Sermon: Healthcare and Jesus

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 10:00am to 11:00am
Rev. David Robins


Healthcare insurance is an issue about which everyone in the congregation this morning has an opinion. After the service, I invite you to stay for an informal conversation about this issue. Many of you have opinions that are more reasoned, more practical, and more educated than mine. What can I say that has not been said? What can I offer that has not been more eloquently phrased elsewhere? What practical suggestion can I make? What moral imperative can I offer?

Humorous rewordings of the Gospel of Mark will not carry the day on this issue. Jesus does not walk upon the earth healing people in these days, but medical and healthcare providers have the tools and the means and the knowledge to treat many illnesses. What is missing is a dignified, fair way for up to 60 million Americans to pay for treatment.

Last Sunday, Jill Schaffer-Hammond offered a candle of social justice witness to the need for healthcare insurance in New Hampshire. Postcards were offered at a table in the parish hall if you wished to send a message of encouragement to state and national legislators.

All I can offer are my own thoughts and experiences on this issue, and hope that we will each find a way to take a next step for encouraging our leaders to find a fair solution to healthcare insurance.

I assume that this is important to many of you, because in my first two weeks here, I found that about one in five people either had no medical insurance, were trying to find more affordable insurance, do not see doctors because of incredibly high deductibles, had to forestall retirement or medical treatment, or were anxious about what Medicare would and would not cover. I would have to be deaf to not have heard your stories. This is in a community that claims to have a lower percentage of medically uninsured.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Wellness fair yesterday. I ran in the road race, I helped the Episcopal minister push a shopping cart in the Rotary Club parade. Healthcare staff provided screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, hearing, and oral health. But if I tested for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diseased gums, I would be unable to treat any of these conditions unless I had adequate health insurance.

The consensus that is building toward enacting some kind of national healthcare insurance seems to have a good chance of succeeding in two years.

If I could start from scratch, I would shape a healthcare insurance system along the lines of Canada or England. From a patient