Christians have long taught that social issues are to be handled by the social institutions that are closest to the issue at hand. It’s what the Roman Catholics call “Subsidiarity.”
Also, for about a century (if not more), Protestant Christians have developed the principle of “Sphere Sovereignty,” which states that no single human institution should have absolute authority in society. Each institution is responsible directly to God for its particular area of sovereignty – families, educational institutions, businesses, trade unions, science, art, etc. No human institution owes its existence to the State, but rather to God. Government is not the superior institution, but simply has its own sphere of sovereignty. The key is this: The spheres of society are not subsidiaries of the state. Thus, in Christian social teaching, placing limitations on the power of government is a simple acknowledgement that only God has the right to absolute sovereign rule.
So, as I apply these Christian social teachings to the current health care issue, I wonder something: How is it that families and doctors are not given more responsibility for the decisions made concerning health care?
The most glaring reason that I see is this: The mode of payment has evolved into a third-party system, where employers pay heath insurance companies in order to cover the cost of health care.
The employer only has a stake here if health benefits for employees will also benefit the business (which more and more is not the case, so businesses are increasingly moving out of the sphere of being responsible for health).
The insurance companies’ most pressing issue is profits, not the health of those in their system, so they should not have responsibility for the sphere of health.
So, in our current system, families and doctors are not making decisions on what needs to be done, and at what cost.
My question for debate is this: How does replacing the third party of insurance companies with the third party of the federal government solve this problem? While Health Insurance Companies are definitely huge bureaucratic behemoths, replacing them with the huge bureaucratic behemoth of the Federal Government does not solve the issue that a third party that is very separated from the institutions needing to make the decisions will be making the decisions.