Monday, March 22, 2010

Faith and Obamacare

After the U. S. House of Representatives passed the President's health care bill Sunday night, my wife and I had a serious conversation about our future. Certain facts were clear and indisputable. We are growing older and approaching retirement age. Her employment is our only source of health insurance. My pastor's salary is not enough to pay for the health insurance required by the government under the new health bill. Given those circumstances, my wife observed, "I won't be able to retire." She's right. If she retires, we won't have insurance. If either one of us retire, we won't have enough income to live on. Social Security is flat busted broke. If we depend on the government to provide health care, it won't happen because:
(a.) Obamacare takes 500 billion dollars from Medicare in order to finance the new government-run health care. That deficit is shifted to the individual states - a burden they cannot possibly afford. Older citizens are going to have to do with less so that younger citizens can be covered.
(b.) Obamacare is noticeably geared toward younger people. They have a tax-paying future. My wife and I don't. We simply won't be a good investment of the government's time and money. The older we grow, the more we will be a liability to the system.
Add to this the fact that businesses - especially small ones - are going to be forced to hire more and more part-time workers as a way of coping with the outrageous expense of providing health insurance for full-time employees. That's sure to impact congregations, particularly small churches like our own.
So we are facing a future with less and less health care as we grow older combined with less income and ever-shrinking Social Security. What are we to do?
For starters we could trust the Lord. "God knows we have this situation," my wife said. "He always has." Yes, and there's no expiration date on the promise "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you." There is also another observation in the Psalms: "I have been young and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging bread."
I couldn't help thinking of one of my favorite people, George Muller of Bristol, England. It was Muller who founded orphanages, built schools, financed missionaries and pastored a church all by prayer and without a cent to his name. Penniless and yet he received from God everything he needed as if he owned every bank in Europe. Muller never claimed to have the gift of faith, but he did acknowledge using the faith he had better than most people.
There is a lesson here for us. Our health care and retirement - once the envy of the world - may be history as we know it. But God isn't. He is still good to His word, and His word tells us we can trust Him to provide when all human programs have utterly failed. I don't know what is going to become of our country, our health care or our lives as Belinda and I face retirement - if it ever comes. I just know that when we get to that point, God will be there. What a comfort.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I needed that, being a pastor's wife in my late 50's. Thankfully, God is in control.