The Church and Healthcare.

We are knee deep in a political storm that will determine how healthcare works for the foreseeable future. Now surprisingly enough I am not going to present a political argument. I will present some extremes and arguments used by both sides, and I will present a radical idea that when boiled down, should really be a nonsensical solution to all of this that might surprise you.

 

Now a history of healthcare and how we have ended up in this state of affairs in America is a long winded rabbit hole that can bore even the top political scholars so I will be brief. Before many of our lifetimes the social landscape looked vastly different, and I’m not just talking about lack of cell phones.

 

Think about this first as a question let’s say before America, before colonial Europe even, where did those in need turn for help?

 

 

Deuteronomy 15:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

Matthew 10:7-8

New International Version (NIV)

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Isaiah 58:7

New International Version (NIV)

 

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Psalm 82:3-4

New International Version (NIV)

 

Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

 

 

 

Okay so way back when the church community took care of the poor, the widows, the sick, those who typically needed help, let’s fast forward to a bit before our time America, back before a concept known as the new deal. Now to best describe this I’ll describe a class I had several semesters back in American government. My teacher asked a similar question but expanded to the middle class. If you needed help with some problem, health and beyond who was the person you turned to. His answer was the political party. He described how when he woke up as a kid on a winter morning preparing to shovel the driveway, he would walk out to see a freshly plowed driveway with a note saying, compliments of so and so political party have a nice day. The idea then was you would turn to these community political individuals for help, they would gladly provide, then expect your vote when they ran for whatever office. The new deal occurred and a lot of these duties turned into government run programs. Again I’ll refrain from political commentary if that was good or bad.

 

Fast forward to today. You have heard this argument or something similar revolving around the safety net. On one side you have people claiming that poor individuals with health problems can find help at a hospital emergency room. They point to a federal law that requires ERS to give life saving care and do not deny care based on the patient’s ability to pay. Now I’ll insert my personal experience, what people do not realize is this mandate only applies to someone that is literally dyeing or going to die right then and there if something doesn’t change. So hospitals must stabilize an individual so they won’t die. Then, after that the hospitals are not required to treat you. Now both sides will argue should they shouldn’t they, making money versus providing care, evil doctors vs care givers etc etc blah blah blah. Which leads to the argument of one side that health care is a right, shouldn’t be s matter of cost to live, lots of other complicated Jargon.

 

So the argument today revolves more or less about should/shouldn’t the government provide healthcare, who pays for it, and that when it gets complicated.

 

I promised I would stick to no politics so I ask what is an alternative model to help these poor individuals who genuinely needs help, and not abuse the system, those who have diseases but don’t have funds to pay for treatment?

 

Yes I’m tying this into the church as you may have guessed earlier.

 

Now here’s the radical idea. I’m not talking about a local church, s local congregation, one denomination in s state. I’m talking Christian global idea. For example Catholics don’t take offense to this but honest question, how much revenue does the catholic church on a whole take in every month? How much revenue does any denomination take. Now my idea isn’t another outreach program, not another once a month make sandwiches for poor.

 

What would happen is the Christian church as a whole, made an effort to actively participate in the health care role of those in need.
Now some churches and organizations do just that on the side, but I’m saying on a whole scale.
If every Christian church put a percentage of revenue in a pool, or the church actively participates, runs health care institutions, would we have the disparity of care that exists today?

 

If churches actively cared for the poor, the sick, the diseased instead of just throwing money at charitable organizations. What would the world look like?

 

Yeh it might be an unrealistic utopian unfeasible idea.

But…is our way of thinking wrong? Should it be perfectly reasonable and there is something wrong with us? Is there something wrong with the church?

Think about it.
Makes you wonder doesn’t it, what if the church actively did what it did many years ago, and cared for the poor, the sick, those in need.

 

Matthew 5:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

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