I Can't Think Of One Religious Reason Against Health Care Reform -- Can You?
By Paul Raushenbush

We are in a critical stage in the health care reform debate and religious people should be weighing in by providing a moral argument in favor of, or against health care reform. Religious leaders should be talking about health care in small groups and in their weekly services in an effort to translate what their sacred texts and inherited traditions say about the issues which confront us in the debate on health care.

From my perspective I cannot think of one religiously based argument against reforming America's health care system. Health care reform is fundamentally about keeping health care costs affordable for those who already have some kind of insurance, and making it available for the millions who do not have it.

Care of our basic well-being is an essential element of religious concern. In my own tradition of Christianity, Jesus was in the practice of healing those who were sick (the roots of the word salvation is connected to healing), and he mandated his disciples to go about the business of healing the sick and providing for the poor. Christians alive today are meant to continue the work of Jesus and be the body of Christ. While we may not have miraculous healing powers ourselves, we do have the ability to make sure that the miraculous healing ability of medicine is available to all who need it.

I honestly hope that someone will correct me about this, but it seems to me that the objections to health care reform always come down to selfishness. People who enjoy good health care are worried that their own care might suffer if it were extended to a wider group, or else they resent that they might have to pay a bit more to allow for health care for the poor. Putting aside the fact that those with money will always be able to buy superior health care, and that insurance companies continue to raise costs on health care annually -- with reform or without it -- the religious objection to these arguments is that they are grounded in making self interest the priority at the expense of the well-being of others. This selfishness is the antithesis of the religious impulse.
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