Health care for all is Christian and practical, physician says

By Kay Campbell
The Huntsville (Ala.) Times, June 29, 2011

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Truly selfish people, once they consider the facts, will support national health care for all for purely self-serving reasons, states Dr. Pippa Abston in her new book. But Christians especially should understand why it's time the U.S., one of the wealthiest countries in the world, made sure our health care standards are increased.

Abston, a pediatrician who has been active with Physicians for a National Health Program, has written "Who is my neighbor? A Christian response to healthcare reform" to answer objections to government interference in the current patch-work system of health care coverage in the U.S.

The book is structured around lines from the parable of the Good Samaritan, the story told by Jesus in which a heathen foreigner shows by example how to care for someone in need. Using simply told, heart-wrenching illustrations from her own work, Abston walks through the experience of navigating today's insurance maze from the doctor's point of view. In non-exaggerated explanations, she clicks through all the arguments against "socialized" medicine, as detractors disparage it, showing why good medicine for all means better physical health for all, better health options for all, and better economic health for the country.

Abston is a skilled writer, so the book's self-published pedigree shows only in the simple design and infrequent typo of the self-edited book. (Abston decided to self-publish to get the book into circulation fast.) The essay diagrams the inevitable need for a health care system based upon reason, rather than the bake sales that fund so much cancer treatment now.

We have to learn to see everyone as important, just as Jesus did, Abston writes.

"Absolutely refuse to un-see any person -- ever," she writes. "No matter who and no matter what. Whomever God sees, so must we."

The book is available at Abston blogs at "A Pediatrician's Perspective on Healthcare Reform."