How Long Should We Expect To Live?

One of the complaints about the Obama administration’s health care plan is that it will be “half-paid-for” by reducing health care services for the elderly.  Should we be surprised that our physical health worsens with age?  Since the elderly incur most of our health care costs, it follows that reform would also disproportionally affect our older Americans.  If Americans really want reform, then the largest demographic group of health care consumers cannot remain unaffected. 

We are told by one side that health care reform will cause us (and our parents) to live shorter lives, with increased pain and suffering.  At the same time, we are told by the opposing side that the lack of reform will cause us to live shorter lives.  However, we should ask, “Shorter than what?”  Shorter than if we had taken another pill to sustain us for another day of suffering?  Shorter than what God intends?  Psalm 90:9-10 says “… we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength.” 

We must redefine what we mean by a health care crisis.  If our average life span was 30, like it was during the Middle Ages, then perhaps we would have a health care crisis.  If our average life span in the U.S. was 59 years, as it now is in Russia, perhaps then we would have a crisis since this is still far short of the Bible’s definition of an average life span.  However, since our life expectancy is about 80 years, then having octogenarians (“Worried Sick” by Nortin Hadler) who die before reaching the age of 90 or 100 does not constitute a health care crisis.  If we do think that this is a health care crisis, then we are playing a game that can’t be won, by striving for a fountain of youth; i.e., striving for eternal life. 

Oh, but wait, through Christ, we already do have eternal life, just not in this present life.  Does anyone really believe that a lengthened life in this life, where our bodies are imperfect, is somehow superior to life in eternity? 

If we really do have a health care crisis, it’s because of the millions of unborn babies that we have aborted.  Why aren’t we worried about their shorter lives that have indeed been shortened by 70 or 80 years?  Or what about our thousands of men and women in their late teens and early twenties whose lives were shortened by 50 or 60 years on battlefields of wars that we never intended to win, such as Vietnam?  We can only pray that the same thing hasn’t been happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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