Earlier this week one of my friends was scheduled to have major surgery to repair an injury from a serious tumble she’d taken over the weekend. The morning of the surgery the doctor came in and told her the insurance company had not finished approving the procedure so they would have to reschedule it for the middle of next week.
There was a time when we would have been aghast at such a story. We would have collectively exclaimed, “That’s terrible! Poor thing!” But now I suspect most of just shrug when we hear such tales. For many of us health care and health insurance are bewildering mazes with piles of undecipherable approvals and invoices. We just accept that.
That is, if we are fortunate enough to have any health insurance.
That’s a big “if” for many of our neighbors. Many people working full-time minimum wage or low income jobs cannot afford health care. To make matters worse, since the pandemic layoffs it is estimated 100,000 Missourians lost their access to insurance through their employer. Lacking insurance, these workers and their families postpone or forgo medical care.
You know from history that concern for the physical health of their neighbors prompted earlier generations of Christians to organize ministries to care for the sick, especially those trapped in poverty. You can find a similar humanitarian response in all of the world’s religions. Those ministries evolved into hospitals, retirement communities, and hospice.
In our day and time our faith calls us to wade into the conversations about how best to provide health care for those most in need. These are critical discussions though they are fraught with tragic stories and political minefields.
On Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. you can join me in a video conversation with Dr. Bridget McCandless. We’ll explore how proposals to expand Medicaid in Missouri and Kansas might address some of these issues. Everyone is welcome and it’s free. Advance registration is required to receive the video conference invitation, just send me an email [email protected] And for information, give me a call at 816-381-9249.