After bandaging a stranger’s wounds, the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ famous parable instructs the innkeeper to provide whatever further care is needed—he will foot the bill. Such an action, Jesus tells us, defines what it is to be a neighbor.
This part of the parable might inform reflections on health care in the U.S., where 44 million of our neighbors lack health insurance and as a result do not receive adequate care. The uninsured miss out on routine, preventive medical care that others enjoy. They live constantly on the verge of economic disaster—one serious illness or hospital stay will send them into bankruptcy.