Let’s say you’re a poor bum who is strung out on drugs. You end up with a disease, and you have no money nor family nor real friends to turn to. Where do you go?
Obviously, the answer is the hospital. No hospital turns away the needy for life-threatening illnesses. Heck, many hospitals would point out the free clinic next door and refer you to a doctor who volunteers his time to help people exactly in your situation.
Health care is expensive. It is expensive because it is so much hard work. Doctors need to eat and feed their families. They need to recuperate the high cost of obtaining a real medical education. Nurses put up with things we can barely imagine. If they weren’t compensated accordingly, they wouldn’t choose to sacrifice so much of their private life and time to do what they do. Medical researchers, manufacturers, etc, etc… all need to put food on the table and a roof over their head. More importantly, we need a way to convince people to go into these fields who might otherwise decide they’d rather be a banker or a lawyer or a physics professor.
Socialists think that you can change a few laws and magically make expensive things cheap. The real world doesn’t work this way. You can only use the power of government to make things even more expensive. Either you shift the cost somewhere else, or you multiply existing costs. Usually, you do all at the same time.
I have a better idea. This idea is called, “Take care of the needy for FREE”. That’s right: FREE.
On the one hand, we have people who are rich. They have gobs and gobs of money. Now, they have gobs and gobs of that money because they don’t waste it. The spend it carefully on things that give them even more money in the near future. That’s why they’re rich and we’re not.
On the other hand, we have people who are not rich, but have needs that can only be met with lots and lots of money. Take the out-of-work father who has a heart attack. He needs high-quality medical care, STAT. He doesn’t have any way to pay for it. If he doesn’t get a job soon (which is highly unlikely after a bad heart attack), he will never have a way to pay for it.
If only there was some way we could convince the rich folks to willingly and graciously hand over their hard-earned and valuable cash to the poor people who actually need it. What would be especially useful is if we could somehow convince them that doing so is in their best interest!!!
As it turns out, there is. And it’s found in the Bible. Jesus taught, plainly, that the rich can’t get into heaven unless they give up their money to help the poor. On several occasions, he was quite explicit about this. On other occasions, he was less direct.
Jesus’ teachings worked by first explaining what is really valuable in this world. Hint: It’s not to be found in this world. Jesus explained, carefully, that you shouldn’t set your goals for anything you can find down here. That’s because there’s a much, much better place—a place he himself was getting ready to go to, a place he was inviting everyone to come see for themselves and live with at.
The second thing Jesus taught was that riches don’t help you get to that place you really want to be at unless you use it to help those who need help the most! In fact, in one particularly pungent teaching, he carefully said that if you don’t help the least among you, you are not helping God.
The third thing Jesus did is he invited specific people to give away their wealth to the poor and join him in preparing for and preparing others to receive this glory.
Yes, folks, plain old Christianity, straight from the mouth of Jesus, is a wonderful way we can convince the rich to actually give their money to those who need it the most. And it doesn’t involve legislation or taxes or even charitable organizations to do this.
In fact, any rich person worth his salt is immediately going to set his God-given talents to first identify what is most needed in the world and second how to best deliver that for the cheapest cost with the most lasting result. The same things that made him rich in the first place will be used to benefit the least among us.
Where does free health care enter into this? I can’t think of anyone more needy than a sick person who needs healing. Hunger is easily solved—simply feed the hungry. Poverty is easily solved—simply find something the unemployed can do that will have a net profit and he’ll be able to keep his job forever. The fatherless and widows can be easily watched over as well.
But sickness? You can’t simply feed someone with cancer and cure them. Diabetes isn’t solved by identifying or training someone to be economically successful. Medical problems are the least understood and the most devastating of life’s problems. The richest people in the world are reduced to becoming the most desperate people when sickness strikes. I am sure even a poor, orphaned boy would look with pity upon a billionaire in the final throes of incurable cancer.
The rich, having employed the poor, fed the hungry, and watching over the fatherless and widows, eventually sets his sights on the sick. Vast fortunes of wealth are not enough to cure diseases. Vast fortunes are not enough even to diagnose certain diseases.
When you find yourself in a medical situation, where urgent, medical attention is necessary, thank God that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth to preach that the rich can only hope to enter into heaven after having tended to the least among us. I guarantee you, as long as there are rich Christians around, and as long as they have enough resources to throw at the world’s medical problems, you will have more medical care than any government program can hope to offer.
With that, work to see two things:
One, the cause of Christianity. Work to convert people to believe in Jesus’ teachings, particularly the bits about helping the needy.
Two, the cause of wealth. Work to help people understand what an important role the wealthy play in our society, and point out what we have thanks to the wealthy Christians among us.