Thursday, March 23, 2006

Speaking of inconvenient truths

The magic of the market is failing to provide the healthcare Americans need, and the voluntary charity of doctors is waning. Why? Because of the market, of course.

As NPR reported this morning, doctors who provide charitable care are, by and large, self-employed. They can collect, or not, as they like. But fewer and fewer doctors can afford self-employment. Because of the paperwork involved in keeping up with a patchwork of insurance policies, more doctors find it easier and wiser to either be in a clinic, a hospital, or work for an HMO. The result is the same: they are not self-employed, and they cannot give away their work without the compliance of their employer.

And the number of uninsured in America, continues to rise. As NPR puts it:

Americans are getting less charity care from doctors. The number of physicians providing charity care has remained relatively stable. But the number of uninsured people has gone up over the past decade.
So when is the market going to save us?

A question for Christians in this: is this what Jesus meant by "Give Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and God the things that are God's"?

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