The percentage of Americans in poverty and without health insurance grew in 2003 for the third straight year—to 35.9 million people (one out of every eight) in poverty and 45 million (15.6 percent) without health insurance, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. The poverty threshold is $18,660 for a family of four. Those numbers do not tell the whole story, said Joseph C.
For more than two decades Alan Verhey has been helping the Christian community understand the interconnections between our commitments to scripture and to the moral life. His work is especially insightful when he focuses on how our reading of the Bible can inform and guide our interaction with modern medicine.
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.
The news in early March that all United Methodists could receive a free drug discount card with savings up to 65 percent appeared at first glance to be a bold health-care step by a major denomination in the light of national disputes over how to help the nation’s uninsured.
The landmark Medicare drug bill passed by Congress last month has something in it for almost everyone to complain about. Senator Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.), who led the Democratic opposition to the bill, thinks it moves too much toward privatization.
In his State of the Union speech, President Bush set a goal of achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. “We must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy,” he said, so that people can “choose their own doctors, and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need.”