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So here’s the deal

In the dog days of summer, Washington D.C. is in the hottest place on earth.

This morning the Supreme Court issued their ruling upholding the major points of the Affordable Healthcare Act. (read the ruling, keep up with the New York Times live blog if your heart can handle it.)

By the end of the day both sides will claim victory. Both presidential candidates will make statements. Polls will be taken. Extremists will parade in front of cameras.

God bless America. (Said in a cynical tone.)

Here’s the deal. This isn’t the America I want to live in. This isn’t the America I want my kids dreaming about. This isn’t the America I read about in history books and biographies. United we stand, divided we fall.

Until we decide to unite, we are falling. It’s not the economies fault. It our fault. When we decide we, the people, will move forward. But right now we are stuck in inward-focused circles of bandaid application.

That said, I’m thankful that the courts are stepping in, pulling away from the politics far enough to help us move forward. I actually see today as an amazing day for those with aspirational goals in the legal field. (With the Jerry Sandusky decision last week it’s been a very big 7 days for the courts.) I am intrigued that Bush’s choice for Chief Justice sided with more liberal appointees. I think it shows the strength of Bush’s choice.

I’m tired of the divisions. I’ve got no pride or allegiance to a party. It’s not that I’m unwilling. It’s that I’m bored of it. Division doesn’t get me nearly as excited as forward progress.

I’m not naive. I know politics are brutal. But I don’t think our future as a nation lies in having elected officials stand opposed on everything just for the sake of standing opposed to every view. In this case the irony is really delicious. Obama passed a version of Romney’s law. So Republicans loved it when the conservative governor passed the law in a liberal state. But when the President passed Romney’s law at the federal level it became a liberal against conservative thing. Romney, the original author of the bill, had to stand opposed to his own idea for the sake of winning his parties nomination.

Republicans were for the Affordable Healthcare Act until Democrats were for it. Then they stumbled all over themselves throughout the primaries trying to convince everyone they were against it, and were always against it, even when they were for it in Massachusetts.

That’s what I mean. We need to stop disagreeing simply  for the sake of disagreement. We, the people, aren’t stupid. We hold this truth to be self-evident: Politicians will say whatever it takes to get lobbyists to write them checks. 

But this check of disagreement is being cashed by people like you and me. Both parties are guilty for the game is no longer Republicans vs. Democrats, but rich vs. poor. National politics has become the rich man’s WWE where both parties put on a show for the sake of getting the redneck’s inside the belt to write them checks.

Again, this isn’t my dream for our country. This isn’t the dream I want my children to aspire to.

I want my kids to see that two people who disagree can come together and make a joint decision for the good of others. Just like mom and dad make compromise after compromise for the sake of our family, I want them to know that compromise is a virtue.

This carries over directly to our faith, doesn’t it? I love that my kids are growing up in a home where mom and dad try to hold loosely to their personal convictions for the sake of the body of Christ. How pathetic would the Gospel be if we only worshipped with people we got along with? How pathetic would it be to only hang out with, be influenced by, and study things from a single perspective. Yes, we are conservative evangelicals. That’s who we are. But we make the conscious, hopeful choice to identify ourselves with Christ more than we identify ourselves with a theological heritage.

For the record: I’m in favor of a nationalized health care system. I’d like to see it illegal for drug companies to market to the public. And I  think all insurance companies should be not-for-profit, like the BlueCross system started as in the 1960s. So I’m not pumped about the decision today because I feel like it’s not the reform that is  truly needed.

Photo credit: Tosh at SCOTUS by Mark Trimble via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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10 Responses to So here’s the deal

  1. JasonAten June 28, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    I guess the big issue is: we already have essentially a “nationalized” health care system.

    Right now, someone who goes to the hospital and can’t pay, still receives treatment. The cost of this is included in the cost of services that the rest of us pay. It’s then reflected in the insurance premiums we pay.

    The only difference that this law does is require everyone to be covered by insurance. And if you cant’ afford it, you’ll get a subsidy – paid for by taxpayers. The same taxpayers that pay for insurance that was covering the cost of your insurance anyway.

  2. Paul June 28, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Love this post, Adam

  3. Chilly Chilton June 28, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    It’s hard to call today’s ruling a victory or a defeat …

    I work in the inner-city of Detroit. And, yes, it’s true anyone can go to the hospital and get treatment but many, MANY, are not simply living off the government. No, MANY have jobs and work hard. It’s those individuals that leave the hospitals with bills in the thousands or tens of thousands that they must pay. They are dedicated and trustworthy employees. They are honest. Many have moved to be part of our work here in the city. They are living selfless & sacrificial lives but cannot afford healthcare. But, because of an accident or unexpected illness, they now owe so much to the hospitals (or their collection agencies) that they cannot afford adequate housing, transportation or sustenance…

    I’m not for socialism. I’m not for enabling people to exploit the government through unmonitored welfare and laziness.

    I find it interesting that ‘christians’ in America will raise millions to provide healthcare to the needy around the world but snub those right in their own cities. 80% of the African-Americans in Detroit have some form of HIV — we jump on programs like RED for this epidemic in Africa — but in our own backyards? Well, not so much…

    I’m praying that God will use ME to be part of the solution. Blaming the government or siding with a political party will not change my community. Apathy & sarcasm won’t feed the hungry.

    I will answer for my life & opportunities I’ve been given.

    Just thoughts from my heart…

  4. pittstudent June 28, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    I completely agee with most everything you said. But, people need help being guided in practical ways and this is just another nice write up full of cute talk.

    • Adam McLane June 28, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      So… why don’t you add to the discussion and get dirty rather than just toss pebbles?

      • pittstudent June 28, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        sorry I was a little snarky. What I’m getting at is that you knew everyone would agree with this article before you published it. It would be nice if this article actually prompted some kind of intereting discussion. Sure, this article is thoughtful, well written, and nice. But, it has no tangible call to action yet it leaves one to be desired. I had my opinions about “Obamacare” before I read this and while I agree with what you wrote, my opinions remain unchanged and unchallenged.

        • Adam McLane June 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

          Actually, I think that my position did say something. I get what you are saying. My point here wasn’t to spur the same discussion that is all over the internet today. It was to help us all take a step back are really question ourselves… why do we all such things to so bitterly divide us? Is this notion of compromise really a political virtue or liability.

          As far as my position goes, I would gather that a good number of my regular readers would have guessed I am in 100% favor or the APA… I like it, I think it’s a step towards something useful, but I think it is putting icing on a rotten cake when we really need reform.

  5. Stephen - Youth Workin' It June 28, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Living in the US having come from the UK, it’s been interesting seeing how much scaremongering there has been about the Affordable Care Act. A lot of people seem to be comparing it to the UK’s NHS (National Health Service), but the concept is completely different.

    I agree with Chilly’s comment in that I’m not for socialism and enabling people to take advantage (actually, I agree with all of Chilly’s comment!). Having said that, I also don’t have a problem with the concept of the NHS. Yes, it does need some reform and isn’t as efficient as it could be. But I don’t think anyone could argue that healthcare over here in the US doesn’t need reform either.

    In the UK, if you need to see a doctor you can go with no cost. No co-payment. No deductible. You just go.

    If you need treatment, you get it. No co-payment. No deductible. You just get it.

    If you have a pre-existing condition that makes you uninsurable, it doesn’t matter – you get treatment anyway.

    Despite this, there’s still a thriving private health insurance business there – I’ve worked for health insurance companies in the UK for the last 8 years so can attest first hand that this doesn’t mean the end of private health insurance companies.

    I also agree with Adam’s point that drug companies shouldn’t market to the public. That’s been a weird thing for me over here, as this doesn’t happen in the UK. It’s amazing how much scaremongering there is on those adverts as well and I’m sure leads to people taking drugs that they don’t need. Not entirely sure if I agree that they should all be non-profit though, as I’m sure a lot of advancements in medicine are due to the prospect of profit – whether that’s right or wrong, I think it’s the reality.

    A couple more observations:

    * Saw an interesting comment that being able to get emergency treatment in hospital isn’t healthcare. Being able to get check-ups, preventative tests, etc – that’s healthcare

    * All the Republicans I know on Facebook & Twitter are vehemently anti the Supreme Court ruling today as “taxpayers will have to foot the bill”, yet seem to have been completely happy with $3-4 trillion being spent on wars where taxpayers still have to foot the bill. At least with healthcare lives are being saved

  6. Dheepa Sundaram June 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    well said Adam. I agree with you on universal healthcare. I also think in terms of competitiveness we need to unburden our companies from having to provide healthcare to our citizens. If we did that they would be able to compete better in the international marketplace. we are currently burdening our businesses with this albatross called health insurance coverage which only serves to increase costs to everyone and make for a less competitive economy. We could learn a lot from places like Germany or France which both implement a public/private partnership for healthcare which is supported by the government, the taxpayers, and the businesses. This article I posted on FB awhile back shows the value of my position.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-attitude-toward-barack-obama-s-healthcare-reform-a-832002.html

  7. Carl Fuglein June 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    amen, Adam

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