8.15.2009

Putting on a Religious Hat


I heard something interesting on the radio earlier today. It was a hypothetical question that the Bible humpers like to invoke when it suits them. What would Jesus do? Well, let's apply What would Jesus do? to the current healthcare reform debate in America.

Would Jesus want every man, woman and child in America to have access to medical care and not leave the decision in the hands of faceless profit whore bureaucrats in insurance offices? Hmmmmm. That's a tough one.

No wait, no it isn't, its simple. Fucking hell yeah Jesus would want everyone to be able to go see a doctor.

Would Jesus want the current healthcare reform legislation currently on the table? Maybe not but its a damned sight better than letting insurance companies make decisions about who lives and who dies.

And let's quickly touch on the "death panel" fear-mongering by the Republican obstructionist cabal. Despite what the High Priestess of Ignorance, Her Resignedness Sarah Palin has said, there are no death panels, no mention of something like them, no discussion whatsoever of panels that encourage hospice over care. And yet, in April of 2008, the same High Priestess of Duh proclaimed a need to educate elders about their "options". The very same options that have inflammatorily been labeled as "death panels" today were something she pushed just over a year ago.

Now, back to the What would Jesus do? that we started out with. Would Jesus want a faceless bureaucrat deciding who gets funded for a life-saving operation or who gets put off another month in the hopes that the victim patient will just die and no longer need the care they've paid the insurance company for in the first place? I'm not much of a Jesus interpretist but I'm pretty confident he'd say "Hell no".

Do I pretend to understand the intricacies of healthcare reform? Nope. Do I think providing access to healthcare for all Americans is a long term good idea that will extend lifespans and, be still my heart, save money in the long run because prevention is way cheaper than cure? Yes. I think the current situation is a joke but its a joke without a punchline. Yes, this is a personal thing with me. I got laid off in June and am about to lose my health coverage. Yes, I can spend some of what meager unemployment income I will have on COBRA. And yes, I have been looking for a job, there aren't many offered in my fields and what jobs there are get inundated with applicants.

But all of that is beside the point. Universal healthcare is the right thing to do. It is the right thing for the United States to do. Maybe the current proposal isn't the right one but the concept of coverage for all Americans is the fundamental good that this nation should be focused on. Not the ridiculous rhetoric from the GOP that does nothing but attempt to derail the process and keep the power in the hands of insurance bureaucrats with a clear and obvious conflict of interest (you know, the one between caring for customers and not spending money so that it can be given to shareholders? yeah).

What would Jesus do? He'd want people to be cared for regardless of age, race, sex, social class or religious belief. Because that's the kind of man he was and that's what he stood for. Which is, to be truthful, pretty righteous.

It is the religious interpretists that pervert his message to their own ends that would have you believe Jesus wouldn't want all people everywhere to have access to healthcare, yes, not just Americans. It wouldn't be inconceivable to me for the US to provide healthcare to anyone who wants it and needs it.

Let me wander off topic for a just a moment and wax poetic about what I'd like to see America mean again. I want America to be a shining beacon of truth, justice, harmony, kindness, intelligence, morals, ethics and caring for all men, women and children. We could also stand to cut down on being so goddamned wasteful too.

Okay, I'm taking off my hat, I think its starting to cut off the blood supply to my brain. And yes, bust my nuts with your logic about why universal healthcare is the devil's handiwork. I'll still believe that universal healthcare is a universally good thing.

* Note: That graphic up there was liberally borrowed from What Would Jack Do? Go read his blog, he kicks ass all day, every day.
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