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March 24, 2010

Do I Still Get a Lollipop at the Doctor's Office?

This post popped up in my reader this morning from I thought it was pretty funny considering all the discussions I've had on health insurance reform in the past couple of weeks. Now the bill is signed, and the world hasn't come to an end. I got a kick out of the article and hope you will to!

Do I Still Get a Lollipop at the Doctor's Office?: "So I guess President Obama signed some fancy-pants new law the other day.

Finally, after a year of arguing and blogging and yelling at each other, everyone can just pipe down about health care...

Okay, I don't have much hope for anyone dropping the subject. A bunch of Christians support health care reform because they want to believe it's what Jesus would want. A bunch of Christians oppose it because they love freedom, apple pie, and the NRA, and believe that's what Jesus would want.

After a year of mostly silly arguing, I think I've come up with six responses to health care reform that won't make anyone happy.

My Six Thoughts on Health Care Reform

I hate dealing with health insurance.

I mean I hate, hate, hate it. It is the bane of my existence, even moreso than Celine Dion. It costs way too much, and it's a pain in my neck to figure out what I'm actually buying. And of course, when you're in the emergency room, you aren't asking the doctor how much it's going to cost you, because I would be a terrible person pinching pennies while my wife is on a gurney. And of course, it's heartrending to know people who can't afford health care. So it would be great if everyone got the same insurance and we'd never have to deal with it again.

That said...

I hate dealing with the government.

As an employee of the education system, I hate dealing with the mostly useless red tape that burdens teachers. I hate going to the DMV. I hate driving over potholes that my city won't fix. (Missouri has something like the worst roads ever.) I think anyone who thinks health care is going to be awesome because the government "fixes" it is being naive.

Most people think the government exists to solve their problems, and Oprah fills in the holes the government misses, and Jesus fixes the cracks left behind by Oprah. But just look at everything else the government (or Oprah, or the church) does. Nothing is ever as good as people imagine it will be. Health care reform is going to be like getting underwear for your birthday...that's two sizes too small. A disappointment...that makes you look fat.

Some point to France or Canada as examples of awesome national health care systems that America should have. Well, France is, like 30 million people, and Canada is lovingly referred to as "America's Hat," while the U.S. is 360 million people. It's just a little harder to pull off. Plus, Americans don't want to be healthy. We just want life support so we can keep being unhealthy. We buy home gyms in moments of self-loathing while leaving McDonald's, on our way to another McDonald's.

We're not going to be 'socialists.'

A lot of American Christians oppose health care reform because they don't want to be "socialists," and there's no way Jesus would be a socialist. (Even though the first Christians "shared all they had," which sounds a little pinko to me.) Don't worry. While nothing is ever as good as anyone hopes it will be, it's hardly ever as bad as anyone imagines it will be either. Unless we're imagining Celine Dion.

Christians need to get over this.

I have never heard so many Christians so eager to put words into Jesus' mouth to defend their opposing points of view on this. Even Christians who are super-shy about discussing Jesus with friends have been extremely bold when defending / opposing this issue. Weird.

God doesn't love America.

Or any other nation, for that matter. Jesus isn't coming back to save America. When we get so wrapped up in a political issue that we're on the same level as pre-teen girls making out with a Justin Bieber poster, it kind of confuses people on what our priorities are. Didn't Jesus say his kingdom was not of this world? Weren't the first Christians...martyred? Back then, being martyred didn't mean not having health insurance, or the government taking control of their health insurance.

Don't worry, you can still feel guilty.

I think some number of Christians who support health care reform do so because they have compassion on unfortunate people. So health care reform would solve a lot of problems for many people. And as an added benefit, they now won't have to feel guilty for all the neat health care they have that others don't have. Conscience cleared.

Don't worry. Jesus said you'll always have poor people. You're still an American. You still have plenty of awesome stuff that others are deprived of, which you can feel guilty about.

Can you tell I'm torn on the issue? What about you? Do you love freedom, or do you feel sorry for people? Can we really use Jesus to prove our point at all?