CHRISTIANS: LAISSEZ-FAIRE CAPITALISM OR GIVING AND SHARING ALL; GOVERNMENT PAID, NOT RUN, HEALTHCARE

Mike Morrell, of Zoecarnate and Sites Unseen – Earth's Mightiest Alternative Christian Link Portal, is a Facebook friend of mine. He posted about Tom Davis's article, "Why Christians Suck," which is on Belief Net {controlled by the Rupert Murdoch capitalist empire, which refused to list the Real Liberal Christian Church; Huge advertising dollars (money changers; mammon worshippers) there on that site}. (Tom's article on his own blog).

Now Tom Davis posted a status update on his Facebook profile as follows:
You have to see this video on Socialized Gov't Healthcare from my friends at the Acton Institute: http://bit.ly/2fbJDP

I watched that video and replied on Tom's comment thread:

Hi Tom,

I watched the video. Did you read the article I linked to an hour earlier? http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/28-9

Peace

There were many comments before and after. I won't add them all here. I did though feel moved to add the following, which should be fairly self-explanatory:

Hello All,

I too work in the insurance industry. I've also been involved in purchasing and administering group health and worker comp for many hundreds of employees. In addition, the $1 trillion has to be stacked up against the $4 trillion in reduced overhead over the same timeframe. That's a $3 trillion net savings while giving everyone coverage. Medicare's operating cost are around 4% to my understanding while American private insurance, which routinely denies care even for many of their insureds, runs at about 15% (the highest in the First World).

Medicare does not employ the medical personnel. They are not on the government payroll. Medicare recipients have the choice of doctor and hospital (public and private) provided the doctors, etc., accept Medicare. No doctors taking Medicare as payment would be living in poverty, and Medicare is not socialism any more than is the Pentagon hiring Halliburton or Xe (Blackwater).

Many doctors live obscenely rich lives. To a large extent, I'm not for coercive government, but those against any government option aren't debating on that level. I'm simply comparing choices within that coercive system.

Your insurance-sales commission will go down but so will your healthcare costs and those of everyone else. Also, outcomes are actually higher in general in many other countries. France's care is rated the highest in the world and with the highest level of satisfaction among users. The French don't fly to the U.S. for care with the possible exception of some rare specialist consultation or surgery. They focus much more on prevention too. The waiting times for care of any kind are also shorter in Taiwan and many other countries.

So, you can be concerned for the insurance industry and think that what's good for it is good for America, or you can look at what's best for all and especially those at the bottom who can't afford care regardless.

Why should some Wall Street broker working for Citi get a $100 million annual bonus after a government bailout of Citi (and all the rest, which $23-24 trillion and counting would pay for Medicare for all many times over) and while Citi is still losing money but the families crushed by predatory lenders not be given healthcare every bit as good as that multimillionaire financial-services manipulator?

As for the Church and state being separate, that's not what Jesus has in mind. He has in mind that our states of consciousness all elevate to the higher level where there is no way that we would be against sharing. What is single-payer but giving and sharing?

My theology goes much further than this, but this is as much as I can say at the beginning of any such discussion with those who think laissez-faire capitalism has any merits whatsoever.

As for public housing, you have to know the whole history of it being deliberately undercut.

Gina, the reason so many "Christians" come up with reasons not to share hearkens back to the predestination debate and interpretation about the poor being lazy (predestined) and the Protestant Work Ethic adherents being the elect also getting their reward in the here and now, contrary to Jesus's actual teachings and commandments on the matter.

Celia, "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." (John 4:36 KJV.) Isn't that beautiful? We enter into each other's labor. Why do you mind working for the benefit of others? Jesus went to the cross for the benefit of others.

Celia, when you vote, you are part of that government of which you speak. Are you in favor of toll roads beginning at the end of your driveway, or are you glad that you can drive nearly everywhere based upon the shared burden as opposed to nothing but numerous daily user-fees enriching the consolidated few who have the most money to lobby and to buy politicians?

Peace,

Tom Usher

Tom Davis replied as follows:

Really good discussion on this. Quickly let me respond to a few issues. I think you make some great points Shane, and I am for reform, but not as it's presented. For all of you who are Christians, this mandated gov't policy will force taxpayers to pay for abortions, I'm not for that at all. I think some of the comments are dangerously close to communistic ideas. I've been to Russia over 50 times and can tell you that the entire country is still reeling from those policies. And again, the gov't is not the church so any inference to the gov't being responsible to the poor in a Biblical sense just doesn't work. The bottom line is I'm not for Big Gov't. I believe in a Free Market System, not a controlled or regulated system by the gov't. Then there's the tax issue. You can only go to the well so many times. Income tax, state tax, property tax, sales tax, tax, tax, tax! Now we're going to pay for healthcare too? Soon, there won't be anything left to tax.

My reply:

Hey Tom Davis,

None of us wants a return of Stalinist Russia (which was never the embodiment of the commune ideal that Jesus and his original Apostles practiced every day, all day).

The French have their problems, but their national, universal, single-payer health insurance system is not one of them relative to the vaunted American free-enterprise system. Their care is generally better – much, much better when every citizen is factored in. That's why the opponents of government paid (not owned) healthcare systems always avoid comparing the U.S. system head-to-head with that of France. The French people are happier about their care and system than we in the U.S. have ever been about ours in general.

As Christians, let us also not forget that tax dollars pay for huge corporate subsidies and for the Military-Industrial Complex that does take many innocent lives. I don't hold with abortion either, but I don't hold with predator drones being used to blow up innocent newborns and pregnant women, which they are without doubt. Your taxes are paying for that. Jesus paid his taxes even though he didn't agree.

When anyone asked Jesus to heal him or her or a relative, did Jesus ever ask for money? Didn't he always do what he could? Why do we expect less of our government and citizens, each and all? Is the kingdom supposed to come? When it does, isn't it going to be the government and state of things? It is, and we are to already have it in our hearts and to be living it as much as possible. Isn't that why you help to care for the orphaned and others? Bless you for it.

Peace, love, and truth

I could have addressed many more of Tom's points of course.

For instance concerning Russia, it doesn't matter how often someone visits a place if he doesn't know or understand the history and cause and effect. I've been behind the old Iron Curtain too. Many people have been who don't know much of the history and economics. I'm not saying Tom doesn't know any of that, but he seems not to understand that the U.S. Empire deliberately spent Russia under the table; asked Russia to open up; and when it did, didn't help other than sending in disaster capitalists, such as Jeffery Sachs at the time, who gave Russia the worst possible economic advise such that the oligarchs literally took over the nation's oil and gas industries at pennies on the dollar (something Putin reversed which gave Russia a real boost economically). I don't lay all of Russia's post-Berlin-Wall-fall problems at Jeffery Sachs' feet, but his philosophy at the time (maybe still) was dog-eat-dog competition while that philosophy is not needed and is in fact detrimental. How can any Christian doubt it?

Then on the tax issue, I addressed that a bit already; however, Tom is obviously unaware that tax rates are actually very low in the U.S. They are higher in most if not all other first world countries and especially in those that provide better healthcare than the average American receives and for much less in out-of-pocket costs for the sick. They share the burden of caring for their ill. That's the difference. They don't want an American system. The U.S. is the only highly developed nation in the world that doesn't care for its poor. This is one of the main reasons the U.S. has plateaued out and has even been going down relative to the standards in other nations.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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