One Christian Scientist’s Views on Health Insurance

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” – Luke 6: 31

 ***

A few years ago a dear friend shared with me that she was told the drugs she’s been prescribed to take while she’s in cancer remission will cost $30,000 to $40,000 a month.  She did not have health insurance at the time.  I was floored by the financial burden her family was going to be expected to bear while she recovered from cancer, chemo, and radiation, and tried to find a way to pay for the drugs she was told she needed to take to stay alive.

Health care, in my opinion, should be considered a basic necessity of life – in the same category as food, water, and shelter; I don’t believe anyone should be denied access to the care they believe they need simply because they lack the financial resources.  (Nor should they be denied the care they need simply because it’s not the type of care of which their elected officials personally approve or disapprove – determining whether a type of health care is “acceptable” should not be the job of politicians.)

I myself rarely use the health care insurance that I pay into through work. But, as a member of a community, and as a responsible citizen, I have no problem contributing to a pot of money that will help others who find themselves in the same circumstances as my friend recovering from cancer.  There are ways we can provide for each other as a community that we can’t provide as single individuals. I can’t give my friend $30,000 a month – but I can share my part of a collective health insurance pot with her, and I’m happy to do so.

***

“Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

“ But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

“They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

“When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”

–   Matthew 22

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5 thoughts on “One Christian Scientist’s Views on Health Insurance

  1. I love your view on this!

    Sadly, health insurance doesn’t cover everything and if you’re unfortunate enough to max-out your deductible twice in two months (Dec/Jan) you can still end up with a terrifying pile of medical bills at the end of it.

    If husband changes jobs, or his company changes health insurance policies we have to make sure our already chosen primary-care physicians are covered. He changed jobs part way through my 2nd pregnancy (apparently that is a preexisting condition so there even more paperwork) and some debate about if I needed to be “referred” to the obgyn I was *already* seeing.

    Healthcare and health insurance in this country is a mess.

  2. I hear you!
    Apparently, the U.S. is the only developed country with for-profit health insurance companies (other than countries that allow health insurance companies to make profit off of supplemental coverage for things like cosmetic surgery). I just sit here, shaking my head, wondering why health insurance companies in this country are allowed to make gazillions of dollars in profit off of people who are sick and in need of help. It just seems so mercenary to me. (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/mar/11/dianne-feinstein/feinstein-says-us-only-nation-rely-heavily-profit-/ )

    Have you ever seen that Michael Moore movie about health insurance in this country? Ohmygosh.

    And don’t even get me started on the pharmaceutical companies… I mean – $30,000 a month for drugs that you’re told you need to stay alive?!! That just seems criminal to me. It’s a kind of extortion, isn’t it?

    I believe health care should be a service provided to our citizens through taxes, in the same way that schools, teachers, policemen, firemen, highways, and bridges are provided. We should all pay into the communal pot, and all have access to it when we need it. It is all a part of being a member of a community.

  3. I agree. In CS we are taught that we may, without being judged, supposedly, use “temporary means” if we choose. Many in CS have done so, using a medical health care system that is ready and willing to serve us.
    Yet, the “official” vies is that we (CSists) shouldn’t be compelled to buy health insurance under ACA because it supports a health care system with which we disagree.
    That view seems hypocritical, since many use that system when the want.

    • I know. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of CS, says that “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, –  pulseless, cold, inanimate.” To refuse to throw our money into the governmental pot to help provide health care to our fellow citizens does not seem very loving to me.

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