Free Market Cannot Heal Us

By Valerie Elverton Dixonfounder In recent town hall meetings, citizens have asked their Congress members if illegal immigrants will … Continued

By Valerie Elverton Dixon

In recent town hall meetings, citizens have asked their Congress members if illegal immigrants will be covered under the current health care proposals. The Congress members I saw said no. In my opinion, this may be the politically correct answer, but it is not morally correct.

If we consider health care as a human right, and it is according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right inheres in one’s humanity not in one’s citizenship. Governments exist to secure and to maintain human rights. Thus, health care is not the responsibility of employers or of private insurance companies. Let us stipulate to the following: nations ought to have secure borders; laws regarding immigration ought to be respected; law breaking results in a restriction of rights; with the exception of emergency care, no nation ought to be expected to provide health care for citizens of other nations. Still, the respect that each human being is due by virtue of his or her humanity means that all persons ought to receive health care as long as they are living in the United States.

If we were to establish a universal single-payer system of health care in the United State funded through a consumption tax on junk food, tobacco, alcohol, firearms and ammunition, then there could be no complaint that undocumented people are taking anything away from citizens. They would be paying into the system through the consumption tax.

The idea of a universal single-payer system has been mischaracterized as socialized medicine. As President Obama explained in one of his recent town hall meetings, a single-payer system or a public option for health insurance does not mean that the government would own medical facilities or that doctors and nurses would be government employees. It would mean that everyone could go to a health care provider and or to the hospital, get medical attention, and the bill goes to the government.

Opponents of such a system say this would lead to rationing of services, long waits for necessary procedures and a government bureaucrat standing between patient and doctor. These concerns could and would no doubt find remedies through a system of supplemental private insurance. Free market capitalism would not lie down and die.

Faith in the free market and in competition has reached the level of an uncritical theology. No one has stood up to say that health care ought not to be subject to the profit motive, and this is exactly the situation we have today. Consumer protection legislation will not change this fact. Political and economic systems are amoral, neither moral nor immoral. Their moral content comes from the values and virtues we pour into them. This is the fundamental philosophical distinction between health care as a human right and a profit motive. The moral imperative toward generosity and the obligation of government is the case we ought to make within the contexts of our own spheres of influence, in our kitchen table, water cooler, barber shop, beauty shop discourse.

For people of faith, the right to health care not only exists because of the respect that humanity ought to have for itself, but it comes from the reverence we have for God, for God’s commands to care for the Other and for the image of God that God has placed upon creation, especially on the face of our brother and sisters, even those who are undocumented. People of faith have an obligation to the least and to the stranger.
Christians and other messianic religions are waiting for the Parousia. We are waiting for the already but not yet coming of the savior. We are waiting for the archangel’s cry of command, for the triumphal trumpet blast. We are waiting for the Lord to descend from heaven in the clouds. We are waiting to be caught up in the air to meet him. While we are waiting for this fantastic apocalyptic event, we pass by Jesus every day.

He harvests our crops, cleans our hotel rooms, and rears our children. He is the mother who is afraid to take her sick child to the hospital because she is undocumented. Jesus looks at us with a child’s eyes fixing his gaze upon a vague space between hope and trepidation. At the same time, God that is incarnate radical love is already with us and in us to help us move past our fears to an ethic of generosity and care that ought to make the moral content of our politics and of our economics.

Valerie Elverton Dixon is founder She taught Christian Ethics at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

  • homeland1


  • homeland1

    On the Question, “..if illegal immigrants will be covered under the current health care proposals. The Congress members I saw said no…”Before i [WE] begin; Please knoweth that YE, US, WE THE PEOPLE, on Holy but Miraculous Nebula-Built S.pace S.hip Earth(s) of Many; are genuinely & Authentically AUTOMATIC borneth Citizenz/Denizens of S.S. Earth!” But since there are many Nations, w/many Borders, aka Soverign Nations; under an Unbrella of a International anti “HUMAN-WRONGS” against “HUMAN-RIGHTS” doctrines, THATit is only common sense & Financial Sence (not CENSUS 2010) that so called Illegals, wherever they are here, whom recieve any American Care/Health in Any Private & or Public Facility/Clinic; must PRODUCE their Nations Passport 1st! No Exceptions (to the Rule)! WHY Ye asketh?1st The Prez & all Governers of @ State must Publically Tell Their Nationals that ALL, Every & Any (so-called Illegal/Non Doc’t) should apply or GO to their Nearest COUNSELATE/EMBASSY & Obtain a [Legit]Passport w/NO questions asked.Note: The Federal Umbrella should assure ordinary ‘Legal-Aliens’ , in @ state, that ANY health Care/Service provided them; must be off-set or mostly paid by their Employee; and IF cannot Show Cause of Employment; Then The Facility should send that dreaded “MEDICAL-BIL” to Uncle SAM; ANDThen, Uncle Sam can Deduct Such Medical Bill from , say a Mexicans MEXICO’s Cash/Gold/Paper “ACCOUNT-BALANCE” of the reciepients Domicile!!!!COMMENTARY: For the Nth time: Illegal Aliens have a Right, in sweet sweet U.S. of A., with “NO-QUESTIONS ASKED” via the Federal Governments (IRS & Treasury) easy going “W-7”, in Spanglish too; aka “APPLICATION FOR IRS INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER I.D.” #.So, With a PASSPORT (from their Nation) Plus the Feds IRS issue 9-Digit TIN#; that atleast a Local Hospital can Legally treat them with some questions asked! Note: Many Illegals Work the Underground-Economy & Expatriate U.S. Currency via Wire-Services, Courior etc.. to Their Nations And Build Houses & invest in Business as their Family & Omego’s there care for such ‘HIDDEN-ASSETS” from unsuspecting Americans. Hint: If a Mexican recieves $1.00 then it is worth $5.00 or $6.00 there now!Please see: PS: i [WE] believe that OBAMA & CO., should wait for the “CENSUS-2010” to be completed on His & Co’s Watch. In away, We should justly wait a tiny tiny more longer before WE finally get a Cost & Health effective NATIONAL PRIVILEDGE!

  • homeland1

    Part 1 of 2NO More Mr. & Ms. Nice Guy/Gal!On SEPTEMBER 7th 2009 [Labor Day]:His Hionorable Mr. BORACK H. OBAMA should Speak & Announce to ALL Americans & Friendly’s & specifically Expound on the “Illegals” Question/Solution [not a Dilemma] and say this:i Here-by Order All those who know their “illegals” satus’s to honestly & justly & rightly come-clean & Apply for (except for those whom already have) a Passport from their own nearest Counslers/Embassy office BEFORE DEC.31st.2009. AND after recieving such legal Passport Then Go to your nearest Precinct, Sheriffs Office, or Congress or Laiezzan offices and apply {for thiose whom have’t already] for a U.S. Treasurt/Irs Issued “W-7” TIN#: ANDWith these two Documents each registered “illegal” will be entitled to participate in the Health-Care System, PROVIDED, Provided that each Domicille promises to Participate in the U.S. CENSUS 2010…” [Similar].Note: Baby’s can also be registered with a Legit Birth Certificate & BOTH , repeat BOTH Parents (Wed or not) PASSPORTS attached to such Birth Certificate.Note again: Each recipient with a U.S. issued TIN# & legit foreign passport can recieve a “Special-[Exception] Stamp” provided they [he/she] show Immigration Authorities that they have payed tax’s [on the Individual TIN#] for atleast 2-Years and pay’d atleast $5,000 ($2,500 per annum; which is a Premium Minimum-tax-rate for being Illegal here & living off the fat of the lamb) in taxes during that period. note: The Longer one pays the Better. ELSEafter 2011 [Jan.1st.2012] that Those whom did not comply or spilled over here After the PREZ’s MANDATE issued on SEPT.07.2009; will BE DEPORTED Forcefully & Have All Their Assets Confiscated & their Children droped off over the borders! [NO Exception] –Continued part 2 of 2

  • homeland1

    continued 2 of 2Under Current Federal ‘Hiring Practices” [off the Street or at Grass Roots Levels or from Main Streets U.S.A.] Rules/Laws/Statutes or guidelines states that “EMPLOYERS” must make due-diligence & as a fiduciary “RESPONSIBILITY” must take-care to knowingly [help his/her Government] NOT HIRE ‘UN-DOCUMENTED” Persons contrary to Uncle Sams Criteria. Not to By-pass Curent ‘Legal-Alien’ hiring laws; i.e. H-1B, 2B etc.. In a way: any one Employer Knowingly Hiring such Un-Doc’d should be STuck with such Persons even if their Hired daily or as in just-in-time etc.. Soo, What The Employer should do , with Current Hirees (whether Long relationships or not) is Help his/her Employees make sure they register and have a “W-7” Tin# and a legit Passport (not expiring less than 90 days).ALL Employees whom Do not Comply with Uncle-SAM & Aunt Liberty “Undocumented” quagmire; which THEY CAUSED (not OMEGO/A’s); o.k. 1/2 & 1/2; then Your Nearest POLICE DEPARTMENT, SHERIFFS OFFICE & certain Deputised Assistants of the HOMELAND & ICE Branches r& CO;, will randamly walk-in ; Halt All Operations (w/out Notice; Sorry!) and demand to count each HEAD (Worker) and take it from there.Note: CAVEAT EMLOYERS: [No Exception] Starting JAN.1st.2011, Except for Farms; whether your a Retail outlet or a Construction outlet etc.. A Big Fine Will await each of you and it’s a good chance that your Business BANK ACCOUNTS will be CONFISCATED or STOPED/FROZEN or will be automatically withdrawn (Reversed ACH) and a fixed big-Fine to the U.S. Treasury, not States Treasury/coffers Employers & their Employeess will pay dearly!!Note: Un-Documented folks who get a W-7 TIN# can open a Bank Account; no questions asked; less Drivers license.So; Uncle Sam & Aunt Liberty should ‘BEND” the Immigration LAW(s), to accomadate this, Once In A life-time, Employer Eemployee Compliance Opportunity Chance” [EECOC of 09] and then wage War against both Shrewed Operators [Business folks] & their little Helpers [Illeg folks].Time To Know Where Every body is; not what every body is doing! NICE GUY/GAL , but only for a TIME; the AMERICAN WAY!

  • ccnl1

    And again we see “Homeland!” regress to his/her infectious gibberish in an attempt apparently to distract us from dealing with important subjects. One wonders what makes this probability wave tick!!

  • ccnl1

    From previous commentators:”While Washington debates health care, another study reports that obesity may have cost the health care system $147 billion in 2008. Now if Republicans really believed in the marketplace, they would propose charging fat people more for health insurance. Same for smokers, gun owners, and heavy drinkers.”Bravo!!!Add to that charging more (or not covering)for treatment of STDs which as per the CDC costs $14+ billion/year.And then there is this:Smoking-related medical costs averaged more than $100 billion each year between 2000 and 2004. This translates to $2,197 in extra medical expenses for each adult smoker per year as of 2004. Death-related productivity losses from smoking among workers cost the US economy more than $97 billion yearly (average for 2000-2004). For each pack of cigarettes sold or given away in 2004, $5.34 was spent on medical care caused by smoking, and $5.28 lost in productivity, for a total cost to society of $10.62 per pack. “Bottom line: Those who live healthy life styles should not have to pay for the health care of those who don’t!!!

  • Paganplace

    “Add to that charging more (or not covering)for treatment of STDs which as per the CDC costs $14+ billion/year.”Well, *that* bill ought to be sent directly to those who think telling people to not have sex stops STDs. 🙂

  • Paganplace

    “”The tobacco industry is one of the most profitable businesses in the country, making billions of dollars every year. But the costs of smoking are far higher than the income from cigarette sales.True, but have you noticed that the only alternatives to nicotene addiction are badically… more nicotene or what are actually a certain class of antidepressants?I’m still waiting for the regulations forcing Big Tobacco to finally disclose what goes in the cigarettes to take effect. Won’t change the fact that this holy ‘free market system’ was built by chain smokers, and that not everyone fits in the box without chemical aids, but it ought to put a big dent in selling the addiction.

  • ccnl1

    Paganplace, Paganplace, Paganplace,Following the commandments of Thou shalt not commit adultery and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, husband or partner with the corollary of Thou shalt not fornicate are rules amendable to health care coverage based on life styles.Of course, pagans might have some issues with these rules??