Christian Values, Trump?

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Eighty percent of white evangelical voters voted for Donald Trump. For these self-described “values voters,” Trump seems a contradiction of nearly everything they believe in — a vulgar, thrice-married real estate tycoon whose brand is built on money, women, and debauchery. 

In the same way that a person cannot be a vegan and devour a supper of Texas barbecue pork, one cannot really follow Jesus and support Trump who embodies the opposite of everything Christ taught, died for and demands of us:

  • Compassion - “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
  • Fear - “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” (1 John 4:18)
  • Anger - “But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5: 22)
  • Humility - “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5: 5-8)
  • Honesty - “Beware then of useless grumbling, and keep your tongue from slander; because no secret word is without result, and a lying mouth destroys the soul.” (Wisdom 1:11)
  • Civility - “But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8)
  • Generosity - “Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21)
  • Service - “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
  • Stewardship - “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (First peter 4:10)
  • Inclusion – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:15-18)

Medicare for All

When discussing policy, it is important to be aware of the terminology.

Universal health coverage: this means every citizen (in certain cases, noncitizens) has or can have health cared that is paid for by the state.

Single payer: this is one popular approach to universal health coverage in which healthcare providers bill the government. Many countries, such as Canada and the UK, have a form of single payer system.

Medicare-For-All: This is the approach that is mentioned most often. With this approach, one that Australia already uses, the age minimum would be removed from US Medicare policy.

Socialized medicine: in the US this is normally used as a pejorative when attacking some form of government ran health care; it means different things depending on what the speaker is attacking.

The US stands alone as the only modern nation without some form of universal health coverage. This is not a reason for universal coverage, but makes it easier to study “best practices.”

The US performs worse compared to other nations with universal health coverage where care is more accessible to citizens, more affordable, better outcomes, and more equitable treatment, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, and lower deaths from treatable illness.

The US performs better on friendliness between patients and healthcare providers, end-of-life (hospice) care, and survival rates with cancer and stroke patients.

No harm: There is no indication that universal health coverage affects wait times. The only country that has higher average wait times than the US is Canada.

Wise investment: Given the positives of far outweigh the negatives in comparative studies, it seems prudent for the US to adopt a universal healthcare coverage plan. Since Medicare is liked and successful, it seems logical to expand the system to include everyone.

Fiscally sound: Due to lower administration and advertising costs, and price controls, Medicare for All could save US taxpayers as much as $17 trillion in health care spending over a ten-year period. Because the US government already pays nearly two-thirds of total healthcare spending, only a small tax would be needed.  Since business could buy Medicare for All for their employee plans at a lower cost than they pay now, it would also boost the economy.

Medicare for All is a win/win opportunity to help citizens, restrain costs, help business, and grow the economy.