Why do Republicans and born-again Christians hate the poor?


Why do Republicans in general and born-again Christians in particular hate poor people?

After all if you check the statistics you find that poor people in the United States take a minute share of the wealth while contributing their endless grinding labor to all the jobs the rest of us don’t or will not accomplish.

It’s bad enough they live difficult lives, but the “can’t wait to get in your face about Jesus” right wing seem to believe the Republic will only survive if the poor have no healthcare coverage.

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and slobbering Fox News Republican cheerleader, could have taken up any cause. He chose to represent the cabals assembled to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which has come to be known as Obamacare.

[Recently] Dave Richardson had a very nice tome on the subtle differences between “provide” and “promote.” Of course if he had really wanted to look into it, he would have known the drafting committee of the Constitutional Convention didn’t even want a preamble but Governeur Morris wrote one anyway.

The convention itself spent zero time discussing the differences among “provide,” “promote,” “protect,” and “ensure,” but 225 years later Dave thinks he’s found a crack into which he can insert his free market theology.

So why do the Born Agains need to oppose healthcare for the poor? Why don’t Republicans take up in favor of a system whereby everyone can obtain healthcare without going hat in hand to the Real Life Center in Tyrone where they probably don’t do heart transplants or dialysis?

Well, first of all, the one group is tied mindlessly to the other. And for the other, the answer, and you will find this all through the Founder’s thinking, is moneyed interests.

Right now we have 50 million Americans who are not insured for healthcare. If they are injured or become ill, they must pay out of pocket for the healthcare provided. Fair enough, you say?

One trip to the emergency room will convince you that costs there are out of reach for most middle Americans, much less the poor.

Ah, but the law says anyone going to an emergency room must be treated. They are and the hospital is left with a shortfall. So who picks up that shortfall? The rest of us with healthcare coverage.

My employer pays vast amounts to insure its employees (and indirectly the uninsured). I also have a large deductible, and while I can afford it, I am left wondering who profits from all this?

Hopefully the doctor. He has worked very hard to get where he is and while doctors make good money, they aren’t taking 20 percent of the nation’s wealth.

Well, how about insurers, drug makers, administrators, salesmen, billing agents, attorneys, managers, billing staff, and a hundred other professions not actively involved in actually producing healthcare for the patient.

A couple of years ago my brother-in-law was injured by a train in Berlin. The care he received was equal to or better than any hospital in the United States. He was in critical care for a month, and in the hospital for three months.

When he left there was no bill, no follow up bill collector, no mountain of crap coming from insurers, doctors, pharmacies, and hospital billing. There was nothing but a caring staff wishing him well.

Remember all that stuff we were fed about “death committees” and rationed care? The patient in the bed next to my brother-in-law was catatonic. The nurses treated her with amazing tenderness and we were curious about her prognosis. They would say nothing except, It is very sad. Yet she was kept there on life support for weeks as her mother visited every day simply hoping. No one was in a hurry to pull the plug and she was still there when we left.

Obviously this care was not free. The German people decided long ago that healthcare is a human right and they have found a way to provide it for all, even for visitors.

So we in the U.S. spend twice as much per capita to provide healthcare for five-sixths of our people while Germany spends half as much to insure all her people. For our troubles our nation has a shorter life expectancy and a greater infant mortality.

“Obamacare” was the result of vastly watering down the President’s original plan and it ended up looking very like Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts and the one advanced by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Getting back to Dave Richardson’s article, which mirrors other conservative Christian approaches, it is long on dogma and profoundly short on practical reality.

Rather than finding ways to help at least the children of the poor of whom Jesus spoke a great deal, he invites them to share in the free-wheeling cornucopia of our capitalist system. To do so they can find some Christian charity and learn how to fish.

Except there aren’t enough Christian charities and they don’t have the resources or expertise or centralized structure to substantially help the poor on a national level.

Meanwhile our healthcare costs continue to spiral while the actual results continue to deteriorate.

However, while the people who ought most to be on the side of the poor, our conservative Christian friends, are the ones seeking most actively to ensure they remain without healthcare, we will continue to be mired in dogma and polemics and the children of the poor, the most innocent and defenseless, remain without health coverage.

And, no, I don’t really believe born again Christians hate the poor. They are insensitive to the actualities of the poor.

Timothy J. Parker

Peachtree City, Ga.