Thursday, November 16, 2006

Universal Healthcare

On the evening of March 23, 2006 my wife was involved in a major auto accident. She was driving our van with all five of our children riding with her. Our sixth was still in her womb. She was following me, and I saw most of it happen. I, of course, was the first one on the scene. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to erase those images out of my memory.

My children were rushed by ambulance to the local county hospital, but my wife was transported via helicopter to OU Medical Center downtown. All of my family received very good care, and I’m happy to report that they are all doing well today, including my precious baby girl who was born via emergency c-section just after midnight on March 24.

We were blessed to have medical insurance when this happened. Even so, the deductibles, and percentages for which we were responsible quickly grew. So that today, I am still working on paying down these debts.

Now, if the same thing had happened in England the universal healthcare in place would have covered it all. Am I envious of our friends across the pond? NO WAY! I am a firm believer in the free enterprise system. My family received top notch care that night because the doctors involved made good money in providing it. The lives of my family are worth much more than every cent I am having to pay currently.

My two year old son recently had to have hernia surgery. This was only a few months after the accident. We had it scheduled and taken care of. I added that bill to the end of the ones I’m already paying. Surely I would wish that the government would pay that cost for me? Again…NO WAY! What if the government determined that he wasn’t “deserving” of that surgery since he is not a wage earner? Far-fetched, you ask? Well, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecology in the U.K. has called for the mercy killing of disabled infants. Shockingly the Church of England supports this. Click here for the article.

Now, Paton is not disabled, so he would probably pass their litmus test. Or would he? Paton is our fifth child. If the government begins paying for births, how long will it be before they say, “You’ve had enough children. We’re not going to allow him to be born.”

The fact remains that it is not the jurisdiction of the government to provide health care. Firstly, a father should provide care for his own family. If he is missing or unable to provide this, then the responsibility should fall to relatives. If there are none, or they are unable, then the responsibility should fall on the church. Now, admittedly, most churches are so involved in their building programs, etc. that they may claim they don’t have the funds to help in this capacity, but this should be the mechanism none-the-less.

Beware! With the Democratic rise to power, universal health care is just over the horizon. For some idea on how this will work, take a look at Europe. If you can’t make it over there to observe them, take a look at other government run institutions. Consider your local post office or driver’s license office. Or how about the jury system? Is anyone truly pleased with the quality of service they get there? Have any of you ever had to request a permit to build a structure on your own property? Did you enjoy the red tape you had to go through? Hang on, similar bureaucracy is coming to a hospital near you.

Hillary Clinton is inspired after this last election. During her "first term" she championed universal healthcare. She is gearing up for a 2008 presidential run. While the issue of a woman president is a topic for a future blog, we must agree that a Hillary administration would be devastating to this country. Combine it with a Democratic House and Senate, and we may as well sign up as a member of the European Union. (I hope this remains a joke.)

Universal healthcare is a bad idea any way you look at it.

2 comments:

Kristen said...

Mike,

I feel truly blessed to live in a country with universal health care. I can always exercise free choice and choose to pay for private health care if we choose "bells and whistles" (or private rooms and nice menus), but I know that most of my fellow countrymen are being looked after.

It is my privilege to pay our tax bill that helps us to help others.

We have had universal health care in Australia for as long as I can remember, and having seen the efforts that are taken to support all of the babies in the neonatal intensive care nurseries, I do not believe it has resulted in any pressure on doctors not to fight for each and every little life.

I am aware that there is a trend for some doctors to ask their adult patients to take more responsibility for their own health by giving up smoking or losing weight to reduce their risk of surgical complications before they can move up the waiting list for some surgeries, but I think this is a good thing.

Just another point of view.

Mike Southerland said...

Kristen,

Thanks for your comment.

I oppose Universal Healthcare for at least two reasons. First, and foremost, healthcare is not the jurisdiction of the civil government. The Bible tells us that the family is the primary provider of this need with the church as a "backup" should the family be unable to provide.

Government's basic "purpose in life" is to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So, we see a legitimate reason for government in the maintaining of order through the police, etc. and through the defense of our borders through our military.

There are a few other (U.S.) constitutionally declared purposes, such as the "minting of coin" (not paper money) and the regulation of commerce (imposing of tariffs, etc.). However, the bulk of the things that our government has its hands in, it has no legitimate right to meddle with. This includes, but not limited to, healthcare, education, foreign aid, disaster relief/aid, "licensing" of drivers, "permitting" property owners to build structures on their private property, taxing of income, taxing of lands, and so on...

The second reason I oppose Universal Healthcare is that it naturally leads to government rationing. Consider the state of affairs in Holland where euthanasia is routinely encouraged (required?) for elderly or terminally ill patients. It is simply more cost efficient to kill someone that to care for them. If Holland is not convincing enough, then consider Red China where the "one child" policy is enforced and women are forced to have an abortion if they are pregnant with a second child. China's female population is dropping rapidly as families there generally opt for male descendents.

Maybe Australia has not yet sunk this deep into the mire of "freebie" healthcare, but I predict that as the world grows more and more corrupt, children and the elderly are more and more considered a liability on society, then we will see even these "western" countries begin to carry out these unthinkable atrocities in the name of economics.