July 10, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – For some people, universal health care might be a complex issue that is brought up during election years. But for Johnathon S. Ross, a Toledo physician and a Past President of Physicians for a National Health Program, it is a civil rights issue, a right for all people.
Dr. Ross gave a presentation on universal health care June 24, 2019, at Weber Retreat and Conference Center. He outlined the history of efforts in the United States to enact universal health care and spoke of the deteriorating access that many Americans have to health care, the financial burdens when the cost of health care rises or when facing a catastrophic illness while uninsured or underinsured, and the danger of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would leave 50 million people uninsured.
Drawing on his Christian roots, Dr. Ross spoke of the incident in which Jesus cast out the money-changers in the temple in Matthew 21:12-14. “The metaphor is that we’ve got the money-changers in the temple of medicine,” he said. “People who never look a sick person in the eyes are the ones who are in charge of writing off health care.” In many cases, he added, physicians have also been seduced by the lure of more money.
Dr. Ross spoke passionately of the need for the United States to continue to work on offering affordable health care to all people in the country. He quoted the Golden Rule in the Christian tradition – and similar principles in other religious faiths – that call on people not to do to others what they would not want to have done to themselves. “So the question is, when we have our friends, neighbors, comrades, children, aunts, grandmas, and grandpas who are uninsured, why are we doing that to them?” he asked.
For more information on the issue, visit the website for Physicians for a National Health Program.
July 3, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Many Adrian Dominican Sisters in the United States actively follow social justice issues in their nation and work to bring about justice. In a recent presentation, they were updated on the social justice issues that Sisters in the Philippines face.
Sister Maria May L. Cano, Justice Promoter for the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter based in the Philippines, said one ongoing concern is the extra-judicial killing of drug users, drug pushers, and many innocent people as part of the war on drugs instituted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Under the drug war, in a practice called extra-judicial killing, President Duterte “ordered the death of addicts, and police have permission to do that,” Sister May explained. “People get paid to kill addicts.” She told the story of three men who were killed in a house early one morning, and of the practice of isolating family members from one another, killing the person suspected of being a drug user, and then killing the rest of the family.
Watch the video of Sister May’s presentation.