Health Care Reform: Physical and Spiritual Consequences


Given the recent goings on with the health care “reform” passed yesterday, I thought I’d offer some brief comments on the situation. These are simply initial reactions, and I’d love to hear yours as well.

Physical Consequences

First, in my opinion, the health care “reform” passed yesterday will most likely result in the following physical (or earthly) consequences:

  • Increased red tape in health care industries (i.e. increased costs, decreased competition) — This reminds me of the damage Nixon did to the system when he passed the Certificate of Need (CON) law in 1972. By establishing more regulation and rules, there will be even more barriers in the way when it comes to creating new hospitals, cutting costs, and delivering services. Wealthy health care giants won’t mind (they never have), because like Nixon’s policy, it shuts out any start-up competitors.
  • Increased mandates for employers — Rather than shifting the system away from employer-based health care, mandates will be imposed on employers who will not be able to afford the requirements without either raising their prices, laying off workers, decreasing product quality, or a combination of all three.
  • Perceived necessity for a public option — Once any of the above occur, people will begin feeling the ill effects of all the government manipulation, but they will still think the free market is to blame. Once again, Obama will tour the country lamenting the free market still isn’t working, after which he will make another attempt to persuade the American people toward the necessity of a public option.
  • Even more limited health care options — We currently have very little real-world liberty in our health care system. In most cases, we are virtually forced to take the health care options offered by our employers (another byproduct of government manipulation). We have some choice (to sign up or not), but for many, answering “yes” to health insurance is followed by only one or two (if any) realistic options. There are two possible outcomes of this bill, neither of which will solve our current limited market problem: (1) even more expensive employer-based care, or (2) an eventual public option everyone must sign up for.

Nothing looks very promising from where I stand. Once the manipulative mechanisms kick in, those currently uninsured may end up having health care coverage on paper, but that care will be much worse than even the occasional emergency care they now receive. You cannot just will lower prices into existence and assume the quality of care will remain the same. This is not even to mention the unseen costs it will have on personal choice and liberty.

Spiritual Consequences

To ask how a policy affects personal choices and personal liberty is also to ask how it affects the Remnant Culture. Does this policy have any potential spiritual (or “intangible”) effects?

Here are the main ones that come to mind as of now:

  • Reduction of responsibility— Socializing anything cedes some level of personal responsibility (and ownership) to the government. If the end goal is achieved (“health care for all!”) we will never have to worry about dealing with insurance companies ever again. On the other hand, this will only be true because we will have no choice. The more choices you take away from people, the less responsibility they will learn to exercise. Without proper individual attention, this ceding of personal responsibility to the government can easily turn a responsible and accountable society into one that is infantile and lazy. This not only influences the way we feel about our own lives, but also the way we feel about our families and our communities.
  • Reduction of control — Loss of choice also means loss of control. Let’s think of a CEO who has built his company from the ground up based on a vision God instilled in his heart. All of a sudden, the government comes in and says he must provide health insurance for all of his part-time employees or his business will be shut down. He can’t afford to meet such requirements while maintaining his company’s growth, so he lays off the 3 employees rather than buying health insurance for them. He doesn’t want to lay them off, but his God-given vision is at stake, and he must adapt to earthly situations to keep the dream alive. There are many ways this could play out, but even in the best-case scenario of this example, the brute force of the collective will be trying to manipulate the God-given vision of this individual more than it would otherwise.
  • Disintegration of the True Community — If both of the above are true, aren’t we substituting a diluted pseudo-solution for the True Community? Certainly in a free-market health care system there will be someone who can’t afford health care, but isn’t this an opportunity for individuals to step up and care for others, rather than ask the government to stick a gun to their neighbor’s head? Wouldn’t the same God who gave us free will prefer that we reach out ourselves, rather than force our neighbors to do it for us? Is filling in the material gaps and supplying for the poor so hard for us that we should simply give up and say, “Just take a bit more out of our paychecks so we don’t have to feel so guilty”?

Once again, these are simply initial reactions, and such conclusions could be tied to any number of government programs and interventions. Certainly we can still live out God’s will for our lives despite worldly interruptions like this. Certainly the CEO in the example above could find some way to succeed and God could intervene in His business despite the earthly circumstances.

But wouldn’t it be preferable if we as individuals could maximize our choices and remove as many earthly interruptions and manipulations as possible? Rather than trying to control individuals and impose top-down solutions that supposedly eradicate pain and suffering, shouldn’t we be trying to tear down the barriers on individuals and allow them to offer their ideas and solutions to others in efficient and competitive ways? Is health care somehow a unique issue in which government must intervene?

What are your thoughts?

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  • http://a.c.sunde/ Website (optional)

    Jesus advised the rich young ruler to sell ALL that he had and give to the poor. He also said, “The poor you have ALWAYS with you.” Both Jesus' words and human history show that we can give all of our earthly substance to the poor, and it will not end the problem of poverty. (The poverty of OTHERS, that is. Giving to others is one of the keys to eradicating the curse of poverty in our OWN lives!) This is because poverty is a SPIRITUAL problem, caused by sum of many different effects of sin in our planet (selfishness, greed, hate, war, ignorance, foolishness,sloth, etc.) Government-mandated taxation and redistribution of “health care”, or any form of earthly provision, seeks to bypass the human heart, and instead address physical needs without engaging the individual heart. It is only when HEARTS turn away from selfishness and sin that the root causes of poverty begin to be addressed, and the atomic structures of human behavior react accordingly. In many ways the socialist attitudes of liberals and progressives are antithetical to solving the problem of poverty, because they seek to bypass this very issue. They do not want to be PERSONALLY responsible for the lack of basic needs in the lives of others, which would engage their hearts, and change them from the inside out. (In fact, they seem to resent and resist those who DO serve the needs of others voluntarily.) By imposing a rigid, state-sanctioned system to address human needs, they avoid the very root issue that is so essential to solving the problem of poverty and pain in this earth. No wonder these efforts seldom succeed in eradicating the “poverty” they supposedly are to address. Ironic.

  • http://twitter.com/remnantculture/status/10892255244 Remnant Culture

    New blog post: "Health Care Reform: Physical and Spiritual Consequences." Does health care require force? http://tiny.cc/ymo80

  • http://twitter.com/josephsunde/status/10893090092 Joseph Sunde

    My thoughts on HCR: RT @RemnantCulture New blog post: "Health Care Reform: Physical and Spiritual Consequences." http://tiny.cc/ymo80

  • jessicaeyler

    Joseph, you are right on the money. I wish I could communicate these thoughts as eloquently as you do! Amazing post.

  • http://a.c.sunde/ Website (optional)

    Jesus advised the rich young ruler to sell ALL that he had and give to the poor. He also said, “The poor you have ALWAYS with you.” Both Jesus' words and human history show that we can give all of our earthly substance to the poor, and it will not end the problem of poverty. (The poverty of OTHERS, that is. Giving to others is one of the keys to eradicating the curse of poverty in our OWN lives!) This is because poverty is a SPIRITUAL problem, caused by sum of many different effects of sin in our planet (selfishness, greed, hate, war, ignorance, foolishness,sloth, etc.) Government-mandated taxation and redistribution of “health care”, or any form of earthly provision, seeks to bypass the human heart, and instead address physical needs without engaging the individual heart. It is only when HEARTS turn away from selfishness and sin that the root causes of poverty begin to be addressed, and the atomic structures of human behavior react accordingly. In many ways the socialist attitudes of liberals and progressives are antithetical to solving the problem of poverty, because they seek to bypass this very issue. They do not want to be PERSONALLY responsible for the lack of basic needs in the lives of others, which would engage their hearts, and change them from the inside out. (In fact, they seem to resent and resist those who DO serve the needs of others voluntarily.) By imposing a rigid, state-sanctioned system to address human needs, they avoid the very root issue that is so essential to solving the problem of poverty and pain in this earth. No wonder these efforts seldom succeed in eradicating the “poverty” they supposedly are to address. Ironic.

  • jessicaeyler

    Joseph, you are right on the money. I wish I could communicate these thoughts as eloquently as you do! Amazing post.

  • http://twitter.com/remnantculture/status/10934034230 Remnant Culture

    Are there spiritual consequences to the health care reform? Is that a valid question? Check out the blog: http://tiny.cc/ymo80 #hcr #tcot

  • http://twitter.com/silent0/status/10958678861 Ken Hood Jr.

    RT @josephsunde: My thoughts on HCR: RT @RemnantCulture New blog post: "Health Care Reform: Physical and Spiritual Consequences." http://tiny.cc/ymo80