Subsidiarity* – The Crux of the Healthcare Problem
Unfortunately, the message is being sent by many Christians that if we fix the abortion support, or the stem cell technology use, or conscience protection problems that a 2,000 page, $ 2.5 trillion multi-generational mortgage for the collectivist approach to healthcare becomes acceptable. We need to step back and realize the irreparable harm a universal government run system of healthcare will reap. The forgotten principle of Subsidiarity must be invoked. Put simply it states that those closest to a problem should be most empowered to manage it.
In the mid 1920’s this country did something unique. It looked at 150 years of discrimination of women and passed laws that permitted land ownership and voting. In the 1960’s we as a country reversed course of 180 years of history and passed Civil Rights legislation.
It is time to do the same with healthcare. For 65 years owing to an “accident of history”, we have empowered employers to spend an employee’s hard earned dollars on health insurance with tax exemption but IRS law discriminates against individual and families doing the same. This tax law discrimination equals $2,500 for an individual, $4,500 for a family per year and in essence forces the employee to only rent, not own healthcare. This creates a major cause of the uninsured. A clear interpretation of the Subsidiarity Principle mandates that “lower orders of society” – individuals, families be empowered to own healthcare.
Collectivism (Socialized Healthcare) attempts to homogenize an inherently heterogeneous (diverse) humanity to the lowest and godless common denominator that is real only in the minds of elitist social engineers who rob us of our God given rights in the name of the “common good”. This philosophy was responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century and the fallacy of socialized healthcare is no different in its regard for human life given its history of rationing and substandard care. For those who would offer that the “market” approach has failed, I submit that it’s not been tried for a free market requires that the end-user of a service or product be the purchaser. Only 8% of Americans actually buy and own their own health insurance (unlike other insurance.) Thus, the ability to create a true dynamic system of acquiring quality at good cost has been stifled.
We should not be fooled by hyperbole, the uninsured are not uncared for and the chronically uninsured number 5%, not 15%. 50% of the uninsured recover their insurance within 4-5 months having lost it because their employer owned it.
We are witnessing the implosion of our single payer government system for seniors – Medicare. In 1990 Medicare cost ten times more than originally projected and is rapidly moving toward insolvency as reported by the Medicare Trustees. These entitlements have been described by Paul O’neill, former Treasurer, as a Ponzi scheme (Conference - 2008).
The strength of our American freedoms has been to achieve the multiple least imperfect solutions to the human condition, not a contrived one- size- fits-all “square peg” to be coerced into the “round hole” of diverse human nature. We accomplish this best through invoking the Principle of Subsidiarity which parallels the freedom principles and Judeo Christian worldview of the Founding Fathers. For those who cannot fully engage the benevolent forces of freedom we invoke the General Welfare clause not a welfare state, akin to our Solidarity Principle.
This implies that the church support individual owned insurance. It would be portable, affordable, and should be acquired with the same tax break that anyone else (the employer) enjoys. The employer should return the employee’s equity to purchase insurance. Endorsing a universal government run system creates a system that is equally bad for all. It additionally drains individuals of hard earned dollars (Taxes in countries with socialized healthcare frequently exceed 50%). When this occurs there will be less disposable time and income for church and charitable endeavors as well as decreasing affordability of Catholic private education. Importantly, in every socialized healthcare system individuals sacrifice sovereignty over their bodies; and the loss of medical professional autonomy of physician’s “serving Caesar” means loss of true advocacy for patients.
When we apply the principle of Subsidiarity many concerns can be remedied. Imagine when we own our own insurance how we could respond when our priests appeal to us to do what is just. WE would say “NO” to insurance that would support abortion or stem cell therapies.
Dennis Gabos, M.D.
Member Society for The Education of
Physicians and Patients (www.sepp-online.com)
Member Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (www.aapsonline.org)
NOT a member of the AMA (only 20% of practicing physicians are members)
*Subsidiarity principle for reference in the Catholic Catechism :
1883 "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions
1885 ‐ The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism
1892‐ "The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization" (GS 25 # 1).
1894‐ In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies