The current debate over President Obama's proposed overhaul of health care in the U.S. has raised an issue I find intriguing particularly related to the way many Christians have reacted to the so-called "Public Option" germane his plan.
Of course, by "Public Option", Obama means to have a government-run insurance option as part of a new health care system. So, "Public" means a tax-funded, government administered insurance program. There are several concerns with such a suggestion. There is great concern that a government subsidized insurance program will undercut private insurance companies and drive them out of business leaving the government as the sole healthcare administrator. Related to this concern is what happened in Hawaii a few years back when a so-called public option was signed in to law and hordes of Hawaiians dropped their private coverage to take use the government "insurance" and overran the state bank. The public program was haulted inside a year when it became obvious it would bankrupt the state treasury. There are related concerns about the number of doctors, the need to ration health care (like in Canada and the U.K.), etc. But who can deny the biggest red flag about a government run program? The government is not good at running much of anything. Who really thinks the government would do a good job running or administrating a small program let alone one this massive?
Here's where I am intrigued as it relates to the way professing Christians seem to be talking about Obama's "public option". I have been talking to many Christians about this debate. I have yet to find one Christian who thinks a public option would be good for anyone. I have heard some believers even speak of the suggestion of a public option like Obama's as unethical, even immoral (specifically related to some of Obama's provisions for public funds being used for abortions). I think it's fair to say there is widespread opposition among Christians toward the suggestion of a public option concerning health care. There is a sizable group of Christians that are vigilantly opposed to the so-called public option. Government can't do this job, they shouldn't do this job, they should stay out of it.
I generally agree with this sentiment.
But why are so many Christians comfortable with public schools?
The government running schools and education makes far less biblical sense to me than running health care, yet the majority of professing believers seem perfectly OK with it.