(I'll be giving this speech at a rally for universal, single-payer health insurance in front of the White House health care reform forum in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, 4/6 - held at the California Endowment building, 1000 Alameda, 9 am - come and join us!)
I have a question for the health insurance industry advocates who are inside this building today. Whom would Jesus deny health insurance? I think we all know the answer to this question. And yet as we speak, the bureaucrats who have been denying people health insurance for decades are now inside this building, trying to convince the government to bail out their business.
Jesus told his followers to do just two things: preach the good news of the gospel, and heal the sick. You can’t do one without doing the other. It’s hard to hear the good news when you are sick, and if somebody heals you, that IS the good news. Jesus practiced what he preached. He offered health care to every ailing person he met. Even if, and especially if, they had!
Healing the sick doesn’t just mean praying for them, wonderful as prayer is. We have to back up our prayers with action. And that is what brings me here today, with other Christians, and with sisters and brothers of other faiths, too. I’m here to do what Jesus told me to do. The health care system in this country is sick. It needs healing. There’s a cure, and it’s called universal, single-payer health insurance. HR 676 at a national level. SB 840 in California. As a Christian, as a citizen, I’m here to do my part as a healer, and advocate for real change.
Some people are nervous about the government being our private toll roads – and if you think that it is better to have a rational, efficient public health insurance system to cover every American, instead of having 45 million of your fellow citizens without any insurance at all, and tens of millions more with woefully inadequate insurance, that is not socialism – that is just good common sense.. But let’s be realistic about this. Anybody here think it’s a good idea for the government to decide what kind of shoes we should wear, what kind of movies we should watch, what kind of clothes we should buy? If that’s what you believe, then you are a socialist. But if you think that public sewers are better than private outhouses, if you think a publicly funded army is better than having a bunch of competing private militias to protect your country, if you think that it is better to pay taxes for public highways than to have a patchwork of
The health insurance industry bosses see a gravy train coming round the bend as they sit inside this building today. They want corporate welfare – a system that forces all of us to send them our money, guaranteeing more of the existing inefficiency and waste, continuing to siphon money away from health care and into expensive marketing and bureaucracy. They want a cash IV, not a cure for the health care crisis. They want health care de-form, not health care re-form!
The moneychangers who run our deformed health insurance system are inside this building, they are at the table. We’re outside. So it is time for us to do what Jesus did, and turn over the tables of the moneychangers, and make things right. We are done with the present system. We don’t want the present system to be tweaked, we want it to go away. We want a lively free enterprise economy, and we want public water mains and public schools and public roads and publicly funded, privately provided health care, and we want it NOW! Amen….