For decades now, the physical health and well-being of our country has been a proxy battle for partisan politics. When Truman tried to pass a national health insurance plan, the American Medical Association spent $200 million (in today’s dollars) and was accused of violating ethics rules by having doctors lobby their patients to oppose the legislation. In the 1970’s when Nixon tried to pass a national health insurance plan, strikingly similar to what many democrats are proposing today, the plan was defeated by liberal democrats and unions who thought that they would be able to pass something themselves after the mid-term elections and claim political credit for the plan. In the 1990’s the “Harry and Louise” ads misrepresented the Clinton health care plan but was successful enough PR to shut down that movement for reform.
Already, industry interests and partisan fighting are threatening the opportunity for a public dialogue about what is best for our health care system. As a resource for congregations, small groups, and individuals, Sojourners has worked with its partners to publish a Health Care tool kit [click here to download] to help frame and guide this necessary debate. This guide gives an overview of the biblical foundations of this issue and frequently asked questions about it. What we need is an honest and fair debate with good information, not sabotage of reform with half-truths and misinformation.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Sojourners on health reform
Behind the technical details of how to properly structure a reformed health care system is the moral imperative for reform. On the God's Politics blog at Sojourners, Jim Wallis discusses the three moral issues - the truth, universal coverage and cost. The last two are self-explanatory, so I'll excerpt the first: