Evangelical Christians Need To Get Onboard the National Insurance Train
National insurance or Medicare for All was a policy floated by very progressive Democrats in the last election. Because such people as Bernie Sanders were behind the policy, many evangelicals immediately dismissed the idea as viable. Whether Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump shares a policy idea, we believers should always look at the policy to see whether it makes sense before anything else.
Having crossed to the age of Medicare and with a recent serious open heart surgery, the whole idea of health insurance for all has got me thinking differently.
Let’s start with just plain logic. If you worked for a huge company with over ten thousand employees, and they offered a group health plan for everyone as a benefit, you would accept it. Obviously over time, some employees would take advantage of the group benefits, whereas others who were very healthy wouldn’t.
But here is the thing, the company isn’t going to charge extra to the employee who needs the health benefit and takes advantage of it. All the employees are in it together. Essentially everyone gets the benefit, but only some will need it.
So now take that same thought process to Medicare. This is a benefit all of us Americans have paid into all our lives and receive after age 65. We have some options of whether to take regular Medicare or Medicare Advantage, but most of the costs to providers are capped based on Medicare rules.
The people do have to pay certain co pays and deductibles, but they are low enough that you don’t have to take out a mortgage to pay for medical bills. As an example I was in the hospital for 14 days recovering from my heart surgery. I don’t know what the total bills will be, but I am guessing in the hundreds of thousands. Most likely I will pay out of pocket between two to three thousand for everything. A figure I can manage. If I had been under 65, I probably would have owed in the tens of thousands.
For many Americans those costs can be devastating. How can they afford it? Ultimately they can’t. This brings me back to my main point, why I am now in favor of Medicare for All or some form of National Insurance.
If there was a program where people all over the United States paid into a “group” system and had benefits similar to Medicare, then they wouldn’t be financially devastated by costs.
I may be missing something here, but if we accept group insurance in a big company, and so to speak group insurance called Medicare for those over 65, why can’t we have group insurance called Medicare for all for those under 65?
Some may argue that if you accept Medicare for All, then Big Brother will be watching. Well Big Brother is watching, and his name is Jesus. The last time I checked with the Scriptures, we believers should take care of the sick. There are numerous ways to do that, but what is wrong with part of our compassion devoted to helping people out financially?
Medicare, Social Security, and other governmental programs have their flaws, like everything else. But I know being on both, how much they have helped me, especially on the Medicare side of things. What I mean is there have been times that I was concerned about something health wise, and because Medicare covers the cost, I would go see my doctor. If I didn’t have great insurance I probably wouldn’t go, and many times that could be a dangerous decision.
We are so blessed to live in a country where technology in the past 60 to 70 years has progressed where so many more people are living longer. But that technology costs money and that is why as a Christian I now support anything to help people get the needed medical care to make them better.
Another proposed negative is that we would have to pay taxes to fund such a plan. So how is that different than paying for private personal insurance plan premiums as well as out of pocket costs for services? It still has to be budgeted like any other expense. If, however, the benefits so far outweigh the costs, than let’s get on that bandwagon.
As believers, we should always be out helping the least, the last, and the lost. Compassion and caring should always be hallmarks of any follower of Jesus. So in my humble opinion, doing anything that can make getting health care more accessible should be something we champion.
So brothers and sisters, let’s not get caught up in who supports what in terms of policy, but study the Scriptures, think through what Jesus taught, and then prayerfully and humbly get onboard with our decision.
I have made mine and I hope you will come to a similar conclusion.