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I'm praying for health care

When I was just a little girl, maybe three or so, I watched my Grandma rest her knees on the floor, bow her head and pray. She prayed for her children, her neighbors, her friends, and for the sick and infirm. I often remember my grandma and her words about prayer and its power. She believed a fervent prayer said with dedication and persistence would bring about the change she desired. My grandma was from the old school; she was raised by a Baptist preacher in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The values she inherited—love of family and community and devotion to service—heavily impacted the things she taught me. All this brings me to the conundrum we have found ourselves in today—the misdirection of our concern with health insurance reform.

My grandma has been gone nearly twenty years, but her words and instruction are as fresh in my mind as if she spoke them yesterday. “Whatever it is child, take it to the Lord in prayer.” She was what I call a progressive Christian. Her mission was to care for those who couldn’t care for themselves. And she loved her neighbors, even when they stole from her or said bad things about her. Regretfully, I am not my grandma, not even close on a good day. But I have been known to take her advice, and when the occasion arises, I pray.

Health insurance reform is needed now. As the discussion continues to focus on costs, deficits, and agendas, no one is addressing the ethical, moral, and spiritual implications of the lives being unnecessarily lost. I’m confused—in a nation where most people consider themselves Christian and identify with the teachings of Jesus Christ—why does this discussion rage on without thought of the sick and infirm? Why do we not talk about our duty and responsibility to care for those in need? Do those who oppose abortion also oppose cutting the lifespan of someone with the misfortune of a pre-existing condition? What about the millions of uninsured children whose parents cannot afford medical care? Health insurance reform is an issue of life and death.

I’m suggesting it’s time we move beyond petty differences and political allegiances and begin to ask ourselves the hard questions. I suggest starting with: Do we really care? Do we care about the nearly fifty million people in America without health insurance? Do we care that the insurance companies are holding everyday, hardworking Americans hostage by raising deductibles, premiums, and co-pays? How would we feel if someone we loved could not get treated for an illness, or if his doctors’ bills put him into bankruptcy? How would we feel if it that someone was ourselves?

The memory of my grandma is pressed in my consciousness. Her words asking God’s love to touch the hearts of ordinary people—so that they might do extraordinary things—are creased into my heart. I want to do what’s right by the ailing or dying who are being hassled by bill collectors. I want to insure that every child has access to dental and medical care when necessary. I want the fifty million uninsured people in America to have the choice to see a doctor or dentist. One of my actions is prayer. I’m praying for the love of God to be evidenced in the hearts and minds of Americans and our elected officials. I’m praying because someone prayed for me. I invite you to do the same.


  • Gina 5 years ago

    Your grandma was right and I'm sure she is proud of you ;-)

  • Eugene Hamburger 5 years ago

    Let me explain something to you: forcing people to put their lives into the hands of a state-run system and forcing people's unborn children and grandchildren to foot the bill is most decidedly un-Christian. God is all about free will. People should not be coerced to be charitable; in fact, that is the very opposite of charity - it is oppression.

    I have to point out that YOU, the author are a hypocrite and your grandmother would certainly not be proud of you. Praying for state-intervention is not Christian. You can go out and volunteer to help sick kids, donate your money to a charity or help a family with medical troubles TODAY; yet you do NOT (like most "progressives"). You sit on your ass and pray to the all-mighty STATE for aid; how about going out and helping people yourself? THAT would be Christian.

  • B.Moos 5 years ago

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Mr. Hamburger mis-informed. If you ask any theologian whether capitalism is following the teachings of Christ, you will find that the very concept of capitalism is not Christian. Right now most people in the USA pay taxes and have no idea where their tax dollar goes. If you check out the National Debt Clock, you will find out that 90% of that debt is interest on money our government owes other countries, primarily China. I would be willing to pay 50% taxes on my income if I knew that I would always have healthcare, that my grandchildren would always have healthcare and that education would be free to me and mine. That's the "Christian" way. The real question is, how many so-called Christians follow the teachings of Christ? Yes, your grandma and my grandma were very similar. I KNOW they were right.

  • Eugene Hamburger 5 years ago

    B. MOOS: Apparently you did not read a word of what I wrote. I am glad you "would be willing to pay 50% taxes on [your] income" but I WOULD NOT. There are lots of other people who would not be willing to do that. If you FORCE them to, then you are oppressing them. FORCING someone to give up what they own and to give up their free-will to be stuffed into a state system is NOT Christian. Please remember that Christ did not FORCE people to be charitable. He led BY EXAMPLE.

    If you really believe in this state-run Obamacare nonsense, then LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Stop trying to take other peoples' money and go out and BE CHARITABLE. Christ did not levy taxes - CAESAR did that.

  • Cherice 5 years ago

    The government is of the people, by the people and for the people. Let's get the relationship back in tack and then there will be no reason for us not to FOOT EACH OTHER'S MEDICAL BILLS. Last I checked, "I am my brother's keeper!"

  • Eugene Hamburger 5 years ago

    Cherice: Why stop there? How about you foot my house payments? And my car payments? And my plasma-screen TV payments? And my grocery bill? And my kid's college tuition?

    If the government is of, for and by the people then shouldn't it respect the wishes of the people who do NOT want to foot the bills of other people? Or the wishes of people who do NOT want to be placed in some State-run plan?

  • Cynthia 5 years ago

    I really appreciate your perspective and its needed to keep the agrument balanced and the government in check. This is why we have a 3 branches of government and a constitution, the intention is to maintain balance. In this moment the current health care system is broken. A government run system is not whats only being suggested. The primary discussion is centered on controlling the insurance companies. As it stands we are paying for it any way when people who are turned away end up in the emergency room. Even though I understand your concern of too big government, are you also concerned about what is currently taking place in every area of health care?

  • Eugene Hamburger 5 years ago

    Of course I am concerned. Simply because I do not believe in the "Prince Ted Kennedy" plan, doesn't mean I do not want "reform."

    But we should start small and keep the government away and not create any new bureaucracies or entitlements which our grandchildren will get to pay for. How about interstate competition to start with?

    (I also don't agree with you that the fed should be in the business of "controlling" companies, nor do I agree that we are losing tons of money because people are turning up at the ER. But that is another discussion.)