Healthcare Debate Unraveled. Thanks Jim Wallis.

I’m getting so tired of the misinformation, soundbytes, and extreme rhetoric of the current debate on reforming the US healthcare system. Rather than talk about the facts and what’s really being proposed, most of the discussion seems to revolve around crazy assertions (like killing senior citizens?) that are not based on any part of the actual bills. Our current system is unjust, giving top-of-the-line healthcare to those who can afford it and leaving almost 50 million others completely without care altogether.  We should be ashamed that we allow such conditions to exist in a Western nation such as ours. The debate should not be about whether or not we reform the system but how quickly we can do it, including a public option for those who the private system just will not support. Every other developed nation has done it. That in and of itself should tell us its a good idea.

Today Jim Wallis of Sojourners (and author of God’s Politics: Why The Right Gets It Wrong And The Left Doesn’t Get It) sent an excellent letter to his supporters. He wrote:

As a nation, we are engaged in making decisions about our health care that will impact our families and communities for generations to come.

And I must personally share with you that I’ve had enough of the misinformation and, frankly, misleading statements coming from those who oppose the transformation of a health system that currently renders the best health care to the wealthiest, depletes the savings of solidly middle-class Americans, and leaves 46 million people with no health-care coverage at all.

We don’t have to fall victim to the naysayers – those seeking to prop up the status quo and sustain the profits of the massive insurance corporations.

Business as usual is not what we’re about. It’s not what change is about. It’s certainly not what people of good will from all faiths, who embrace the Golden Rule and seek the common ground of justice and fairness, are about….

This must stop. We are the ones who can stop it. Together, speaking out, acting out, and joining as one on a mission, we can push back the clouds of misinformation and fear-mongering, and allow the light of truth shine through.

Today, right now, let’s join together making the health-care debate factual, worthy of our families and communities. Let’s put the special interests on notice that we want real health-care reform, not misinformation and fear-mongering.

On Wallis’ site he’s posted a fabulous, faith-based guide to the healthcare reform, talking about what’s really true (you’ll be able to keep your own doctor) and what’s not (senior citizens will not be exterminated), as well as the pros and cons of various aspects in the reform such as the public option being proposed. I praise Wallis and his team for speaking out on behalf of the Christian faith community in a reasonable, calm, fact-based way. Such influence is badly needed in the discussion. Check it out and let me know what you think.


1 Comment

  1. August 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    There has been a great deal of talk in the media — print, radio, tv — just about everywhere about the behavior and tactics being employed by various organizations. There have been comments about well behaved and polite citizenry attending meetings to voice their opinions. There have been stories of those who haven’t conducted themselves well. I suspect these stories will go on throughout the month of August and perhaps beyond. For one, I hope they do go on well beyond.

    I think both sides have taken essentially the same tactics. Labeling each other with invectives, giving their supporters a ‘playbook’, and attempting to use the media to their advantage. All of this is okay. It is okay because in America we have the right to freedom of speech, assembly and freedom of the press. These are rights that thousands have given their lives to protect. The debate on health care which consumes nearly a fifth of the national economy and involves everyone is something that we should openly debate and understand the intended and unintended consequences of before we change an entire system.

    It is important to provide better access, bend the cost curve so that health care is affordable (and not just through shifting costs by taxing) as well as sustainable, and improving the quality of the care delivered.

    We are a country that leads the world in health care innovation. We have to zealously protect that aspect. No other country in the world is positioned to take our place if we take our eye off this important work.

    But above all democracy demands that citizens get involved and voice their opinions. To follow the health care debate and other important facts about he health care system visit

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