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Research Paper on the Deadly American Health Care System

Read the following sample research paper on the fallacies of the American health care system. Note that our terrific writers can prepare model papers on any argument; whatever side of the debate you choose to align with, our writers will craft a great sample for you.

The Unjust and Contradictory Health Care System

During my freshmen year at the University of Southern California, some of my best friends were self-professed right-wing Christian fundamentalists. When they found out that I was a Democrat, they became increasingly hostile towards me and pestered me into becoming a Republican, stating that it was the right party for a reason. They also believed with all their heart that Barack Obama (and his proposed universal healthcare system) was the antithesis of Christ. One day when I was with them, we started to discuss the topic of universal health care.

It was apparent to me that they were so incredibly passionate in their view that universal health care was horrible and ethically wrong. They didn’t believe in allowing everyone in America access to health care. Extensive research on Republican ideology and Jesus’ message reveals that Republicans who profess to practice Christianity do not actually follow Jesus’ message when it comes to medical ethics, in particular universal health care.

Before I discuss Jesus’ message and Republican ideology, it is imperative that we first understand why this issue is a problem in our society. According to a study done by Harvard Medical School, approximately 45,000 people in the United States die every year because they do not have health care. Considering that the government spends more on the military than health care, it is important that we critique the values of this country, if we can sit back and allow 45,000 people to die every year because they cannot afford health care. Allowing people to die like this brings up the question of how valuable life is in this country. As a whole, America does not truly value life if it can allow a person to die every twelve minutes simply because they do not have health insurance. As a result of this tragic situation, it is essential to examine why universal health care is not practiced. To understand how Republican Christians are ignoring the teachings of Jesus, it is necessary to first understand describe these teachings.

What Would Jesus Do?

“How Would Jesus Handle Health Care?”, an article by Drew Smith, a Baptist minister, reveals that one of the most fascinating healings stories in the Bible relating to health care is found in Mark 5: 21-43, in which there are two stories that essentially combine into one. In this story, we have Jairus (a synagogue leader) and his sick daughter, as well as a woman who has been hemorrhaging for twelve years. Analysis of these two stories demonstrates that Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman are both very different. Jairus is a synagogue leader, a man who has great religious and political stature, whereas the hemorrhaging woman, who remains unnamed, is an outcast. This story is extremely important in understanding what Jesus’ view would be on universal health care.

Something that both a wealthy and a poor person have in common is that they can both become sick, as sickness and death are universal. If Jairus’s daughter and the unnamed woman lived in America today, Jairus’ daughter would get all the medical attention she needed, whereas the hemorrhaging woman would not be treated simply because she couldn’t afford health care. Republican Christians, who comprise the majority of the Republican Party, believe that the free market approach is the best solution to health care in America, as they deem competition as the main factor in producing the most beneficial health care industry. Read more about the financial aspects of healthcare in this sample essay.

Women Suffer Without Healthcare

Today’s equivalent of the unnamed woman will not receive the health care she needs simply because she cannot afford it. As a result of this free-market approach exercised in American health care, approximately 45,000 people die every year in the States simply because they do not have health insurance and cannot get good care. Millions of Americans believe that health care is a political and economic issue. People need to understand that it is a moral issue, one that calls on Americans to truly examine how important they deem human life to be.

In Mark 5:21-43, Jesus first heals the hemorrhaging woman and then proceeds to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. It is evident that Jesus would passionately reject today’s American free-market system that would give preferential treatment to Jairus’ daughter. Jesus clearly viewed health care as a right that everyone is worthy of. If someone is a Christian moralist in the truest sense of the word, they should value Jesus as the healer and God as the giver of life. If one claims to follow Christianity yet professes to believe in the free-market approach to health care, they need to re-examine their views and understand that they are not actually following the teachings of Jesus.

The Hypocrisy of Republican Beliefs on Health Care

Kristen Parla, in her study “Democratic versus Republican Perspectives”, discusses Democrat and Republican views on health care. In it, she states “True to their principles, Republicans believe something is wrong in America when those on welfare are provided health insurance through Medicaid”. Based on the story of Jairus’ daughter and the hemorrhaging woman, it is evident that Jesus would passionately disagree with the Republican view of health care. Welfare is defined as “a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, especially those unable to work” (Dictionary.com). Republicans seem to think the majority of people on welfare choose not to work. Although this may be the case in certain instances, the majority of people on welfare truly cannot work.

The Republican view that people on welfare do not deserve health care brings up the ethical issue of the value of human life. Under this perspective, they do not value human life in all its majesty and sanctity. They essentially have double standards; they value their own lives very highly when it comes to treating themselves from illnesses yet disregard the lives and health of people on welfare.

As of today, Obama is still striving to implement his universal health care plan in America. However, Republicans (most of which are Christian) in office consistently oppose it. It is important to analyze utilitarianism and how it relates to universal health care. Utilitarianism is essentially the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This theory is flawed considering how it disregards the minority. 45,000 people (a minority of the American population) die each year because of the free-market approach to health care. The principle of utilitarianism states that happiness consists of maximizing pleasure, and minimizing pain. Under this principle, universal health care is not utilitarian, as minimizing pain does not equate with the death of 45,000 people who could be saved each year from universal health care.

Other Biblical Reasons for Universal Healthcare

An article by Jennifer Riley that discusses popular Christian pollster George Barna’s view on Jesus’ health care plan serves as more evidence that Jesus would disagree with the Republican view of health care. In her article, “Barna: Jesus’ Health Care Plan Would Include Everyone”, Riley discusses George Barna’s opinion on Jesus’ health care plan. In the Bible, there are stories of Jesus healing hundreds of poor and suffering people. According to Barna in an editorial, he states “You can describe Jesus’ health care strategy in four words: whoever, whatever, whenever, wherever”. Jesus urged his followers to love and feel compassion for those in need. Barna further states, “Often, those whom He healed did not thank Him, and He was never paid for his medical care but He healed them regardless, because it enabled Him to love those who lacked hope”.

Based on the Bible, Jesus’ teaching on health care called for people to help each other. In her article, Riley states that Barna was compelled to write an editorial because surveys show that Americans are struggling to decide on health care reform. In his editorial, he calls for people to follow New Testament teachings and help poor people in need of medical attention.

While researching the message of Jesus, I came across an article titled, “Christianity: The Message And Life Of Jesus”. In my opinion, this webpage accurately summarizes the message of Jesus. According to this site, something that Jesus preaches throughout his life is the need for love. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus states, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”. If Jesus calls for us to love our enemies, then we certainly must love poor people who cannot afford health care. Republicans who claim to be Christian stand by and let 45,000 people die every year because they don’t have health insurance are not real Christians since they do not follow Jesus’ teachings.

Believe in Christ and You Will Have an Excellent Health Care System

To further prove my point, I decided to examine Republican objections to Universal health care. According to the site BalancedPolitics.org, a common Republican objection is that “Healthy people who take care of themselves will have to pay for the burden of those who smoke, are obese, etc”. This alone is a very un-Christian principle. If someone smokes or is obese, then they need some sort of medical help. Jesus healed the sick and expected nothing in return. Jesus called for Christians to follow in his footsteps, and if healthy Christians refuse to help sick people, then they are not real Christians. Believing that sick people are a burden and are not deserving of medical help is not only a very non-Christian view; it is an incredibly selfish one.

Another common Republican argument is that just because Americans are uninsured doesn’t mean that they can’t receive health care. They claim that nonprofits and government-run hospitals provide services to those who don’t have insurance. When one considers the statistic that 45,000 people that die every year from a lack of insurance, this argument is clearly flawed. There are clearly not enough nonprofits and government-run hospitals that work well enough if there are so many deaths that result simply from a lack of health insurance.

Having spent most of my early years in England, I have always been a huge advocate of the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS is essentially universal health care that is available to the entire population of the United Kingdom. When I was growing up, there were a lot of lower class families in my neighborhood that couldn’t afford private health insurance. Even when they got extremely sick, the NHS would provide health care for them. Although it may not have been the best health care available, it was health care nonetheless.

As a result, I gained a lot of respect for the NHS. While researching the subject of universal health care, I came across an article from the Guardian website which essentially summarizes the Republican view of the NHS. In his article, Andrew Clark states that, “The National Health Service has become the butt of increasingly outlandish political attacks in the US as Republicans and conservative campaigners rail against Britain’s “socialist” system as part of a tussle to defeat Barack Obama’s proposals for broader government involvement in healthcare”. A lot of Republicans have criticized the NHS’ policy of valuing the lives of younger people higher than those of old people. Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence refuted this claim, stating this wasn’t true. In conclusion, the quality of the health care provided by the NHS may not be as good as that provided by the most expensive health insurance companies in the US, but it is health care nonetheless.

Medical Ethics: What Americans Vehemently Lack

Aana Marie Vigen, Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Loyola University Chicago, discusses her position on health care in her article “ “Heal the Sick”: Why Public Health Care is a Christian Duty”. In her article, Vigen argues that expanding public health care is the Christian thing to do. She states,

“It is also a Christian obligation. I am a “cradle-to-grave” Lutheran. I teach bioethics at a Jesuit University, which provides excellent health care coverage. My spiritual and moral values are shaped by vibrant Christian worship, bible camps, and seminary. But I must have missed something because I can’t understand why Protestants and Catholics alike aren’t marching in the streets demanding comprehensive health care reform”.

She further states, “If we are a people shaped by our respect for life and the dignity of the human person, how can we not be at the front lines of health care reform? Even more, why do many of us oppose a public option for health care?” In her article, she quotes Luke 4:40 to demonstrate how Jesus healed too many to count. She calls on Christians to take Jesus seriously and help the naked, hungry, beaten, suffering, and vulnerable. Vigen explains how the first hospitals in the West were founded by religious communities, as the founders of these communities understood the duty of helping people in need.

She also explains how Christians are called to embody the grace of giving to others. Vigen states that Jesus did not favor V.I.P.’s or the affluent, but that is exactly what the U.S. health care system does. Jesus cared for whoever needed attention the most, regardless of status, wealth, or employment. She explains how she believes that public health care is a moral and civic responsibility, and not a political game. She ends her article with, “So Christians, let’s get off our redeemed and justified behinds and ACT!”

The articles discussed in this essay demonstrate the shocking reality that Republican Christians who vehemently oppose universal health care are not actually real Christians; they are not following Christ’s teaching in the way that Jesus meant them to be followed. According to a study done by the Barna group, 61 percent of Republicans describe themselves as absolutely committed to Christianity. Considering that the majority of Republicans are opposed to universal health care, the horrific truth that many Republicans who claim they are Christian yet actually aren’t comes to light.

How can we improve as a country if 45,000 people are allowed to die every year, simply because they cannot afford to have health care. An in-depth examination of Republican ideology and Jesus’ message reveals that Republicans who profess to practice Christianity do not actually follow Jesus’ message when it comes to medical ethics, in particular universal health care. Many Republicans that I have spoken to cannot understand, for some reason, that people on welfare do not choose to be poor. Although capitalism has many advantages, it also creates millions of impoverished people that cannot afford health care. Only when the entire population of America can recognize these people as individuals that deserve health care can we save the lives of 45,000 people that tragically pass away every year solely because they weren’t afforded the chance to access health care.

Works Cited

Political Ideology Definitions. 2011. Balanced Politics. 24 November 2011.

Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans? 2011. Balanced Politics. 24 November 2011.

Message of Jesus. 2011. Christianity: The Message And Life Of Jesus. 24 November 2011.

Barna: Jesus’ Health Care Plan Would Include Everyone. 2011. The Christian Post. 24 November 2011.

How Would Jesus Handle Health Care? 2011. Ethics Daily. 24 November 2011

Welfare. 2011. Dictionary.com. 24 November 2011

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance. 2009. Reuters. 24 November 2011.

“Heal the Sick”: Why Public Health Care is a Christian Duty. 2009. The Washington Post. 25 November 2011.

‘Evil and Orwellian’ – America’s right turns its fire on NHS. 2009. The Guardian.

How Does the Faith of Republicans, Democrats Measure Up? 2007. The Christian Post.

 

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