In a Perfect World, We’d All Have Free Healthcare

by Providence Crowder

What is Healthcare?

We Americans demand comprehensive AND low-cost healthcare services to aid us in regaining and maintaining good health when our lifestyles or other factors cause our health to fail us.  Our liberty to make bad choices concerning our health has been costly.  Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments are symptomatic of a free nation that is enslaved to its deadly habits (smoking, drinking, promiscuity, overeating, etc.).  And though everyone wants healthcare, is healthcare our “right” to have?

Healthcare has been defined as the diagnosis, treatment, preservation and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans through services offered by the health profession (www.thefreedictionary.com).  In other words, healthcare is a good and/or a service provided to a person by a healthcare professional.  These goods and services cost something to someone; they can be donated for no fee—charity, or for rendered for a fee—commerce.  

Who Deserves Healthcare?

Good health is a desirable physical and mental state; it means being free from physical and mental disease and impairments.  Every person wants good health and a quality of life.  But, through the passing time, lifestyle choices, accidents, heredity, and other factors, good health throughout life is not guaranteed.  The demand and value for healthcare is increased by the always imminent risk of accident, illness, or disease.   In a perfect world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe– everyone would have good health, or at least a second best, good healthcare.

In America we are blessed above most others to live in a nation in which healthcare professionals, access to treatment, and access to life saving medication are fairly abundant.  Yet, we are no different than any other nation that contends with the moral issue of discovering the best and most proper ways to help the least in society.

For the uninsured in this nation, those who voluntarily refuse healthcare and those who cannot afford to pay, one trip to the hospital has the potential to send some into bankruptcy.  Federal law prohibits hospitals that participate in the Medicaid program from denying urgent care to the uninsured.  Out of pocket costs for the uninsured is upwards of 40% greater than that of the insured.  For these individuals, trips to the emergency rooms ultimately drive up healthcare premiums for everyone else after hospitals redistribute the costs of providing services to them.  

The Push for Socialized Medicine

For many of the aforementioned reasons, socialists in this country have used these examples and more to push for socialized medicine such as seen in socialist countries.  Even though they realize first-hand the failures of Europe’s and Canada’s systems, and other countries with socialized medicine, these American socialists, led by President Obama, push on with their agenda.  Obamacare, America’s version of socialized medicine, has passed Congress because the plan was sold as a humanitarian initiative–to help the underprivileged receive the same quality of healthcare as the privileged.  Under Obamacare, finally all Americans, it promises, will receive quality and affordable healthcare coverage.  

The problems with Obamacare are: it provides little and costs much.  The poor and elderly are covered under existing systems, and the middle class will merely receive a hefty tax hike for a program that, according to the Congressional Budget office, will cost over a trillion in new spending and still leave 30 million uninsured.  We must also recognize that government is not an efficient provider for goods and services, as evidenced by other government-run programs.

To reiterate how effective government will be at managing Obamacare, a massive new expansion in government control and spending, let’s examine how they have fared with other programs:

  • Social security is broke,
  • The U.S. Postal Service is broke,
  • Medicaid and Medicare are broke,
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are broke,
  • . . . the war on poverty, the war on drugs, public schools?  A joke.  

If history is any indicator, government run healthcare will be another debt busting failure.

With socialized medicine, our government will eventually run out of other people’s money to spend once everyone is equally broke and poor, and then America, AMERICA, will have no choice but to beg for humanitarian aid from other nations (should there be any that will help).

How can I be certain that the government will run out of other peoples money?  Because the government is beyond broke now.  The government is 16 trillion in debt, and that was before Obamacare was implemented.  

How do I know everyone will be equally broke and poor?  The middle class is shrinking, and fast.  The number of Americans on foodstamps and government assistance is at a record high.  The working poor don’t generate much in tax revenues for the federal government, and pretty soon, there wont be a thriving middle class to tax.  Furthermore, imposing new and heftier taxing on the wealthy Americans who decide to keep their jobs and money in this nation wont generate enough tax revenues to sustain the growing number of poor Americans seeking government help.  

When the government finally runs out of money for the Obamacare program, the government will be forced to ration healthcare and decide which of their citizens will live, and who will be left to die.  That’s the beauty of socialized medicine.

Government and the General Welfare

Generally, the government should take a hands off approach to healthcare except to, as cited in the U.S. Constitution, “promote the general welfare of society.”  There are limited instances, such as emergencies, crises, or epidemics, in which the need for public or federalized healthcare would benefit the general welfare of society.

We have learned that some federal oversite of America’s healthcare systems are needed, especially during epidemics.  Much of the emergence and ideas of public health were birthed out of necessity. Without going into the whole history of public health, I will mention that epidemics such as the bubonic plague, influenza, smallpox, malaria, yellow fever and syphilis, were catastrophic events that helped move communities all around the world towards public health solutions. Governments, communities, and health boards struggled to find remedies for treatment, containment, and prevention.

As well, great industrialization and an overall increase in urban living (largely due to the industrial revolution) have caused problems with the spread of germs and disease, and have caused great unsanitary conditions for people living in overcrowded areas. Again, communities and health boards responded by developing hygiene and environmental regulatory systems and public health laws.

So there exists a need for some federal oversight and regulation concerning health matters.  However, we must not confuse limited government oversite with total government control.

What About the Poor and Elderly?

Medicare and Medicaid are broke.  These poorly managed systems are adding daily to America’s enormous debt of over 13 trillion dollars.  The America government lacks credibility in providing the poor or anyone else yet another entitlement that they cannot deliver on.  With the billions of dollars spent each year fighting the War on Poverty, why has poverty worsened?  Kenneth Blackwell has noted that “The Democrats War on Poverty has failed.” He then quoted a 1998 State of the Union address from Ronald Reagan:

My friends, some years ago, the Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won . . . Today the Federal Government has 59 major welfare programs and spends more than $100 billion a year on them. What has all this money done? Well, too often it has only made poverty harder to escape. Federal welfare programs have created a massive social problem. With the best of intentions, government created a poverty trap that wreaks havoc on the very support system the poor need most to lift themselves out of poverty: the family. Dependency has become the one enduring heirloom, passed from one generation to the next, of too many fragmented families.

President Obama’s massive “humanitarian” spending is unethical because it ultimately hurts those who he says his programs are intended to help.  High taxation of the citizenry may line the pockets of the government bureaucrats who oversee these high cost government-run initiatives, but these massive tax hikes stifle individuals’ charitable instincts and minimizes their ability to give to causes that would benefit those in their local communities. Ultimately, high taxation leads to high unemployment, high cost goods and services, and an increase in poverty–and more people on the government dole.

Love Thy Neighbor

Throughout most of America’s history, citizens of good conscience volunteered their time, money, and skills to build and work in hospitals and care centers for the purpose of caring for its sick, poor and elderly. They were the founding and leading providers of healthcare services in America! Christians in this nation built schools and hospitals and cared for men, women, and children of all races, classes, and cultural backgrounds. This was in response to the Christian call to “heal the sick” and “care for the poor.” The role of Christians in responding to a variety of human needs, especially those of the poor, has been marginalized in recent times by the broadening role of the American government.  As noted in a recent article by Evangelical and Catholic Christians, “It is increasingly the case that wherever government goes religion must retreat, and government increasingly goes almost everywhere.”  If the government would reduce spending and allow Americans to keep more of their own money, folks can get back to giving and caring for their poor among them.

In the Words of Benjamin Franklin

Too many government provisions has had the unintended consequences of removing the incentive for individuals or families to save for instances of illness and make healthier lifestyle choices. It has had the effect of creating an entitlement mentality that cannot soon be reversed. Benjamin Franklin, on The Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766, noted:

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavors to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burden? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent.

The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners.


Reject Socialized Medicine—Repeal Obamacare!

2 responses

  1. Gail Meek

    Very good commentary. Realistic assessment.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

  2. administrator

    Thanks Gail for the feedback 🙂

    July 27, 2012 at 2:57 am

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