Christians Invented Health Insurance. Can They Make Something Better?

One can approach the issue from an individual moral and Christian perspective, but shouldn’t there be a discussion of the institutional costs/prices that are charged for health care? How much does capitalistic and specific institutional greed contribute to the costs? Is there a way to effectively and fairly control the costs without giving up competitive-driven charges in the rest of our financial system? Americans should hear an objective discussion of all options.

Many Christians are unaware that a former Baptist minister in Saskatchewan, Canada, introduced the continent’s first single-payer, universal health care program. The Reverend Tommy Douglas, a social democrat, not only introduced the template for Canada’s health care plan, he also set an example of fiscal restraint and of limited government, which current leaders would be advised to emulate. In 17 years as premier, Douglas produced 17 balanced budgets.

As a frequent visitor to the USA, I was struck on the one occasion I needed health care by the first question as I was greeted at reception: “Do you have insurance?” Fortunately, my employer provided travel insurance. Here in Britain, since 1950 we have enjoyed free health care at point of use. Except it is not “free”; a modern health service with high investment in technology comes with a cost to the government budget. Last year [2019], pre-COVID, it was $200 billion a year, around 10 percent of GDP. This year [2020], it will be much more, as the government used military engineers to construct several emergency COVID-19 hospitals in closed sports arenas, which had to be staffed by retired doctors and nurses ...

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