Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pre-existing condition

© 2015 Christy K Robinson

Some Christians, perhaps many Christians, will be offended at this meme of Jesus meeting a man who is begging for healing. "Sacrilege!" they'll huff, and turn away in disgust, just like the Pharisaical lawyer and the Levite priest turned away from the beat-up, nearly dead traveler on the Jericho road.

Candidates say a lot of stupid things during campaigns. Part of it is the constant barrage of questions and accusations from the partisan media, but when they consistently make bone-headed comments, there's no disguising their foot-in-mouth disease.

Several prominent Republicans have said that if they're elected President in 2016, they'll do away with the federal mandate for health care, despite threescore failed congressional votes and challenges that the Supreme Court has struck down. One is left to think cynically that they only say this stuff to attract wishful voters.

But what would really happen if, as Jeb Bush says, the Affordable Care Act were struck down and a new plan were implemented--one that looks exactly like no healthcare plan at all, like America had until recently.

"Bush emphasized ... that if elected president, he would scrap the Affordable Care Act and “all of its mandates” — including those that prevent discrimination against women and those with pre-existing conditions." 

No coverage for cancer patients, or those with chronic disease or disabling conditions or accidents. Everyone pays their own way, whether the monthly pharmacy bill is $10 or $10,000. No coverage for pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes I or II, heart disease, cancer in its many forms, those born with missing limbs or organs, the mentally ill, veterans with PTSD or disabling injuries, and those with sudden onset of strep or MRSA that infects their limbs? Remember the impoverished elderly who ration their daily medications because they can't afford food and shelter and meds? What about newborn babies who need organ repair or transplant? Like Mitt Romney suggested in 2012, no one has to go without healthcare because people could call for an air ambulance and go to the emergency room if they're really ill. Maybe on Planet Romney. But not here, where a 15-minute flight can cost $8,000-25,000, in addition to the emergency room, doctors, labs, procedures, surgeries, and medications.

At one Republican debate in 2012, the discussion centered on a hypothetical patient who needed an organ transplant. A man in the audience shouted, "Let him die," and people applauded. No one protested that sentiment.

The very idea of Jesus refusing to heal, or attaching regulations and conditions on his miracles, is outrageous. You know what pre-existing condition every one of us have carried in our DNA since Adam and Eve? A sinful nature.

Jeb!™ Bush and Republicans who claim moral superiority with the Religious Right have forgotten that the sinful human nature is the ultimate pre-existing condition. Jesus's ultimate ministry was to heal THAT. But along the way, he freely healed bodies and minds, and seemed to make timely detours to heal those who weren't in his direct path! (The man with the withered arm who was healed on the Sabbath right in front of the people who accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, the woman with the bleeding uterus when he was on his way to resurrect Jairus' daughter, the insane demon-possessed men of Gadara.)

I believe Jesus still does miracles today. He answers prayer, not always as we would wish, but for our best in the eternal sense. In fact, I believe that Jesus uses modern medical research, treatments, therapies, and pharmaceuticals to accomplish his will for us to enjoy the abundant life. And by providing a system of healthcare and prescriptions for those who had had no care or remedies for years, if ever.

I don't understand people who tell the world they're Christians, and then deny people healthcare because they can't pay for it. If they've read their Bible, they haven't understood it. 
  • Pure religion is taking care of the widows and orphans (the helpless in society): James 1:27
  • Caring for "the least of these" who are sick, in prison: Matthew 25
  • The crop gleaning system fed the poor and the aliens who had no land on which to farm
Do you have a pre-existing condition? Are you enrolled in the Book of Life? Did Jesus say, "LOL," or "Let him die!" or did Jesus himself bear our wounds, our flogging, our death, so that we may be healed from our sin? (Isaiah 53:3-11) And what about that command, the only command that Jesus issued, to "Love one another as I have loved you"?

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