Healthcare is a Responsibility 

Luke 10:29-37 (NABre)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.

I’ve long condemned the attempts by the GOP to repeal Obamacare. Mostly because they have no intention of replacing it with anything. As the above story illustrates, it’s patently immoral. They’ve tried to doublespeak their way around this by the canard “healthcare is a responsibility not a right” in line with the mantra of so-called personal responsibility. Notice the Samaritan nit only displays charity, he goes the distance and pays for the traveler’s care. No mention is made of the man’s ability to pay. And we can reasonably infer he cannot. And what does Jesus tell us to do? 

Go and do likewise.

Healthcare is a responsibility. Conservatives have it wrong whose it is.

Civilized Medicine

Today I had to take my son for his 15 month well visit. All day in the car as I listened to NPR, universal healthcare was the topic. Little did I know I would get a reminder of the problems with our system up close and personal today.
At the doctor’s, my son developed a strong fever. It turns out this was due to a new ear infection. Great. His shots would have to be delayed another few weeks and we’d have to give him a course of antibiotics. All of this would be handled well by my insurance. The full course, between generic substitutions in pharmacy and our family’s insurance coverage, would run me $12. No sweat. With a $15 copay my running total so far was $27.
But there was a problem.
My wife was concerned with the wheezing she still hears in my son’s breathing at night. My doctor was as well. She prescribed a 30 day supply of Pulmicort, an asthma treatment medicine. Since there are no generic substitutes, I have to pay full boat with my plan reimbursing me for 60% of the cost. And that cost? $365!
Now I don’t know about you, but how is a person with few means supposed to shelve out that kind of money on a monthly basis to treat their child? First you have to have the cash on hand or the credit to shell out what amounts to a car payment. Second, you’d have to be able to afford the 40%, or $146, you’d be responsible for if you have insurance. What happens if you are one of the 47,000,000 people who don’t? What’s wrong with this picture?
Truly, when I think of folks defending our healthcare system, esp. with regard to the pharma companies, I find it hard not to think of the phrase “full of shit.”
UPDATE: I can’t really take credit for the title, it was from a teacher and mentor who corrected me when I mentioned that the UK’s universal healthcare system was socialized medicine. She said, “No, it’s civilized medicine.”