Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare? (Part 5): Better than nothing?

One argument made by those who support the healthcare reform bill currently before Congress- or some variation thereof- is that if this legislation does not pass quickly, the call for healthcare reform will be stifled and NO healthcare reform will take place. The argument is that even if there may be some legitimate disagreements with certain aspects of the proposed legislation, the problems in healthcare are so serious that SOMETHING must be done, and that passing something like H.R. 3200 is certainly batter than doing nothing.

But is such a bill 'better than nothing'? I would argue "no" for 4 main reasons: 1. Such legislation would make the government too involved in providing healthcare, and such a function is not proper to the role of government; 2. The bill currently before Congress has no provision forbidding tax dollars being used for abortion, and based on precedent, this would mean that the bill would make it so that taxpayers would end up funding abortions; 3. Statements made by the Obama administration about how healthcare would be rationed under the current proposals are extremely troubling, especially for me, as my step-father-in-law was recently cured of leukemia through medical intervention- I have doubts as to whether such treatment would have been available to him in a nationalized healthcare system; 4. Current proposals before Congress are fiscally irresponsible and would lead to skyrocketing national debt, which would have dire consequences for the future of our country.

But we should not settle for the false dichotomy of "Obama's plan" [or the plan of any one government official] or "nothing." There are better options being discussed, and it is the duty of every responsible voter not only to let our Congress-people know that we oppose bills like H.R. 3200, but that we also will not settle for the status quo- that in the name of justice, the government must see that RESPONSIBLE health care reform does take place.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Nationalized Healthcare? (Part 4): Wise regulation as a part of the solution

There is a stream of thought within conservative political philosophy that is suspicious of any government regulation of businesses. But whereas we should carefully consider the proper limits to the government (as previously discussed on this blog), and should challenge the government to not go beyond these limits, the role of government as one that preserves justice by prohibiting, preventing, prosecuting, and punishing injustice cannot be limited to private individuals but must extend to the actions of corporations as well. As the founding fathers of our country, recognizing the sinfulness of Man as taught in the Bible, set up a system of checks and balances within the government so that power could not be consolidated within one branch of government, leading to despotism, so the government itself must at times provide a check against corporations or industries, which are also led and managed by sinful individuals, and which can execute grave injustices against the national population.

To give an example of proper government regulation of private corporations: consider the Food and Drug Administration. When the industrial revolution fully impacted agriculture and food became mass-produced and marketed not just regionally, but nationally, some corporations began taking advantage of the situation and they began putting all kinds of non-food "fillers" in the ingredients of the food-stuffs they were marketing. (When earning my history degree, I remember reading an old newspaper article printed during the time when government regulation of food production was being debated; those supporting such regulation wrote a poem that started with the line, "Things aren't always what they seem, they give us paste instead of cream.") Few today would argue that there should be no FDA and that the government should keep its hands off the food industry: people are too worried about eating tubercular beef or paste in their cream to make such arguments.

Government regulation, wisely done, may be an important part of resolving the healthcare concerns that confront our nation. Government regulation may take the form of antitrust investigations and litigation against insurance companies in some markets. Government regulation would certainly address the problem of "rescissions," or retroactive denials of healthcare coverage by which people pay for insurance they never receive.

The kind of government regulation that I am attempting to argue for could be done through the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice; it would not necessarily involve the creation of a new regulatory agency. I believe that such regulation could address many of the concerns people have without anything like the massive increase in debt that would be incurred in the current plan before Congress, and I think that such regulation takes seriously the proper role of government as the administrator of justice.