Thursday, September 3, 2009
Who Benefits Most by the Healthcare Plan?
Our Daily Bread
by Joe Ortiz
(Issue 2, Volume 1, 9-03-09)
Who Needs and Benefits Most from a Healthcare Plan, and Who Provides What!
Many folks have been asking what is my position concerning President Barak Obama’s proposed health plan; and am I for it or against it.
Let me state outright that I’m one of the few fortunate ones who has both a great medical insurance plan as well as Medicare, which is provided for early Handicapped Retirees. I mostly am charged $20 co-pay for doctor visits and my prescriptions are dirt cheap. Parking my car at the store, restaurants and the movies is no problem because I also have one of those lifetime blue handicap placards to hang on my car’s rearview mirror, and my other car has handicapped status license plate numbers. I am not boasting here, I am just blessed!
But, so many others to my right and to my left have no insurance whatsoever. Many of these less fortunate folks on my left have told me they haven’t had a sick day in their life; they have a beautiful family, steady job (not a high paying one), and attend church on a regular basis. They even hold Bible studies in their home once a week.
Others on my right are not so fortunate; their families have broken up, divorce, incarceration, intermittent employment, drug and alcohol addiction, auto repossessions, rebellious kids, constant illness, and many other problems too numerous to mention. But both friends said, “Yea, it would be nice to have or afford to have a free healthcare plan.”
As a Bible-believing disciple of Jesus Christ, I’m always studying God’s word daily to find myself approved. I am convinced that those who study God’s word and pray daily, and walk the same path Christ walks, will always be taken care of, through sickness, hardships and the burdens we all face on a daily basis. Others who don’t believe in God (or who are nominal Christians), I’m sad to report have more faith in their doctors, herbs and vitamins and their latest health and exercise regimen. But I notice they also frequent more medical facilities and their own doctors for stress, head and stomach aches, arthritic pain, and potential trauma related to imminent and looming heart and cancer-related afflictions than others. This generalization may be overly simplistic; however, I believe there are data to support my contention.
Nevertheless, a friend of mine told me that he supports Obama’s health plan and (he knowing I apply more theology to the worlds problems than dependent on governments to solve problems related to health and education), he tried to convince me that I should support Obama’s plan, when he told me that Jesus said that sick people need a physician.
I asked him, “What was the particular scripture that he framed his comments from?” He said he found this verse in the Book of Matthew. He cited neither particular chapter nor verse number for me just that it’s in the book of Matthew.
Being the enterprising Internet research guru that I am, I went to one of my three favorite Internet Bible programs and typed the search word for physician and found the verse my friend alluded to. That verse is located in Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17 and Luke 5:31 and it basically reads the same in those three verses:
But when Jesus heard them say that [Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?], he said unto them, “they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
After reading the verses, I realized that Jesus is not saying that the whole person does not need a physician, and that only sick people do; therefore implying poor and unhealthy people should support the Obama Health Plan, and then they will be able to seek the services of a hospital or a physician of their own choosing, or obtain a health insurance policy to pay for these services, or even get health services for free!
No! But, in his metaphor, what Jesus was truly saying in his response to the Pharisees’ question (as to why He hangs around with publicans and sinners) is actually two-fold. He tells them that He (The Great Physician) came to heal the sickness of all people’s soul, whether they believe it or not or will even admit they are sick to begin with. But his main emphasis in this verse is to let the Pharisees know that he came to heal all the sick and lame, but not the healthy (as if there is any one completely healthy person in the world).
As he said this verse, Jesus turns to the Pharisees, looks them straight in the eye and he tells them that those who acknowledge that they are lost souls, that they are sick and need Him, this great physician, they will receive healing and salvation. He says that those who claim they are whole (or believe thusly) may not believe they need (this Great Physician), that He is there for them too; If they only believe.
Read what a great Bible scholar of yesteryear (Matthew Henry) had to say about these scripture verses:
“He proves the necessity of the case of the publicans: they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. The publicans are sick, and they need one to help and heal them, which the Pharisees think they do not.
Sin is the sickness of the soul; sinners are spiritually sick. Original corruptions are the diseases of the soul; actual transgressions are its wounds, or the eruptions of the disease. It is deforming, weakening, disquieting, wasting, killing, but, blessed be God, not incurable. Jesus Christ is the great Physician of souls. His curing of bodily diseases signified this; that he arose with healing under his wings. He is a skilful, faithful, compassionate physician, and it is his office and business to heal the sick. Wise and good men should be as physicians to all about them; Christ was so.
Hunc affectum versus omnes habet sapiens, quem versus aegros suos medicus—A wise man cherishes towards all around him the feelings of a physician for his patient. Sin-sick souls have need of this physician, for their disease is dangerous; nature will not help itself; no man can help us; such need have we of Christ, that we are undone, eternally undone, without him. Sensible sinners see their need, and apply themselves to him accordingly. There are multitudes who fancy themselves to be sound and whole, who think they have no need of Christ, but that they can shift for themselves well enough without him. Thus the Pharisees desired not the knowledge of Christ’s word and ways, not because they had no need of him, but because they thought they had none.
Christ’s justification of himself (Mark 2:17), He stood to what he did, and would not withdraw, though the Pharisees were offended, as Peter afterwards did, (Galatians 2:1). Those are too tender of their own good name, who, to preserve it with some nice people, will decline a good work. Christ would not do so. They thought the publicans were to be hated. "No,’’ saith Christ, "they are to be pitied, they are sick and need a physician; they are sinners, and need a Savior.’’
They thought Christ’s character should separate him from them; "No,’’ saith Christ, "my commission directs me to them; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. If the world had been righteous, there had been no occasion for my coming, either to preach repentance, or to purchase remission. It is to a sinful world that I am sent, and therefore my business lies most with those that are the greatest sinners in it.’’ Or thus; "I am not come to call the righteous, the proud Pharisees that think themselves righteous, that ask, Where in shall we return? (Malachi 3:7).
Of what shall we repent? But poor publicans, that own themselves to be sinners, and are glad to be invited and encouraged to repent.’’
It is good dealing with those that there is hope of; now there is more hope of a fool than of one that is wise in his own conceit!” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Matthew 9:12 and Mark 2:17)
There are obviously many poor people who are sick and have no health insurance nor can they afford a doctor. So, obviously they need insurance or some kind of healthcare system that does not require insurance coverage or even any payment at all for the truly needy!
But, I have asked myself, time and time again, who really benefits most from this health plan? The first response that came to mind was that the medical providers do!
Poor people don’t put the funds expended from taxes in their pockets to buy lavish gifts, gourmet food, classy transportation nor flashy clothes. Those funds go directly to the government who will dole it out to the medical providers; doctors, nurses, hospital workers, and administrators. These are the ones who benefit.
Yes, poor folks may get healed and they may be able to go back to work, to earn more money to buy more groceries to feed their families, to use their own cash for their own clunkers’ maintenance, to pay landlords for rent or mortgage companies for their homes, to continue paying more taxes, to pay more into the Social Security System (which they will probably never use), to have all of those taxes and other items removed from their paychecks, those who get paid by checks, for the government to use as it wishes, for the poor to contribute more than they receive in return, whether they are illegal immigrants or US citizens. The poor always pay! Maybe they will have enough leftover to go see a movie, barbecue hotdogs in the park, or buy their kids an ice cream cone from 31 Flavors.
So, who will benefit by President Barack Obama’s Health Plan? And will I support it?
A lot of folks stand to benefit from his healthcare plan, but I don’t necessarily believe it will be the poor and the needy. The poor and needy do not hoard their money in banks, real estate and other investments. Their money floats, supporting the market in all things, all the time.
I still believe it is up to believers, the faithful, that need to provide for the infirm, widows, orphans and the downtrodden. Jesus said that to do this is true religion. I never saw Jesus make claim that we should call upon or put pressure on César to provide for the poor and infirm. He instructed the faithful, His servants, and His ecclesia, to support the poor among you!
Jesus also said “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always, (Matthew 26:11). It’s a reality! Church folks have been mandated by Jesus to deal with this, not governments. And just because some of these poor happen to be Mexicans who are here illegally, does not take away the church’s (individual Christian’s) responsibility to care for the infirm, orphans, widows and downtrodden!
As for the sick, those without insurance, Jesus is doing a pretty good job of taking care of them, and will continue to do so, if they believe, reach out to him in prayer, as He has promised He will always answer our prayers! For those who don’t believe, they will continue to trust and depend on their own skills, their own power, their own intellect and their own government leaders to provide for them, and they will deserve everything they get in return for their votes!
[Joe Ortiz is the author of two books that challenge the left behind and Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and dispensational premillennial precepts and doctrines being promoted by right-wing evangelicals. The two books include The End Times Passover (Etymological Challenges to Millenarian Doctrines) and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation (The Sequel to The End Times Passover). The former talk show host, journalist and news columnist is the first Mexican American to host a show on an English-language, commercial radio station, beginning in 1971 at KABC-AM Radio in Los Angeles.]
Joe Ortiz has the distinction of being the first Mexican American in US history to conduct a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station. He began his broadcasting career in 1971 at KABC TALK RADIO 790 AM in the highly competitive Los Angeles media market. He went on to become an award-winning broadcaster, news reporter and newspaper columnist in Los Angeles for over 30 years. Semi-retired, he promotes his three books on theology, is the President of the "Official Tom Flores Fan Club" and manages several blogs and web sites, and his public relations consulting company at Joe Ortiz Associates ~