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May 22, 2009

Comments

Aaron Perry

I favour some sort of multi-tiered health care system where coverage is provided to all but that clinics can be established for people who wish to purchase health services. But I would challenge the prevalence of the position that people will care when it effects them. There are many Christians who consider this a position that provides the best care for the most people. They may be wrong but I don't think they are selfish. If that's the case, then the role those of us who want change will need to play is more priestly and less prophetic.

chuck

What do you suppose the consequences of these clinics would be? Not agreeing or disagreeing, just trying to understand your position.
On the second point, it may be the case that there are "many" Christians who think as you believe, but I doubt if it is anywhere near a majority. I just don't think most Christians have a coherent position on it, much less a nuanced analysis of what might provide the best coverage. For example, if we Christians were serious about addressing this, our first attention would go to an analysis of the cost and how much actual costs are driven by quite selfish, but often not so pragmatic decisions. Right now, one can reasonably demonstrate that something like 60% of the health care costs incurred by the "average individual" are incurred in the last year of life (some argue it is more like 80%). In addition, it can readily be shown that these resources are expended merely to prolong life, with little or no attention to quality of life. Our own selfishness (whether it be with regard to our own lives or that of relatives) drives us to relieve our guilt by expending "all measures" to prolong life, regardless of the quality.
So, do we need more of a priestly function or prophetic one? Well, I think both, actually, and different folks will serve different purposes in that:)

Aaron Perry

Hi Chuck:

"I just don't think most Christians have a coherent position on it, much less a nuanced analysis of what might provide the best coverage."

I agree. They have a narrative that believes they are making the best in a sinful world. It's not about being selfish. I don't know whether majority, but I have found sharing facts (such as the poor showing of the US in preventable deaths: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN07651650) and information works best and is much less confrontational.

Consequences of clinics? With proper oversight, shorter waitlists and opportunity for more personal care.

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