Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bits and Pieces Halfway Through August

It’s been a busy week, as much with paperwork as with patients. However, let me point to a couple of items of interest.

First, there is a new web site for the Anglican Health Network. The efforts of the Network are being coordinated by Rev. Paul Holley, Priest-in-charge of La Côte Anglican Church and a member of the Anglican UN group in Geneva. There is a good overview of the Network on the site, as well as news releases. And for those of you who are so connected, you can become a Member of the Anglican Health Network on Facebook.

Second, take a look at 40 Days for Health Reform. This is an effort of a coalition of faith-based groups. You can sign their petition in support of reform. Be sure, too, to check out the Learn More page. It has Guides to the Health Care Debate for both Christians and Jews, and links to denominational positions on access to health care.

You can also participate in 40 Minutes for Health Reform, the National Conference Call on Health Care this Wednesday, August 19, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern/ 4:00 Central/ 3:00 Mountain/ 2:00 Pacific. It's cosponsored by a number of religious communities, including the Episcopal Church. President Obama has agreed to take part, and you can, too. Just follow the instructions on the site to register.

With all the shouting about health care that’s threatening to drown out real discussion, I fear we may miss an important opportunity to do for other what we would have done for us, and to serve Christ in serving the least of his siblings. This is an opportunity particularly for people of faith to support the efforts for reform of our health care and health insurance “system,” while raising some very reasonable concerns.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I signed up. But a tough question for you.

The "left" says without a public option health/insurance reform is just a waste of time.

Do you agree? Jack. We all say hello.

Marshall said...

Jack, let me begin by saying I'm in favor of a single-payer plan, but I'm not ignorant of the political realities.

I think there needs to be some way for insurance companies to be challenged so that they compete based on service and not just cost; and so that they are accountable to the covered for service, and not just to shareholders for profit and value. I do not believe they will do either of those on their own.

Does it then have to be a public option? Perhaps not, and the "Gang of Six," the senators meeting privately (but hardly secretly) to craft the Senate bill seem to prefer some sort of co-op model. I'm not sure whether that would work, partly because I expect larger purchasing pools by themselves will get cheaper insurance but not better; and partly because I distrust the idolatry of competition and "the Market" that shapes their work. However, if it will work, fine.

So, I think there has to be some sort of option, but I don't know that it needs to be Government-managed. However, since I want the point to be service and not profit, I'm inclined toward public servants and not the Market.

Anonymous said...

It's a funny world.When I was in secondary school (grade 11)--1950-- we had to write a junior paper. Mine was on the British health care system--socialized medicine--was the term. Now decades later we're still at it.

I favor the single payer system. We'll evetually get there, but, alas,we will both be somewhere else.

Thanks for your response. I take it you see some hope in the co-op plan. Jack