Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Insurance and health care

Most people aren't fans of insurance companies. Neither am I. There are other and better options. But they have been made a whipping boy of the proponents of health care reform. Folks need to understand that they work on a simple principle to survive -- they must take in more money that they pay out. Otherwise they won't exist. And this plain and simple formula -- perhasp too plain and simple for politicians -- still exists even when the government becomes a player in health care. Differences are (1) a business cannot make you buy their product; the government evidently thinks it can; and (2) the government can and will keep raising taxes and fees in order to take in more than they pay out.


Anonymous said...

It would be very interesting and eye-opening to see how the Amish view insurance and the government among other things. Things such as insurance, nursing homes, and social security are not in their vocabulary.

As our world system continues to deteriorate, the Amish way of life is looking more appealing as the days go by. It seems man is always coming up with ways to drive a wedge between himself and God. I would say the Amish have done a decent job for the most part of keeping the wedges away.

R. L. Vaughn said...

It can be hard to speak for someone else, but in general the Amish and some other Anabaptist/Pietistic groups view carrying insurance as a lack of faith and abandoning of the principle to take care of one another.

It will be interesting to see how the new health care "reform" affects these groups. There is supposed to be a religious exception clause in the bill. I haven't read it and don't know what it says. But even if individual Amish church members are exempted, how will Amish-owned businesses be effected? And what about Amish young people who have not joined the church?

Anyway, they are probably in a better position than many others.

Anonymous said...

It is debatable as to whether all things eventually come full circle. But you have to wonder.

The U.S.A. was created on the basis of freedom and of wanting to get away from government control. This is a good example of the government slowly putting its power in place in another facet of society. Are we getting close to full circle?

jim1927 said...

Many speak of so-called freedom and then point to the Amish system of religion. Keep in mind that the Amish religion is essentially communism in action. The people are told how to live, what to do and when to do it. They do not enjoy the freedom that so many express as a quality of America.

Americans speak against communism, and praise freedom. Well, freedom comes with a price. It is called the laws, enacted for the benefit of all, so it is really freedom under law.

On medicare, in England we did not have medicare, and those who were in the lower level, either went without, or sought medical aid in places like the gypsies (home remedies).

In Canada, it was much the same. Who could afford a doctor? A health system was adopted and doctors were no longer going bankrupt and people were getting medical services. The overall costs are nothing compared to what it would cost to be ill.

I haven't seen the proposals or plans on the table, but anything has to be better than nothing.



R. L. Vaughn said...

It seems we here in the U.S. are close to full circle to the types of things that brought the country into being in the first place.

R. L. Vaughn said...

It is correct that the Amish religious system is much more authoritarian than the average individualist American would accept. It is my understanding that details of their Ordnung – their discipline and way of life, including regulations on the use of electricity, telephones, automobiles, as well as clothing that can be worn – vary in different districts and settlements, and are established by the church elders. Members who do not conform to the expectations of the Ordnung/church/community are first shunned and ultimately excommunicated. But communism – social organization based on holding all property in ownership by the community/church – is not a trait of the Amish as a whole, so far as I can tell. Groups like the Hutterites and Bruderhof do practice common ownership.

The "authoritarian lack of freedom" among the Amish is nevertheless a community based action in a religious context, and not exactly comparable to the involuntarily removal of freedoms conducted by some governments. As a Christian I do not even object to a voluntary "communism" as practiced by some present-day Christians and the early church in Jerusalem. I do object to a "top-down" communism enforced by a government on its people.

Freedom does come with a price called laws. While some anarchists may want to cast off all laws for their own personal freedom without regard to others, other U.S. citizens want to re-establish the basis of our rule of law – the Constitution – and ask that those who govern should govern in accordance with it rather than according to their own ideas, regardless of how well-meaning or beneficial they may be. The American ideal is that the Constitution and government provides the foundation of protection of the citizen under which he or she may operate in freedom. It does not include the concept that it is the government's job to see that I am healthy and well-fed.

Jim, you mention that you haven't seen the proposals or plans on the table. Most Americans haven't either, and I doubt many of those who voted on it ever read the nearly 3000 pages it includes! I can't agree that anything has to be better than nothing, when I don't know what the anything is. And the sleight of hand by which this was rammed through Congress without transparency to the people certainly doesn't engender my trust that there is much of anything there I will like.

BTW, re the Amish I found a non-Amish site that appears to be an honest effort by those who have friendly relationships with the Amish to correctly identify their beliefs and practices. It is found HERE. Concerning insurance it records, "They do not have hospitalization insurance, but they band together to help pay medical expenses for anyone of their group who needs financial assistance."

R. L. Vaughn said...

I looked online and found "H. R. 3962 To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce
the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes." This is the House version. The Senate version, which is actually passed, is found HERE.

They are slightly shorter than I heard -- 1990 pages in the House and 2409 pages in the Senate.

Anonymous said...

It has always been a custom within the Amish to allow a young person the opportunity to leave the faith when they become teenagers. The last i read, the rate was only about 10% of those who chose not to return.

It also might be interesting to learn that the Amish were able to persuade the Supreme Court back in 1972 to exempt them from mandatory school attendance past the 8th grade. The court's decision was based on the welfare rolls. They could not find any Amish on them in selected counties with a high Amish population. Quite remarkable that such an austere group could persuade the highest court in the land. Of course you are always going to have a few bad apples in any group. Their way of life is strictly by choice. It would seem to me that they are actually helping the government by not contributing to the financial burden by being self-sufficient. It has been reported that some of the Amish are millionaires as well. This doesn't sound like Communism to me.