Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Does God Say About the Government's Role be in Health Care?

When we look at the word of God, we see in Genesis 14:18-20 that Abraham paid at tithe (a 10th) to Melchizedek. When Israel asked for a king in 1 Samuel 8:11-20, God warned the Israelites that a king would take a tenth of all they own! Here, God defines tyranny. Any government that requires as much from you as God requires of you is a tyrannical government and a messianic state (i.e. a government that wants to be God for you by providing for all of your needs.) Of course, a government that provides all of your needs will tax the life blood from you! God's 10% standard seems like chump change when we pay taxes on our income, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, telephone, cell phone, cable, utilities, gasoline, airfare, hotel, etc. Most American's would be glad if government (federal, state, and municipal) would stop at 10%. Many in America pay 40-50% of their income in taxes when you add up all of the taxes.

When we look at the purpose of government in the Bible, we see in Romans 13:1-7 that its purpose is limited to this: reward the righteous and punish the wicked. In other words, leave law abiding citizens alone and protect us from threats from without and within. Our founding fathers recognized this when they created a limited form of government. And with limited government comes limited taxes.

As you can see, the Bible doesn't give any provision for government to be involved in Healthcare. I challenge anyone to find Biblical justification for the government (taxpayer) provision of health care. While we're at it, I challenge anyone to find Biblical justification for the government taking money from one person or group of people and giving it to another. Such actions are a violation of the Eighth Commandment, "Thou shall not steal!"

In addition to having no Biblical authority to provide healthcare, our government also has no constitutional authority to provide health care coverage. Moreover, the federal government has no constitutional authority to bailout companies, banks, and the economy, control monetary supplies and interest rates, and education, etc. If the federal government would stay within the bounds of the constitution, they would be much smaller and would tax less. We need to return to the limited government that our founding fathers envisioned.

Economist Thomas Sowell points out in his book Basic Economics that whenever the government tries to help the poor, the actual results results harm the poor. Whether we're talking about food price manipulation which often results in higher food prices for all and starvation for the poor, rent control which results in housing shortages, or health care control which results in lengthy waits for surgery, sometimes beyond the point of survival. Sowell references one such occasion in England where a 12 year old was allowed to have breast implants while a woman with cancer was denied surgery until her cancer has spread so far that surgery wouldn't help. As Sowell points out, we must judge such programs on their actual results not the intentions of their creators.

Glenn Beck recently pointed out on his radio show and website that America's health care is better than that of countries with socialized healthcare.
  • Americans have a better survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common cancers than Europe. Take prostate cancer: 91.9 percent of men live through it, versus 73.7 percent in France and just 51.1 percent in Britain
  • Every year Britain's National Health Service cancels about 100,000 operations.
  • One million Brits currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital.
  • Another 200,000 just hoping to get on a waiting list.
  • In August of 2003, it got hotter than usual in Europe. 37,000 people died.
  • Canada, 800,000 of their 33 million citizens are on waiting lists for more than 18 weeks — which is twice as long as doctors consider "clinically reasonable."
  • Why is this happening in Canada? Simple: doctor shortages. Doctors don't want to make 42% less than American Doctors, so they move their practice to America.
The superiority of America's health care system is readily seen by the many people who pay for healthcare in America rather than waiting for free but sub par, delayed service in their own countries. Even Fidel Castro, who in times past bragged that all Cubans have free health care, came to America for treatment when sick. Apparently socialized medicine wasn't good enough for him!

If the government shouldn't provide healthcare coverage for Americans, what should it do? Get out of the way! Stop stifling competition with CON (Certificate of Need) requirements. Stop holding up medication that can save lives. The government should also allow individuals to deduct the cost of health insurance and HSA savings contributions from their taxable income, allow insurance plans to cross state lines, allow insurance plan portability, and stop licensing and regulating the health care industry. Allow free market competition which historically has been shown in every industry to increase availability and quality of goods and services and reduce consumer costs. If the government will get out of the way, the free market will make health care coverage more affordable and attainable for individuals and families who are wish to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain it.

To learn more about what God says about health care, visit Covenant Tabernacle's website to hear sermons or visit Covenant Tabernacle's page to hear sermons about what God says about healthcare, including what role the government, the church, familes, and individuals should play in health care as well as other past sermons.

1 comment:

  1. My argument from the Bible against government welfare comes from 2 Thessalonians 3:10:
    "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."
    Guaranteeing someone healthcare, or food, or anything, will make it abused.

    This is not to say that they should not be supported through the community or Church. That support is not guaranteed and is removed if it is abused.