Okay, that’s not quite the way the religious Lefties put it when they rallied recently on behalf of socialized health care. But that might as well be their message.
Inspired by a meeting with Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)’s office in early April, liberal religious leaders banded together into the “Believe Together: Health Care for All” advocacy network comprised of more than 40 faith groups who are “encouraging our nation’s leaders to pass comprehensive and compassionate health care reform legislation this year.” The central component of their advocacy was the June 24th “Interfaith Service of Witness and Prayer for Health Care for All.”
The healthcare coalition wants the federal government to socialize America’s health care system. President Obama and many congressional Democrats are advocating a new federal health insurance program that would compete with private insurance. Critics allege this program ultimately would drive private insurance out of business. Liberal church groups largely prefer a “single payer” plan that would eliminate private health insurance in favor of federal control.
Leaders at the June 24 rally/service emphasized that this was a critical time for people of faith to coordinate their efforts with Congress. Neera Tandan, a Senior Adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services, told the religious activists: “Your united voice is critical… We are, in the next two months, at the most critical time of trying to get [healthcare] legislation passed.” Tandan encouraged, “Hopefully, we are months, not years away from the day we cover all Americans.”
An estimated 850 to 1100 Religious Left activists sat in the afternoon heat for two hours in Freedom Plaza in the nation’s capital as leaders of their churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples prayed and spoke in favor of a socialized medical system that they insisted must be “inclusive, accessible, affordable, and accountable.”
You’d think those purporting to represent the poor would advocate a system which expanded individual choice and people’s access to medical care. But while the religious Left says it wants “inclusive, accessible, affordable, and accountable” health care,” that is the opposite of what would occur in a government-run system.
Look at nationalized systems around the world. Accountable they most certainly are not. Inclusive and accessible they are only in the sense that you are promised a long wait in a long line for services most Americans take for granted. And the systems are affordable only by rationing care and denying the best life-saving treatments to most people, especially the elderly.
I’ll admit that God hasn’t yet told me what kind of health care system he wants America to have. But I’m skeptical that he views socialized medicine as a means of inaugurating his kingdom on earth. A better approach to affirm human life and dignity would seem to be to increase the choices available to patients, allowing them to make more decisions about their own treatment.