine! Oh you mean from the cost of their Health care. Oh,I see in order to take care of the poor, then in all fairness, they should have the same health program as the poor do? On second thought, that is not what ACA is about. It was about seeing that everyone had a minimum of insurance. So you probably made a mistake there.

    ” your family is covered by the health insurance that your husband has purchased through a third-party — his employer. He simply does not have to pay taxes on that income. If the employer suddenly decided to offer him a higher salarty and let him shop for his own insurance, you might also be saying that you could not afford it”
    Actually, it would seem that through the Health care exchanges, since there is a larger purchasing lobby involved, they may be able to get the same insurance at a lower rate. That outcome is more likely than not as the rates come down for EVERYONE. So maybe that employer maybe able to give raises and keep his insurance at well.
    “Part of the problem we have with out-of-control-costs is due to the facts that most Americans now do not directly purchase their health insurance or pay for most of their care.”
    Direct interaction would help lower rates but who said it was the cause of higher costs? Could you give the data on that point please? For last I checked, if you have cancer, you are not going to go shopping doctors when you need critical care or hospitals either, for that matter.
    “They don’t deal first-hand with the costs and decisions that drive those costs and therefore don’t pay much attention to it.”
    Yes, as most people are not in any place to second guess the doctor or the hospital, how would this plan of yours demonstrate itself? Are you recommending we become experts in medicine as well?
    “It is and will be no different under the government plan. Instead of the employer, it will be the government managing and deciding these details that each of us will find very important.”
    Since the majority of people will be under the same plan as they currently are, I don’t understand your point. If nothing changes for 80% of the insured, how would the government be involved in their plan?
    “And, as many have already discovered, your health care that you now have through your employer is likely to go away as they realize it is less expensive to pay the fine than to pay for your health care package.”
    This is just ignorant! The fine is payed by the individual not the employer. If insurance is cheaper through the exchanges then so be it. We will get it that way. Who is the “many”? where is the data to support your point that people are dropping insurance due to ACA?

    Your arguments are silly on their face and not factual. If you are going to be a Good Tea Party 2.0 person could you at least demonstrate and display the data? If not you could then say, “this is my opinion not based on fact. Otherwise you sound hollow like a whitewashed tomb of old.
    Have a God filled day

    Jay

  • runitoid

    Bill, good to hear from you again; just noticed your blog and I know you will not feel complete until I comment. JK, of course.

    How I see it:
    “It means our allegiance is first to Christ and then to country and other legitimate and passionate loyalties.” This statement explains a lot about your views. For me, our allegiance is only to Christ and that informs how we live in all areas of our life. Country is not next in the heirarchy; we own no allegiance to country. We submit to the “governing authorities” purely from the One Rule, as outlined in Romans13: Love of neighbor. We are not for the government or its interests, nor are we against it: we are hidden in Christ, not institutions.
    Allegiance, defined: “fidelity or devotion owed by a subject to his sovereign or government.” And this is a choice I feel you need to make: your sovereign, God, or the government, whichever. If our allegiance is to government, by such an the interpretation of Romans13, that means any and all governments. But if solely to God, we remain on the straight and narrow.

    As to “other legitimate and passionate loyalities” to divide my allegiance and take my attention away from the one, true focus of our existence, kingdom of heaven, I can think of none. Okay, watching NFL football, oh, yeah, and skiing, maybe chocolate and reality shows but other than that…JK.

    “…we should let this decision fuel our commitment to developing health-care ideas and real-life partnerships with churches and other voluntary associations.” This has never happened anywhere. To suggest because we just got this “scare” of Obamacare that we will now do for “the least of these” what we never did before is pure assuaging of conscience. All those that will continue to suffer, be permenantly impaired, and die as before with the appeal of Obamacare is okay because “we’re gonna change…someday, maybe not for a few years with the economy the way it is and all, can’t go spending on luxuries for you losers, but just keep your chin up in the ruinous emergency room medicine, count all your unnecessary pain, damage, and death joy while we increase the comfort of the rich and maintain a blind and unreasonable and proven-wrong doctrine of ‘trickle down’ that never happened and almost completely ruined this country, amen.”

    Sorry, Bill, but what I find most troubling about many of your blogs is what I see as dogged and blind Tea Party Conservatism with faith playing something of a supporting role. I do not doubt your abiding love of Christ, yet I feel compelled to say it appears to play second fiddle to your political views in some of your pieces. That allegience remark by you truly troubles me. Then again, I may come off sounding like some deluded Pinko masking his left wind ideology under protests of faith. Hard to say.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Thanks again — and good to hear from you, as well. I would say Christ has called us to allegiances as a natural consequence of our allegiance to Him. My allegiance to my family, for example, or to my brothers and sisters in Christ. They are not competing allegiances, but part of the greater committment to Christ. When in conflct, as they sometimes will be in a fallen world, they must decrease and He increase.

  • runitoid

    But it is finitely like me to focus more on where I see a problem than to encourage where I see good. Your advice on the proper Christian response was well done and needed.

    • http://BillintheBlank.com Bill Blankschaen

      Thanks.

  • numenian

    It is hard to follow Cristology in your blogs but very easy to map Tea Party directions and Right Wing talking points: is this what you want? In most of your posts, faith seems to be in the sidecar and the notion of a Christan Nation is driving; no such nation ever existed, although scurrilous activities of cerain Tea Party members might get us close to it, and thus at the brink of becoming like some offshoot of an Islamic State.

    “Submitting does not mean agreeing or that we won’t work to change the law. It means our allegiance is first to Christ and then to country and other legitimate and passionate loyalties.”
    What? Either you gave no thought to this statement or you deeply regret it. No sane Christian would be able to respond to the absurdity of that sentence. No discussion could be profitable now.

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  • http://hishealingnow.com/ Robert

    OBAMA CARE violates the second table of the law..

    the first table of the law deal with the commandments that have to do with God thou shat not have any Gods before me.

    thou shalt remember the sabbath day to keep it holy..
    thou shat not misuse Gods name.

    the second table of the law are sins against each other..
    though shalt not murder.. etc
    ultimetly all sins are against the first commandment since we break the commandments and are not letting God be lord over us..

    still sins against the first table of the law are worse than murder other creatures untill one understands all and every sin in thought word or deed sins break the first commandment .

    • Bill S

      Robert,
      “the second table of the law are sins against each other..”
      I don’t see how the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act is a sin against anyone.
      You seem too preoccupied with sin. You’ve got to get a life.


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