Why Do Christians Want Health Insurance?

Blood testing in a medical facility in Ethiopia.Image via Wikipedia

It was almost a year ago that I unveiled my health care plan. Now that the Obama administration is moving ahead on their own plan for reforming American health care, I have a good excuse to revisit it. Instead of merely rehashing it, I'd like to use it to inquire into whether most Christians really believe what they often claim to believe.

Do Christians Really Believe What They Claim to Believe?

One of the things that has always bugged me about Christians is that there often seems to be a massive discrepancy between what they claim to believe and how they behave. Health care offers an excellent example of what I am talking about. For the Christians who claim to believe that they have a personal relationship with Jesus and are cared for by a benevolent god, why do they need health insurance? Why avail themselves of modern medicine at all? Shouldn't prayer be sufficient?

An obvious explanation is that the Christians who take advantage of medical treatment do not actually believe what they claim to believe. They may say that they are content to trust their god, etc., but their use of the health care system suggests otherwise.

I can accept such an explanation (i.e., that many Christians do not actually believe what they often claim to believe). In fact, I find it at least somewhat encouraging. But is it accurate? And if so, why do so many continue to insist that they really believe such things?

The critic will object, "Wait a minute! By your line of argument, you could say that Christians who work for a living are hypocritical if they do not merely pray for wealth." I see this as a very different sort of argument. The Jesus/god as healer is a theme encountered throughout the Christian bible. I don't think I'm reaching too much to pose that question.

Revisiting Atheist Revolution's Health Care Plan

Here is how I previously described the plan:

Under my plan, atheists would receive health care at government expense just like what everyone receives in the counties with the highest quality health care systems. Christians and believers of other absurdities would automatically be placed on the Prayer Care Plan. This plan would not cost the government (or anyone else) anything at all. When believers got sick, they would pray for recovery. It's really that simple.

This should be quite appealing to the large number of conservative Christians who oppose any step toward universal health care because it would save large sums of money. If they really believe in prayer, as they so often claim, then they would have nothing to worry about on the Prayer Care Plan. In fact, their health care should be better than that received by the rest of us!

You know as well as I do that Christians are not going to be lining up for such a plan. They are not interested in opting out of their current health insurance or failing to seek medical treatment. The question is why. The seemingly inescapable answer is that most Christians do not believe what they so often claim to believe.

But My Particular God Works in Mysterious Ways!

That is a cop-out, and I believe you know it. If you want to respond with any sort of "but that isn't how my god works" claim, the question you still must answer is why. That is, why does your god, a god which you insist loves you, turn a blind eye to your health problems?

The "mysterious ways" thing is little more than a smokescreen. It does nothing to answer the underlying question. If you believe in the sort of god in which you claim to believe, why isn't prayer sufficient for you?