In our series, Building a Culture of Faithfulness, I mentioned that I believe it is going to become increasingly important for ethical reasons for families to be the primary caretakers for their members. Jennifer Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, recently published an article which discusses the issue of ethical insurance, "Freedom to Choose Clear-Conscience Health Reform."
Here is an insightful excerpt:
Part of the problem is that Americans don't have direct control over issues of either cost or conscience. Third-party decision-makers do. They are at the fulcrum of the current health-care system, setting the rules for coverage. The kinds of benefits financed through health insurance are determined largely by employers, insurance executives, managed-care network, officials or government officials. Patients' personal choice is very limited.
As biomedical advances push us into increasingly murky ethical depths about everything from prenatal to end-of-life decisions, the moral map should not be left to the third-party decision-makers. Even worse is the prospect of handing the moral compass to anonymous bureaucrats in a single-payer government system. There's more to be feared about a national health system than poor quality care and rationing.
She is precisely correct. As Christians, let's not be caught with our heads in the sand when it comes to making moral choices about health care.