Where is MY Integrity?
Phil Spohn   -  

I’ve had my eyes opened these past few weeks.  I’m reading, “An American Sickness- How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back”, by Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal.  Also, in the past two weeks our church hosted two well attended documentaries, “Fix It, Health Care at a Tipping Point”, and “Big Pharma, Market Failure”.  Both documentaries were created here in the Lehigh Valley.

 

Let me share some of the statistics that disturb me about our Health Care System in America:

 

  1. Jonas Salk, founder of the polio vaccine, took $1 for discovering this vaccine, as it was “too important not to save all the young lives”. He was not interested in profit and his sole focus had been to develop a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible.  When asked who owned the patent to it, Salk said, “Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

 

  1. In United States we tie health care to our employment. We lose employment, we lose our healthcare.  Talk about stress!  What happens when you are going through cancer treatments and due to a recession, lose your employment?

 

  1. In 2014, 52% of overdue debt on credit reports was due to medical bills. Pg 224.

 

  1. Foreign companies coming to United States have to take into the equation, the cost paid by the employer for employee health care. Is that a burden some companies will refuse to tackle?

 

  1. Medical coding to receive payment from insurance companies and Medicare has become so complicated, a new profession has developed. The profession pays well and also secures large amounts of money for hospitals and medical providers.

 

The Medical field has become big business, big, big, business.

 

Our Health Care is available to ALL, but only if you can pay for it.  Do I want to be part of that?  Is my silence compromising my integrity?  Should everyone have the same access to health care as my family?

 

I keep coming back to the scene in Genesis, where Cain answers God’s question about his brother, “Where is your brother, Abel?”  Cain replies, “Am I my brother’s keeper”.  The implied answer is YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  We are to take care of one another in our world.  That is the best of the Judeo-Christian ethic of “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39).

 

Am I taking care of myself and my family and not actively pursuing health care for ALL?  As a nation we might provide “Emergency Care”, but emergency care is not health care.

 

The information age has exposed, scout leaders, priests, coaches, military officers, politicians, and now doctors and the medical system…Is this the way it has always been?  Is the information age just taking the veil off?  Have we declined in our morality?  Has capitalism, created a life for many Americans that keeps us content but silent about those not lifted up in the vast wealth we have created TOGETHER?  What am I to do as a Christian?  Am I my brother’s keeper?

 

I don’t begrudge anyone from making money.  It is an incentive to discover, achieve, and progress.  BUT, has it sucked the life out of the soul of our nation?  Have I stopped judging injustice and become tolerant?  Has the boiling frog syndrome taken MY life?

 

For me the problem is not them, it’s me.  A silent, contented me.  I have healthcare for my family.  Those around me, have good care too.  Why would I want anything changed?

 

Where is MY integrity?  I am my brothers keeper