I was more than a little annoyed as I watched Nancy Pelosi proudly proclaim that “health insurance reform will stand alongside Social Security and Medicare in American history.” Why do you think she is so proud to equate this new reform with two other government programs that are teetering on bankruptcy? Perhaps she has tacitly admitted that government health care will someday become another bloated bureaucracy that will further burden our deficit in the same way Social Security and Medicare do now. I've cited this quote from the Social Security Administration's web site before but I'll remind my readers of it:
“Many people think that the Social Security taxes they pay are held in interest-bearing accounts earmarked for their own future retirement needs. The fact is that Social Security is a pay-as-you-go retirement system—the Social Security taxes paid by today’s workers and their employers are used to pay the benefits for today’s retirees and other beneficiaries.Social Security is now taking in more money than it pays out in benefits, and the remaining money goes to the program’s trust funds. There are now large “reserves” in the trust funds, but even this money is small compared to future scheduled benefit payments. In 2017 benefits owed will be more than taxes collect ed, and Social Security will need to begin tapping the trust funds to pay benefits. The trust funds will be exhausted in 2041. At that time, Social Security will not be able to meet all of its benefit obligations if no changes are made.”
And now it seems we will have another behemoth to be fed with our tax dollars. Another debt that will devour our grandchildren's paychecks.
But the outrageous cost of the program is not the only thing that bothers me about health insurance reform. I also have a simple, fundamental objection to the idea of government benevolence. When did the American people get this “entitlement” mentality? Why do some people assume that if they don't have something, it's the government's job to give it to them?
I think it has something to do with their concept of “rights.” If something is considered a right, then people expect the government to protect their rights. Yet this goes beyond that. When something is identified as a “right,” it soon becomes looked at as an “entitlement,” and next people expect it to be a “guarantee.” OK, I admit I have the right to receive health care. Does that mean the government MUST provide it? Why? I'm serious. On what grounds do some people expect tax payers to provide their every need? I have the right to own a house – why doesn't the government give me a house? I have the right to eat – why doesn't the government give me my food? I have the right to bear arms – why doesn't the government buy me a gun?
Financial hardship is not a valid reason. If I'm not working, how does that suddenly obligate someone else to give me stuff? If I weren't working, that's no excuse to steal money from my neighbor. However, when some people are out of work, they expect the government to take a portion of their neighbor's paycheck in order to give it to them. When I take money from my neighbor, it's called “stealing.” When the government does it, it's called “taxes.”
Of course, there are certain things the government should be doing: defending us against enemies, establishing a national currency, building interstate highways, etc. Being a charity is not on the list. No matter how noble the cause, no matter how seemingly right it might seem, we must keep the government out of the business of benevolence. I've even heard liberal pastors try to use the Bible to justify programs like health care reform. How sad it is that supposed men of God are content to let Caesar do the work of the Church (Mark 12:17).
Christ instructed His church to engage in charity. Consider this wonderful passage from Matthew (v. 31-40):
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
It's truly incredible that there are those Christians who shirk their own duties and then expect Caesar to fulfill their obligations to God. Move over Red Cross – FEMA will take it from here. Stand aside Salvation Army – WIC will provide. Who needs Mother Theresa when we have Nancy Pelosi?
Yes, I object to the horrific cost of this bill. But for me, it's not just about the money.