Monday, December 22, 2008

Mandatory Health Insurance...A Violation of Religious Freedom

Dr. Paul Hsieh, co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM), reports on his post of 12/19/08 about the innovative approach to health care pursued by the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries

Writes Dr. Hsieh:

I fully support the right of organizations such as AHCSM to engage in such charitable mutual aid, free from the onerous restrictions that the government places on insurance companies. And although the AHCSM bases its policies on Christian Biblical principles, in a free society any group of people (religious or non-religious) could band together to create a similar system of voluntary mutual aid.

I therefore commend the AHCSM for showing that it is possible to create a real-life positive alternative to traditional insurance that many Americans would gladly support and benefit from.

The AHCSM has also correctly taken a strong position against government-mandated health insurance.

That strong position is based, properly, on individual rights. Although the term "individuals rights" is not specifically mentioned in these excerpts, it is implicit in this AHCSM policy briefing reported by Dr. Hsieh:

Mandatory Insurance Infringes on Religious Liberty. Members of HSCMs are presently in charge of the decisions regarding their own health care and able to refrain from supporting practices contrary to their moral convictions. Mandatory insurance, on the other hand, would legally require the purchase of insurance policies that force citizens to give financial support to treatments that violate their convictions.

Encouragingly, several states have passed laws "exempting health care sharing ministries from the insurance code, making it [Florida] the eleventh state to do so", according to AHCSM's website. This may be a significant crack in the seeming inevitability of socialized medicine. If these organizations can be exempted, why not all similar ones...and all individuals.

That is exactly what AHCSM demands. The aforementioned policy statement demands:

THE SOLUTION: Do not mandate the purchase of health insurance. Instead, give increased liberty to all consumers and allow them to control their health care dollars. In HCSMs this approach has resulted in greater individual control of health care spending and improved quality of care... (Emphasis added.)

The AHCSM seems to understand the deeper significance of its fight for its own members' rights. No one's rights are safe unless everyone's rights are secured. By fighting for its own rights, it is fighting for everyone's rights...and vice versa.

The only way to stop the "Universal Health Care" juggernaut is to fight on the moral ground of individual rights.

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