Why Say No to Universal Health Care? Part 3

The reasons just keep piling up. I can hardly keep track.

1. Because Cigna needs the 13.6% premium increase it will take to keep my policy in place in 2010 more than the uninsured people in our country.
2. Increased premiums and higher co-payments for the same level of coverage are preferable to being a part of system that provides equal access to all of our citizens.
3. I have no desire to live in the two additional houses that I could afford to pay for if for some reason I did not have to pay health insurance premiums.
4. The health insurance bureaucracy employees a good number of people. Think of all the claim deniers and coverage terminators that would be out of work if real reform were enacted. Better that they should have jobs than for us to pay lower premiums.
5. Likewise, doctors have to employ people to argue with the claim deniers in an effort to get them to pay for services that the policy is supposed to cover. These people earn their money. I would not want to reform the system in such a way that the important work they do was no longer needed.
6. In a similar vein, think of all the lobbyists that get paid with dollars generated by the payment of health insurance premiums to make sure that no laws get passed that would interrupt the continuous flow of those premium dollars. These folks have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. I would not want my desire for more reasonable premiums to negatively impact their chosen way of making a living.
7. Without sky high premiums, how could health insurance companies afford to make lucrative contributions to the campaign funds of members of congress? I am sure that there are no strings attached to such contributions. The health insurance companies probably realize that with the high cost of television advertising, those guys need all the money they can get when it is reelection time.
8. When I consider the number of career paths that are funded with the proceeds of health insurance premiums, I am proud to be making such a contribution to our robust economy. It would be heartless and unpatriotic to even consider reforming such a system. Frankly, I wonder if a 13.6% increase is enough to keep it going.
9. Emergency rooms have adapted to serving as a point of primary care for people without health insurance. Imagine how bored the people who staff emergency rooms would be if we had a health care system that provided primary care in less costly more efficient way to all of our citizens.
10. Finally, people who want reform often mention the poor, the working poor or the uninsured as their motivation for supporting health care reform. What about all the social service agencies that work to provide services to these people? What about the ministries, the community clinics and that sort of thing? What about the United Way? The point is there are already all sorts of resources out there for people who don’t have insurance. Most of the people who provide those resources find a great deal of satisfaction in helping people who are less fortunate. What would all those human service workers do if all of sudden their clients had access to health care? Think of the many rewarding experiences that might be denied this caring group of professionals if health care reform actually came to pass.

You may already be opposed to universal health care. If that is the case, then hopefully these points will only strengthen your resolve to resist changing the effective, efficient health care system that most all of us enjoy. However, if you are not convinced that universal health care is a bad idea, then move to Canada, Great Britain or Sweden. There you can have your universal health care and for some reason you will be statistically more likely to live longer. Go figure.

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Seeing Theology @ McDonald’s

I wonder why some people who work in the restaurant business refer to their place of business as stores. I can see it if you work at Cracker Barrel because it is a restaurant and store. Other restaurants that don’t have a store still are referred to as stores by those that work there. I am sure there is some business principle at work here that dictates that any place that sells stuff is a store even if the product is a Big Mac. It is no big deal, but I was not brought up that way. My dad was in the restaurant business and he always referred to his restaurants as restaurants. I am not sure what I am missing here but it is noteworthy that I only have memories of my dad being in the restaurant business and McDonald’s has stores all over the world.

I noticed something recently in a McDonalds that I had not seen in one previously. There was a table that looked more like a dining room table. Eight people could easily sit around this table. The chairs were like normal chairs not bolted to the floor nor attached to the table in some way. The table looked like a perfect place for old men to gather in the morning for coffee. A small group of people could easily have a meeting around such a table. I am not sure who had the idea to put a dining room table in a McDonald’s. More than that I am reasonably sure that whoever made that decision was not thinking spiritually or theologically, but I wonder.

I wonder because we human beings have innate need to be included, to be a part of and to belong. In church, we have our own table. No, I am not talking about the one you sit each Wednesday night in the fellowship hall, or maybe I am. The table where you always have a place, where there is always room for you. I am thinking of the table where you always find your fill both of good food and good company, the table where you connect with others, yourself and maybe even God in a deeper way. The tables where that happens maybe in many places your kitchen or dining room, a restaurant where you are a regular, a church fellowship hall or even in a school cafeteria or a break room at work. It could happen there for you. You find a table where friends or family always have a place for you always welcome you, always include you. It is a place where you belong and a moment that you are a part of.

Not everyone has that sort of table, a table where they always a place. Not everyone has a table where they find grace, grace enough to belong and be included. Not everyone has experienced the warmth and joy of such table, but that does not mean that they do not still long for it.

There is such a table. It is a table that reminds us and teaches us even as it invites us to come and find our place. We call it the Lord’s Table or the Lord’s Supper table. It is in the sanctuary. It is a table that symbolizes the reality of God’s love for and acceptance of us. The meal we share from it reminds us that we are loved, that God has made a way for us to be included, for us to a part of the family of God. There is always room for one more at the table of our Lord.