Health care and prayer

May 22, 2017 by

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On May 4, the National Day of Prayer, the U.S. House of Representatives completed the first step toward passing the American Health Care Act. When members of Congress gathered at the White House to celebrate, one might have expected the event to be about extolling the virtues of the AHCA. However, the major message was the victory of Trumpcare over Obama­care, no matter how premature the celebration was (the Senate still has to vote on the AHCA).

The major concern is whether the AHCA is fostering hope, courage and trust or, instead, cultivating fear, anxiety or cynicism. While the content of the bill is essential in addressing this concern, the rhetoric through which it is communicated is vital.

The communication of the AHCA is partially responsible for reviving the concept of “blue lies,” which swap truth for trust. The message of blue lies is: “I don’t care if you believe me, but trust me.” Ironically, blue lies are frequently accentuated with statements like “trust me” or “believe me” — which should be unnecessary if the speaker expects the audiences to believe or trust them.

Americans expect our national leaders to display some degree of piety. However, unless our leaders have the moral integrity to act on their pious proclamations, their words become blue lies.

The AHCA is not giving people hope that their health insurance premiums will be affordable or that they will be able to acquire policies to cover pre-existing illnesses. Instead, the AHCA is raising the levels of anxiety, fear and cynicism, especially because tax cuts for the wealthy are one of the few certainties.

If our elected officials took the National Day of Prayer seriously, they might consider the words of the prophets Micah and Zechariah, who called for acting justly, loving mercy and not oppressing the widow, the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Let me paraphrase the prophets: Don’t wrap your tax cuts for the wealthy in a shroud for the poor and call it a health-care package. And please, not on the National Day of Prayer.

Bruce Bradshaw
Nashua, N.H.


Comments Policy

Mennonite World Review invites readers’ comments on articles. To promote constructive dialogue, editors select the comments that appear, just as we do with letters to the editor in print. These decisions are final. Writers must sign their first and last names; anonymous comments are not accepted. Comments do not appear until approved and are posted during business hours. Comments may be reproduced in print, and may be edited if selected for print.

  • Ron Greiner

    Bruce Bradshaw, you should know the law if you want to pretend you care. Obamacare’s income based tax credits are cut off at $49,000 of income. Trump’s age-based tax credits are available to everyone so everyone qualifies. Any unused tax credit is deposited into the tax-free HSA of the consumer. A 30-year-old couple and 2 children will get $9,000 to purchase insurance. In most states, including NH, they can get HSA Qualifying insurance for about $6,000. This means President Trump will pay 100% of their insurance PLUS deposit $3,000 in their tax-free HSA at the bank.

    Bruce, I enrolled the USA’s 1st tax-free HSA in 1996 so you can TRUST ME. OR, people can listen to an uninformed guy like you Bruce. DonaldTrumpHSA.com

    • Bruce Bradshaw

      Dear Mr. Greiner, Your response to my letter seems to indicate that the advocates of Trumpcare have a communications problem. Perhaps, rather than having celebrated their hope of a victory of Trumpcare over Obamacare, they could have informed us on how the tax credits in Trumpcare work. My major concern is whether some of the people in one of the two congregations that I serve, who do not earn more than $20,000 annually, and suffer from various pre-existing conditions, will receive $9,000 in tax credits to purchase health insurance and build their HSAs. If they will, I will be thrilled to tell them that Trumpcare is like manna falling from heaven. Bruce Bradshaw

      • Ron Greiner

        The tax credits are age based. A 30-year-old couple and 2 children get $9,000 to purchase insurance. In most states the credit will pay 100% of the HSA Qualifying insurance at $6,000 so $3,000 is deposited in the family’s HSA. If the wife is uninsurable then she pays more but the rest of the family still has low-cost medically underwritten insurance. If the High Risk Pool is 100% more then the cost for the family increases to $8,000 and the HSA deposit is reduced to $1,000 after 100% of their premiums are paid with the credit. YES Bruce, it’s manna falling from heaven.

    • Ron Greiner

      Bruce writes to me, “Dear Mr. Greiner, Your response to my letter seems to indicate that the advocates of Trumpcare have a communications problem. Perhaps, rather than having celebrated their hope of a victory of Trumpcare over Obamacare, they could have informed us on how the tax credits in Trumpcare work. My major concern is whether some of the people in one of the two congregations that I serve, who do not earn more than $20,000 annually, and suffer from various pre-existing conditions, will receive $9,000 in tax credits to purchase health insurance and build their HSAs. If they will, I will be thrilled to tell them that Trumpcare is like manna falling from heaven. Bruce Bradshaw

      Bruce has no idea what he is talking about so he blames Trumpcare advocates, crazy right? Bruce I’m worried about 60-year-old couples having to pay $1,885 a month for over-priced GUARANTEED ISSUE Obamacare plans with $7,150 deductibles. It was YOU Bruce and President Obama that said, “If you like your plan you can keep your plan, PERIOD.” YOU 2 LIED. There is no insurance company for 2018 in IA, NE, OK, SD, Eastern TN and in 60 more days another 10 states will be added to the list. Bruce wake up! I told you to TRUST ME, remember?

      • Bruce Bradshaw

        Dear Mr. Grenier, I think we agree that the AHCA, or Trumpcare, will be a revolutionary piece of legislation if it delivers $9,000 each year to the low-income people of our nation to empower them to purchase decent healthcare insurance policies and to build HSAs. Right now, many of my parishioners and neighbors who have low-incomes fear that they will be among the 24 million people are purported to lose their health insurance through the AHCA. With all humility, if my parishioners and neighbors could have the assurance that Trumpcare will deliver them from their fears of medical expenses, I would encourage the U.S. Senators in NH to vote for this legislation. Right now, the AARP, the AMA and other advocates of affordable health insurance seem to be as ignorant of this legislation as you are claiming that I am. I would love to give my low-income parishioners and neighbors the assurance that the AHCA will ameliorate their fears concerning affordable health insurance. Please send information that I can share with them to me at bbasumc@gmail.com. Respectfully, Bruce Bradshaw

About Me

advertisement