What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
Paved With Good Intentions
Affordable Care Act illustrates failure of central control
By Dr. Tom Askew
By now everyone has heard a litany of stories about failures in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare): web site shut downs, long waiting periods online, inaccessibility to health care exchanges, cancelled policies, and much more. Those in favor of nationalizing health care are responding to these glitches with blind faith, as illustrated in House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s response to reporters’ criticism. “I will tell you this,” Representative Pelosi affirmed on CBS’ Meet the Press. “Democrats will stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act.”
That was actually not the case last week, when 39 House Democrats broke ranks in voting for Republican-sponsored legislation, which says in one page, that citizens who like their current health care coverage should be able to keep it. The bill has yet to face the Democrat majority in the Senate, and the White House is threatening to veto it if and when the bill comes there. But many see the 261-157 vote as a significant victory for Republicans, and a possible forecast of a swing in the upcoming 2014 Midterm elections.
The good intentions
Many of the original supporters of the AFA have asked, “Where did this go wrong?” The intentions were noble: to require every American to have a comprehensive health care plan that he or she could afford. Remember the length of this document? It grew and grew as stipulations were added – all the way to more than 11 million words. Affordable health care became a plan that: must accept all customers, regardless of pre-existing conditions, would be limited in additional premiums insurance companies could charge on the basis of age, could not cap lifetime benefits, must provide doctor and hospital care for adults and children, laboratory services, preventive coverage, and prescription drugs.
Think of the math here. The insurance companies did! Soon customers were getting notices from their insurance providers of huge increases in premiums and cancellations of policies which could not pass muster with all the new regulations. No one could figure out who could pay for all these mandated contingencies while still remaining “affordable.”
The ultimate frustration came when the website, Healthcare.gov, proved to be a colossal failure. To his credit, President Obama has apologized, but not until thousands of Americans spent hours and hours waiting to enroll. To date, only 27,000 have completed the process.
The philosophical problem – and a practical response
George Orwell warned in his renowned book 1984 of the futility of “one size fits all” totalitarianism. The massive Soviet Union, including its eastern European satellites, collapsed under the weight of its own bureaucracy. The failed attempts at heavy-handed, central control are manifest, going all the way back to the Tower of Babel. It seems every generation gets impressed with its own magnificence, and then God comes along to humble it.
The resiliency of every people who have been loosed from the bondage of central control shows that human beings are resourceful, and that God has many ways to provide for the world he has created. The solution lies in every community, in every local church, and in every neighborhood. People, rather than policies, will solve this problem. And if people do not love their neighbor enough to help, then there is a ripe field for preaching the gospel.
What does the Bible say?
In the Old Testament, Jethro told his son-in-law Moses he could not solve all of Israel’s problems by himself. In Exodus 18:21, he said to break the people up into groups of “thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.” In the New Testament, the pattern that quickly developed was also based on local leadership: “…they had appointed elders for them in every church.” (Acts 14:23)
No one on either side of the political aisle has ever defended the notion that the health care system does not need “fixing.” But central control from the top down has not been successful and will not work. It goes against the biblical principle of liberty, as stated in II Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
As you pray this week:
- Pray for wisdom in both the Senate and the White House as they consider this new bill to modify the Affordable Care Act
- Pray for those who have lost their coverage, are facing higher premiums, or still have no health care coverage at all
- Pray for revival in America – and a subsequent return to neighbors loving neighbors
Dr. Tom Askew has been an educator in both public and private schools for 40 years, in Hong Kong, Germany, Georgia, and Arizona. He is currently doing educational consulting and instruction for Christian schools in Arizona.
The following expressions and comments are
from our members and
do not necessarily
represent or reflect the biblical or world
views or opinions
of the Presidential Prayer Team
To Add - Enter Below