I am amazed that many conservative Christians are treating healthcare reform as an unpardonable sin, but many of them were cheerleaders for President Bush who invaded two countries and killed thousands of people unnecessarily.
A popular argument against healthcare reform -- especially the inclusion of a public plan option -- cites the expense of insuring all Americans and the potential impact on the deficit. I agree that budgetary impact is an important concern (of any policy). I am doubtful that the government can provide sufficient "seed money" for the public plan without a tax increase or relaxation of the favorable tax treatment given to employer-sponsored health plans.
Some economists argue that the government can get enough revenue by taxing only the highest income earners (e.g., people making over $250,000). But even this goal should receive enlightened debate.
Bush Broke the Bank to Reward the Wealthy and to Kill Thousands Unnecessarily
President Bush slashed taxes for the wealthiest Americans and provided a modest middle-class tax cut as well. He also went on a spending frenzy, particularly by launching two wars. Although a majority of Americans initially supported both wars, they now tend to view both as unfortunate mistakes. Saddam Hussein did not have WMDs, and terrorism will not end even if the United States captures Osama bin Laden.
Most economists accurately forecast the impact of Bush's tax cuts and wars on the deficit. Bush turned a record surplus into a record deficit by cutting taxes and boosting spending. Yet, most conservatives championed him as "their candidate." Although many diehard and consistent fiscal conservatives complained about Bush's spending, in general neither fiscal nor social conservatives offered strident criticism of Bush's fiscal practices, as they are now doing with Obama. The Tea Parties, townhall brawls, and other protests could have come a lot earlier.
Healing the Sick: A Better Justification for Deficits
Although the views of Jesus (or any other religious figure) should not dictate social policy, discussing healthcare reform in religious terms reveals some interesting contradictions between the purported faith of many social conservatives (Christianity) and their political position regarding healthcare. I strongly believe that Jesus would have passionately rebuked the use of deficit spending to fatten the pockets of the wealthy and to kill thousands of men and women unnecessarily. I also believe that Jesus would approve of deficit spending for the purpose of healing the sick.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home, and I am well versed in "the scriptures" (I love shocking liberal and conservative readers). And while I have moved beyond my childhood in many ways, I have excellent recall.
I do not remember Jesus ever endorsing the unnecessary killing of thousands. On the other hand, he seemed absolutely obsessed with healing the sick, regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. He was also a huge fan of "end-of-life" counseling, and he constantly instructed people to be prepared for death or his return (in the "twinkling of an eye"). I guess he was a death panelist too.
So to conservative Christians who believe healthcare reform is the work of the devil but who voted for Bush in 2004 (after his wars and killing had begun), do you think Jesus would feel the same way? What part of the Bible demonstrates this?