October 01, 2009

Health Care Reflux

The surprising response that my previous post on health care received (including a response post by my brother on his blog), as well as the recent finalization of our current health insurance situation, has led me to write a second post on the topic. Yes, I will eventually write about my new job. But not yet…stay tuned.

Jon divided his comments into four points. For ease of comparison, I will attempt to respond to each in turn.

1) What about communal responsibility and character? …[P]eople…argue that having the government help deprives us of motivation to help our neighbor, but is that a problem with the system or with us as Christians? I agree there is a communal responsibility. The problem to me is not that government help deprives us of motivation, but that it actually makes it harder for us to act righteously. For instance, imagine that a government plan took 15% of everybody’s income to pay for universal health care. Great. But that has then also deprived me of 15% of my income which I could have voluntarily—and perhaps should have—given to those in need. I realize that most people won’t. But forcing people to give only helps the recipient. Giving ought to help both the recipient (materially) and the giver (spiritually).

That said, I attempted to make it clear that I’m not against government help. I do, however, insist that the government does it in such a way that strengthens our own sense of responsibility and character—both individually and communally—rather than stifles them.

2) Which sounds like a good thing—preventative care instead of purely reactive care. Of course preventative care is good. I agree that this should be available as possible, preferably with lower prices for everyone. Again, government involvement is probably a necessary evil. Encouraging reliable on Uncle Sam rather than personal and communal responsibility, however, is not acceptable.

3) It’s hard to know what’s really true sometimes with different health care systems. I completely agree. It is extremely difficult to compare health care systems in terms of results. Hence, I don’t bother. Besides, that’s a very utilitarian approach, which, while useful sometimes, is no arbiter of ultimate Truth. Thus, I try my best to compare systems and philosophies from their philosophical underpinnings and outworkings. This is also my response to point 4.

Further comments and critique are more than welcome, especially from those who disagree! (There seems to be a disappointing preaching to the choir aspect to this blog.)

Ah, yes. You’ve probably been waiting for the story about our current health care situation. The government plan that we thought we could get Rita in on called two days ago and said that we filled out the wrong form, despite that I had filled out the form that they recommended and that the form that they now requested did not apply to us, as it required 6 months of North Dakota residency.

It turns out that, after I had rejected the ludicrously expensive continuation plan from student health insurance (think minimum cost), we had no options to purchase health insurance for Rita on our own dime. Something is definitely broken.

Fortunately, my work’s health insurance began today. God has provided for us despite what man may do. Perhaps that’s really what we all need to keep in mind.

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