I find that government, that is the idea of government as well as specific local to national governments, have taken a beating in the last few years. The rhetoric that government can do no good and that it should just get out of the way has been around for about 30 years, but it has intensified recent years across all political lines.
While I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind in the grand scheme of things, let me offer one example of government doing something right, at least ethically and morally.
Our local hospital is designated a “Critical Access” hospital. This is a medicare designation and program that is to meant to help rural under served populations have access to some amount of health care. One of the things that this means is that we are a partially government funded hospital which means that we have access to the same health care plans that the other State of Kansas employees have access to. Now, we can cuss and moan all we want about the finer points of health care these days, but there was one thing about this plan that has really stuck out to me.
The premiums are on a sliding scale in relation to your income.
Translation: the lowest income employees at the hospital are able to afford health insurance. This means that my wife and I pay higher premiums but it also means that when the hospital went onto this plan a few years ago, for some people it was the first time that they’ve ever been able to get health insurance.
The reason that this is on my mind today is because last night the hospital board met to decide whether or not to stick with the state plan or to switch to a private insurance company plan that was similar, but not the same. They decided that, for now, they’ll continue with the state plan.
For this I simply want to say thank you. From a Biblical and Christian perspective, it is imperative that we take care of the most vulnerable around us. And, for the record, when it comes to health insurance, available but not affordable doesn’t count.
To my local hospital board members, thanks and keep up the good work.