This early morning I was greeted by an e-briefing from US Senator Nelson of Florida. I've watched this whole health care debate with a measure of sadness over a divided country that is bickering and back biting over issues when fundamental societal shifts are being missed. All are well intended, but all are missing the mark.
If you want to cut to the chase on my take on the current reality, skip down to the last paragraph after my response to Senator Nelson.
Here is a link to the Senator's full letter. Here is the Senator's opening line for brevity:
Most of the calls and mail coming into my office these days are from constituents worried about health care. Regardless of where anyone stands on the specifics of this issue, I think we all can agree the current system is unfair, too costly, and needs to be fixed. [bold is my emphasis.]
I wrote back to my Senator:
Dear Senator Nelson,
Thank you for serving our country to the best of your ability.
The opening premise of your e-brief, "I think we all can agree the current system is unfair, too costly, and needs to be fixed." is not correct. Please do not presume to tell me what I believe.
"Fairness" is not a constitutional right. Even little kids understand that uniqueness presents certain advantages and disadvantages. In short, unfairness is inherent in life. The rights we have are to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," not fairness.
Regarding healthcare, "fair" is that anyone can walk into a community hospital in this country and be given extraordinary care. That is the goodness of the community put in place decades ago, not to be legislated by the federal government. People taking care of people provides genuine care. Let the private and religious sectors continue their long history of caring for the sick, needy, and homeless.
"Too costly" relative to what and who decides? What costs are being considered in the calculation? Our country offers everything from free clinics to premium health care. People decide where and what sacrifices or expenses are necessary, not government. Insurance is not a right, but a benefit offered by many companies. Let's give people incentives to get good jobs or start businesses that use health care to attract and retain good people. Let's reward right behavior.
Finally, "fixing". The government's top down approach on social matters is never a fix. The founders framed the country so government moves slowly. Jamming through this health care reform legislation is irresponsibility. The Great Society didn't work. The "Great Healthcare System" won't either.
Please get back to the people's business of governing, defense, and upholding the Constitution you swore to protect. Today we have remarkable enemies who would do us harm. Please protect our borders, reduce our government spending on unconstitutional programs, and learn to be content governing less rather than more.
The marketplace with government officiating works wonders. When the government both officiates play and participates in the market, then the game ends. We all lose. KISS: Keep It Simple Senator! Please govern by legislating the boundaries of society and stop interfering within them.
Kevin W. McCarthy
On-Purpose Partners, LLC
There, I've gone on record with Senator Nelson and here in my blog.
One of the key long term observations underlying my response is the fact that government over the last 50 to 60 years is stepping into the "brother's keeper" business. By stepping into the theology of society government is creating a non-denominational, secularized, unsanctioned, state religion.
The church has been marginalized in the process. Yes, a new religion has been birthed. People turn to the government for help instead of God and God's people. But government is flawed; God is not. Expedience invites us turn to the flawed instead of the flawless. In the long run, the true cost is loss of ourselves, our hope, and our potential. Government should not be in God's people's business, but God's people do belong in government if for no other reason than to keep the lines of government and church distinctively sharp and clean cut.
In the debate happening in Washington, DC, this alarming trend to a "new state religion" is being lost in the day to day incremental movement and weakening of all our religious institutions. Admittedly, the church is inept to fight tithes against taxes. Ironically, God requests only 10% for his church, while the Government seeks to tax up to 50%! (Does that say that God is five time more effective and efficient than government?)
I would love to hear your comments. This whole debate here in the US has startling implication around the world. Is government moving into the God business too much? Tell me your thoughts.