MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS – HEALTHCARE, EGYPT, GETTING IT RIGHT, GETTING IT WRONG

This is a special Tuesday Edition of Monday Morning Reflections-I’ll be interested in your comments and reflections. – Steve

There is almost universal agreement these days that we need to develop a fair and equitable health care system that is accessible to the citizenry. The plan designed by the Obama administration and passed by Congress, however, will not be it.  This past week Federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down the law empowering this new health care plan.  Judge Vinson wrote:

“I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system.”

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications,” Vinson wrote, adding, “At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Mr. Obama’s health care plan aside, as I think of the inequities existing in the present free market system, I still believe we must find some system that enables our citizenry to basic health care. I am mindful of the burden that mandatory systems place on the small business person; but I also know families that would have been bankrupted in the past year simply because their newborns had a serious problem at birth.  I know elderly persons have to decide between food and heat and paying for their medicines or making a needed doctor’s visit.  In society that indulges itself in all manner of high tech communications tools that trivialize our lives or expand our capacity for leisure, why do we begrudge a tax dollar that might actually some form of quality period to a person not blessed with the best knees or heart.

Mubarak has left the building. Egypt is now essentially in the hands of its military to work towards the goal of democracy for that vital Muslim Nation. The question now is how the military, Egypt’s most powerful institution, will handle the transition in power. A military spokesman, in a brief televised statement Friday, said it will not act as a substitute for a “legitimate” government and would later announce measures and arrangements to introduce the changes Egyptians want.One of those measures was to insure stability in the Middle East by reaffirming the peace treaty with Israel.  This is a pragmatic step that will allow Egypt to focus on recovering from Mubarak’s authoritarian reign. The US now has a chance to exert some positive influence here, genuinely affirming democracy for this nation. It will have to tread carefully on a tough road, however, because under Mubarak, political organizing and formal opposition was forbidden outside the mosques.  The Muslim Brotherhood, no friend to democracy and the West has a head start on the kind of organizing needed to gain power in democratic elections.

People like to put Christianity under microscope, hoping to identify its defects.  Rarely do people understand that “the Church” is not some monolithic institution seeking to perpetuate hypocrisy on the planet; but people who live as authentic disciples simply seeking daily what Jesus would do.  Here is a FACEBOOK post from my friend George Spangler, Pastor of the Camp Hill PA Church of God just a couple of days ago.  It is the “church” being the church.

Since I leave for church much early than my wife and kids, they meet me in between services for Sunday School. When I got to SS class, no wife . . .so I texted her and turns out she was going to be late . .. Why I wondered? Well she and the kids stopped to buy hot chocolates for the 3 kids from the Four Diamonds Fund who were standing on the street corner “canning”. . .Great Stuff… They went to the convenience store, came out with 3 hot chocolates, pushed the walk and do not walk button, crossed the road and handed them the drinks, then they came to church:)

Then there’s this bit of creativity on the FACEBOOK page of policeman friend of mine in Pawley’s Island SC, Matt Hoffer who has never surrendered his Pennsylvania roots.   Our Father, Who Art in Pittsburgh, Football be Thy Game, Let Mendenhall Run, 6 Superbowls Won, On Earth as it is in Heinz Field. Give Us this Day a Playoff Victory, and Forgive Us Our Penalties, as We Defeat Those Jets (and anyone else in our way) Who Play Against Us. But Lead Us into a Victory, and Deliver Us to Texas. For Thine is the D-Line, the Polamalu, and the Harrison…..A-Ben. GO STEELERS!

Unfortunately for Matt, Rothlisberger must have forgotten to pray.

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