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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.
June 27, 2019, Adrian, Michigan – Sister Cecilia Espenilla, OP, International Justice Promoter from Dominican Sisters International (DSI), spoke to Adrian Dominican Sisters at the Motherhouse in early June about her work with the Dominican Order throughout the world. She spoke of her collaboration with Justice Promoters from the continents of Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America to bring about the vision of justice and peace called for in the Gospel.
Specifically, Sister Cecilia spoke of the efforts of the DSI, the regional Justice Promoters, and Dominicans throughout the world, to end human trafficking and bring healing to the victims.
“We’re trying to strengthen this international network” to address the global human trafficking problem, she said. The victims – the majority women and girls – come from throughout the world, but are more likely to be from families suffering from poverty and violence, and are often deceived by human traffickers in their efforts to find employment. Victims come from all areas of the world and can be sent any other area of the world.
The purpose of human trafficking “is always exploitation” for the gain of the traffickers, Sister Cecilia said. “In 2009, the human trafficking industry generated $32 billion” in areas such as sex trafficking and forced labor in construction, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and domestic servitude. Human trafficking, she said, is less risky for the traffickers than other illegal activities – such as trafficking drugs and arms – because of the difficulties in persecution and the availability of people to exploit.
Watch a video of Sister Cecilia’s presentation below.