When I titled my recent post a dialogue on universal healthcare, that's truly what I hoped it would be. I appreciate the opinions that were shared and have read through your comments multiple times, as I really wanted to hear what you had to say. By the way, Abbey just posted about her experience with healthcare while living in France, so check that out for another perspective.
I have already clarified that I am not advocating for or against universal healthcare, but rather trying to learn more about the issues. I do still feel that it is a stewardship matter, both at the individual level as well as national. Since healthcare costs typically comprise a substantial percentage of our monthly expenses, I wonder how can we be more wise in this area? For example, is it good stewardship as individuals to pay high amounts up-front to prevent catastrophic financial situations? On the other hand, is it better to pay less for insurance and risk facing a major medical situation?
At the national level, I want to know if/how we can abide by this principle from Acts 4:34-35: "There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time, those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and . . . distributed to anyone as he had need"? I'm not saying government-controlled healthcare is the answer, I'm just trying to make sense of caring for those in need without imposing outrageous taxes or enabling those who may take advantage of the system.
My husband and I have been a on group insurance plan for many years, but will soon be switching to a small office that merely makes a contribution to the employee's chosen plan. As we researched our options, an HSA (health savings account) appeared to be the most desirable option--until, we noticed the "maternity clause" at the end of the document. The clause, among other things, stated that if the insured became pregnant within the first year of coverage, maternity expenses would not be covered! Obviously that particular clause would not affect everyone, but we do hope God will bless us with a second child and don't want to feel pressured by insurance to wait a certain amount of time. It is unfortunate that insurance companies can get away with having so many "clauses" in their policies.
Spaghettipie linked to an interesting article (refuting universal health care) in the comments. A thought-provoking quote from the piece, which appeared in the LA Times: "The real danger is that our national obsession with universal coverage will lead us to neglect reforms — such as enacting a standard health insurance deduction, expanding health savings accounts and deregulating insurance markets — that could truly expand coverage, improve quality and make care more affordable."
Thank you for the compelling "discussion." If you have additional thoughts or resources to share, I'd be interested to hear them.